On July 4, most people look forward to backyard fun: barbecues, fireworks, and family time. Climate scientists, on the other hand, keep an eye on the temperature. And the Bevi team tracks water usage.
It turns out, you can learn a lot by taking a look at how much water people are drinking at their offices, gyms, apartments, hotels, and other locations with a water dispenser. This year saw both record-setting heat and a spike in water consumption.
World Has Its Hottest Day
We’re in the midst of a global heatwave. July 4 this year was the world’s hottest day, with the average worldwide temperature reaching 62.9°F, breaking the record of 62.6°F set just a day earlier. The previous highest global temperature was in mid-August 2016.
Temps during Independence week were probably the warmest in “at least 100,000 years,” Jennifer Francis, a senior scientist at Woodwell Climate Research Center, told CNN, calling the records “a huge thing.”
Americans are wisely following the recommendations of experts, who advise drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated and replace fluids lost during exposure to high temperatures.
This trend was confirmed by dispense data from our water coolers across the country. Here at Bevi, we track real-time data from our smart water coolers, including how much water was dispensed from each of our machines nationwide.
Excluding the week of July 4th—when most people were firing up the grill and avoiding water cooler talk at the office—Bevi water usage was up dramatically in July as Americans struggled through the heatwave.
In that timeframe:
Weekly usage spiked by 17% vs. the weekly average from March-June this year.
Every region of the country showed increased water usage, with spikes correlated with state temperatures.
The Far West led the county with usage up almost 20% over the previous quarter.
The Plains region had the lowest increase of just under 6%.
Here’s how it broke down:
Far West: 19.6%
South West: 17.39%
Rocky Mountains: 15.22%
Mid Atlantic: 14.3%
New England: 13.64%
South East: 11.13%
Great Lakes: 10.29%
2x More Water Drinkers Add Enhancements to Replenish Electrolytes
Not only were people drinking more water during the heatwave, but more were choosing to add Electrolytes, one of the enhancements available in Bevi machines, to stay hydrated.
Bevi tracks the addition of enhancements to dispensed water, including Vitamin Boost, Caffeine, and Electrolytes. Our data shows that the use of Electrolytes increased 2x in the last two weeks of July vs. the average total dispenses for the month of June.
Electrolytes include sodium, potassium, calcium, bicarbonate, magnesium, chloride, and phosphate. When dissolved in water, electrolytes help regulate nerve and muscle function, balance blood acidity and pressure, help rebuild damaged tissues—and hydrate the body.
When we sweat, we lose not only water but also electrolytes, which can lead to dehydration and an imbalance of important minerals in the body. Replenishing those lost electrolytes during or after any kind of exertion or exercise (especially during a heatwave) can help maintain proper fluid balance and support overall hydration.
Hopefully a reprieve from the blistering heat is in the forecast—but in the meantime, Bevi is here to help keep you cool. Here’s to staying healthy, happy, and hydrated this summer!
We often hear that we need to drink enough water each day (generally, about 15.5 cups for men and about 11.5 cups for women). And since most of us spend a good part of that day at work, we took a look at some of the benefits of drinking water on the job.
Water is good for your eyes
Whether you’re in the office, working from home, stationed at a checkout register, or down on the warehouse floor, there’s a good chance you’re spending some time in front of an electronic screen. According to some studies, that can be as much as 6.5 hours daily. And that’s not counting all the screen time we log away from work.
That’s an eyeful for your eyes. It’s a good idea to give them a break and take a walk to grab some water.
Our eyes are 98 percent water, so they’re easily affected by how much water we consume. Having an office water dispenser can help you stay properly hydrated and greatly reduce many common eye ailments, such eye strain, blurred vision, and dry eyes.
Water helps you think clearly
Our eyes take in information that our brains then interpret, analyze, and act upon. Water comes into play here as well. When we don’t take in enough water, our blood volume decreases, lowering blood pressure. If you’ve ever felt lightheaded, dizzy, or even just a bit foggy or tired later in the day, it could be due to insufficient hydration.
Spending too much time in a chair or too much time on your feet can both negatively affect muscles and joints, especially if we don’t drink enough water at work. Water helps muscles contract and relax. It also helps keep muscle cells hydrated. That can offset the muscle strain and cramps that often come with too much chair time or too much time on the floor at work. It’s much the same story with our joints. Water keeps them well lubricated and helps remove toxins from the body to fight joint inflammation.
