Improve your focus with water

You know that water is essential to life.  But did you know that even mild dehydration impairs your ability to focus?  Estimates are that 75% of us are chronically dehydrated, so it's likely that this applies to you. Don't wait until you're thirsty to get a drink.  By that time, you're already mildly dehydrated.  Here are some other warning signs:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Dry mouth, throat, and/or lips
  • Dark urine
  • Heat intolerance
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • If, when you pinch the skin on the back of your hand, it drops back slowly

Here are some easy ways to keep dehydration from affecting your focus:

  • Keep a large container of water, or a cooler, near your work area to increase the convenience factor
  • Bring a water bottle with you every time you get in the car. Finish it by the time you get to your destination.
  • Set a daily goal, and use a checklist to track the amount of water you consume.   You may be surprised at how little you're actually drinking.
  • Watch your caffeine intake, since caffeine actually dehydrates your body
  • Keep lemon or orange slices in the refrigerator and use them to add flavor to your water
  • Make getting a drink part of your break routine
  • In the winter, use a humidifier or set out bowls of water to decrease the amount of water you lose through your skin

I’m not suggesting that water can cure ADHD.  But staying well hydrated gives you one more way to fight it. I had one of the dreaded "brain shutdowns" in my martial arts class the other night.  I also had a headache, less energy than usual, and got lightheaded after a few strenuous drills.  Failed the skin pinch test.  Looking back on the day I realized that I had consumed very little water.  Was the brain shutdown a coincidence?  I don't think so.  I guarantee you I'll be well hydrated for the next class. I'll close with this question from comedian Lily Tomlin: The formula for water is H2O. Is the formula for an ice cube H2O squared?