Water works overtime
Continuing to drink water after we close our laptops and turn out the lights is important, too. Our bodies do most of their recovery and repair work while we sleep. Water plays a key role in replenishing our systems and helping us regain proper physiological balance, which means we wake up feeling rested and refreshed to take on another day at work.
Water helps strengthen your immune system
We mentioned earlier that water flushes out toxins in our bodies. But if we don’t consume enough water, the toxins can build up and our immune system has to work harder to manage them. Good hydration supports a strong and stable immune system that can fight off viruses and bacteria that make us sick and keep us out of work.
Raise a glass to a better day at work
No matter what we do at our jobs, each of us would like to be as productive as possible, right? That’s one more area where water can make a significant difference. A 2013 study conducted by the University of East London showed that drinking water can result in a 14% increase in productivity. It stands to reason that something as simple and easy as making a few trips to the office water cooler or water dispenser each day could help us do more at work, stay healthier doing it, and feel better about it when we wake up the next day.
A popular way of maintaining our wellbeing with lockdowns, shutdowns, and working from home is just getting outside. A study by Danish urban research firm, Gehl, reflects this new attraction to nature. One study respondent commented, “People seem to be using greenspace and outdoor space more than pre-outbreak — but now, even more so, it is a release, an escape, some sanity, some wellness.”
A good walk spoiled
With this growing popularity comes a lot of our trash. The litter that registers as invisible when we drive by becomes all too noticeable at the tamer pace of a leisurely walk around the block. A plastic shopping bag lodged at the base of a hedge. Old bottles, cans, and other trash along the curb.
Much of this waste finds its way to streams, rivers and other waterways, and eventually to the oceans. However, researchers in Germany found that one third of all plastic waste ends up in the ground or in freshwater. Most of this is unintentional. The Center for Outdoor Ethics found 9 out of 10 people in the outdoors are uninformed about how they may adversely affect the environment.
Growing awareness of impact on greenspaces
Good news. There are indications that more people are aware of their impact on the greenspaces, woodlands, waterways and oceans that offer us much needed solace. For example, the program Plastic Free July, has been working since 2011 to help create a world free of plastic waste. In 2020, they saw their highest level of engagement with 326 million people participating in the Plastic Free July challenge. That’s up 100 million from the year before.
How to maintain serenity and sustainable greenspace
More good news. It’s not hard to build on the success of initiatives like Plastic Free July. We can easily take care of our outdoor refuges with just a little forethought and planning.
Stay hydrated but leave the plastic water bottle at home and grab a refillable one instead.
Being well-nourished is just as important, so use reusable silicone snack bags on the trail.
Bring food in reusable containers and use washable napkins and tablecloths.
Ditch the plastic and invest in reusable straws, plates, and cutlery that can be easily rinsed clean.
About 30 percent of all trash in the U.S. comes just from product packaging, so try to reduce single-use packaged food products as much as possible.
Instead of paper maps, make use of several national park map apps. No service? Many parks apps can be downloaded ahead of time and used offline.
Don’t plan on finding a trash or recycling can. Always plan ahead and decide how you’ll store any garbage until you’ve reached a proper disposal site.
Doing good feels good
Maintaining our oceans, waterways, and greenspaces spaces is not only essential for the planet’s wellbeing, it’s becoming more essential for our wellbeing. And to take care of the latter, we need to take care of the former.
Research has shown that the simple act of doing something good, such as keeping the environment clean and healthy, can actually make us feel good in the process. And isn’t that why we took that long walk outdoors in the first place?
It’s no secret: as an office manager and administrative assistant, you play a critical role in your office. From ensuring employees have the resources and supplies they need, to scheduling interviews, meetings, and celebrations, you are the gears (and the grease!) that keep day-to-day operations running smoothly. When you’re set up for success, the entire organization will thrive.
Help you and your organization flourish in 2020, and check out these must-attend conferences for office managers in 2020. Explore the latest business trends, learn operational and organizational strategies, and hone your administrative skills in the company of experienced admin pros.
This spring, join OfficeNinjas and admins from across the globe in celebrating ‘The Era of the Office Ninja.’ Back in full force with online flash raffles, giveaways, and awards, OfficeNinjas’s Admin Week will run from April 20-24.
For those able to make it to San Francisco, grab a ticket (sooner rather than later, they typically sell out) for Office Ninja Con, a two-day adventure jam-packed with interactive instruction, thought-provoking discussions, and practical exercises. Make connections with admin pros from across the globe, learn about game-changing products and services, and plunge head-first into actionable best practices for everyday success as an admin.
On the night of April 22, Office Ninjas Con ends with the ultimate admin party: Admin Bash. With budget-friendly tickets, Admin Bash ensures Ninjas from all over have the opportunity to get the gratitude they deserve. So grow your network, indulge in tasty treats, and leave with a legendary swag bag: Admin Bash is your party!
Can’t make the trek to San Francisco? Explore OfficeNinjas’ line-up of Admingling events (smaller, after-work events that blend networking, hands-on activities, and partying) here to meet up with all-star ninjas in a city near you.
And don’t forget to subscribe to OfficeNinjas’ newsletter or follow them on social media to enter all of their Admin Week flash raffles and participate in the digital celebration!
2. Culture Summit
When: July 14-16, 2020
Location: San Francisco, CA
Organizer: Culture Summit
Get ready for a whirlwind of speakers, workshops, and effective, no-fluff strategies to transform your workplace.
In July of 2020, founders, culture champions, HR professionals and admins will gather at Culture Summit with a collective goal in mind: build the culture you want to work in.
With cross-functional, cross-industry speakers from renowned brands such as Twitter, Stitch Fix, and Patagonia, this three-day summit in San Francisco is not meant to sell you perks. Instead, you’ll leave with the tools, data, and frameworks to reframe and revamp your workplace culture.
When: May 15, 2020 | 8:30 AM – 8:00 PM
Location: San Francisco, CA
Known for their extensive resources and active online network of admins, OrgOrg is gearing up for their second-ever conference, Camp OrgOrg.
This one-day conference is specifically designed for ‘Organization Organizers,’ or the people behind the scenes, like you, that make sure everything at work works. With a diverse line-up of panels, workshops, breakout discussions, and social activities, Camp OrgOrg empowers attendees to develop their skills, harness their creativity, and leverage their peers in order to do their best work at work.
In an effort to make Camp OrgOrg as accessible as possible, the organizers offer scholarships and discounts for those in need. And if you simply can’t make it to San Francisco this May, be sure to join their online community of office managers, executive and administrative assistants, people ops pros, and HR professionals. Gain exclusive access to resources, groups, and event announcements, and chat with like-minded peers from around the country.
4. Perks convention
SF: August 20, 2020
NYC: September 2, 2020
LA: September 17, 2020
Boston: September 29, 2020
Chicago: October 8, 2020
Toronto: October 29, 2020
The Perks Convention is more than just flashy products and Employee Appreciation Day inspiration: it’s an employee experience expo. With 100+ vendors, interactive lounges, and curated workshops, Perks Convention strives to connect office managers with relevant, research-backed, and affordable solutions for all kinds of organizations.
Better yet, it might be hosted right in your backyard! With six conventions in major cities across the US planned for 2020, Perks provides the opportunity to share stories and network with office managers from your region. Keep an eye out for their giveaways, health and wellness initiative ideas, and of course, groundbreaking perk ideas for your office.
5. Administrative Professional Conference
When: September 13-16, 2020
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Organizer: ASAP (American Society of Administrative Professionals)
With over two thousand attendees at last year’s conference, the Administrative Professionals Conference raises the bar for dynamic, professional development for administrative professionals and executive assistants.
The conference focuses on ‘real world’ admin education, offering 75+ training sessions that participants can pick and choose from according to their specific needs and goals. Boost your communication skills, learn new technologies, or refresh your finance knowledge: the choice is yours! The conference’s primary goal? Help you recognize your brilliance.
Beyond its extensive list of training sessions, the conference also includes a diverse line-up of keynote speakers that will tackle creative approaches to productivity, organization, and leadership. Achieve your professional goals, and be inspired at the Administrative Professionals Conference happening this September in Las Vegas.
6. IAAP Summit
When: July 17-21, 2020
Location: Orlando, FL
Join IAAP this year in sunny Orlando, Florida for their annual four-day summit. A morning until night immersive experience, the IAAP Summit creates space for all types of learning. Attend a deep dive education workshop with an industry expert, connect and learn from peers during an informal lunch, participate in interactive, think-tank style challenges with a group: everyone grows in their own way.
Registration also includes a first-time attendee orientation, cocktail reception, and awards gala, personalized consultations at the wellness bar, a marketplace expo of innovative vendors, and a closing keynote by Ted Ma. Get ready to brush up on your skills and renew your passion for administrative work at the 2020 IAAP Summit.
7. Conference for Administrative Excellence
When: October 27- 30, 2020
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Organizer: Office Dynamics
Catapult your career into the future of administrative excellence at The Conference for Administrative Executives happening this fall in Las Vegas, Nevada.
This year, the conference will take a journey to ‘2020 and Beyond,’ providing a suite of classes, talks, and company spotlights to help participants cultivate the necessary skills and perspective to excel in the administrative landscapes of tomorrow. From global perspectives to digital IQ deep dives, themed galas to a successful store of career-enhancing products, The Conference for Administrative Executives is the right blend of work and play to keep you engaged.
Invest in your career and your future: register today!
These conferences, summits, conventions are more than just educational experiences: they’re opportunities to connect with a national, sometimes global, community of passionate administrators like you. They’re also a great way to check out innovative vendors changing the face of the modern workplace; be sure to stop by the Bevi booth to learn how you can bring customized beverages to your office!
Mark your calendar, get ready to pitch your boss, and don’t miss out on these seven must-attend conferences for office managers and administrative professionals in 2020.
From nursery schools to nursing homes, juice is a staple of most educational and care facilities in the US.
When pitted against soda or sports drinks (the two beverages most closely linked with the US’ obesity epidemic), fruit juice seems like the obvious, nutritious choice. Despite popular opinion and government backing, there is, in reality, a dark side to juice: sugar.
Sugar: juice’s best kept secret.
Over the past few decades, skyrocketing obesity rates have spurred public health organizations to speak out directly against the health consequences of soda and other sugary beverages. (Consider this: just one bottle of Coke contains 184 calories and a whooping 44 grams of sugar.) Due to heightened public awareness, soda consumption and sales have steadily declined over the past five years, while demand for healthy carbonated beverages has skyrocketed.
Fruit juice, however, remains unscathed. Despite its links to risk for obesity, the health officials speaking out about the drawbacks of fruit juice remain a minority. While juices are more nutritious than sodas, they often contain just as much sugar. For example, a 12-ounce glass of orange juice contains nearly the same amount of sugar as a can of Coke, around 10 teaspoons of sugar. Similarly, cranberry juice contains almost as much sugar as the average root beer.
While 100% fruit juice consumption has declined among adolescents and people over age 40, the proportion of preschool age children drinking juice regularly has remained steady. And juice companies and the Department of Agriculture are likely to blame. Both parties continue to market fruit juice as an acceptable substitute for half of the recommended daily servings of fruit. So long as the majority of caregivers consider juice a healthy option for children and the elderly, juice is likely to remain on school lunch trays and hospital menus indefinitely.
Drinking juice is not as healthy as eating whole fruit.
The process of juicing removes an important component of whole fruits and vegetables: fiber. Although humans can’t digest fiber, it’s nevertheless essential to a healthy, balanced diet. Fiber extenuates the process of sugar absorption and helps to maintain stable blood sugar levels. So while the amount of sugar in a fruit and its juice are the same, the glycemic index of juice is much higher. Fruit juice contains nothing to stop—or slow down—the absorption of sugar. This kind of sugar rush can lead to everything from energy crashes to long term issues such as weight gain or type 2 diabetes.
Fruit juices are also significantly less satiating than eating whole fruits. Several studies show that eating nutrients is more satisfying than drinking them: juice just isn’t as filling. Other research reveals that people typically add juices to their diet, rather than substitute them for calories in their normal diet. As a result, drinking juice increases the amount of calories they consume daily, while providing little added nutritional benefit.
A healthy substitute for juice suitable for schools, hospitals, healthcare facilities, and beyond!
Given juice’s lack of fiber and easily absorbed sugar, opting to eat the whole fruit itself is a no brainer. Finding a beverage to replace the refreshing, fruitiness of juice, on the other hand, is a more ambitious task.
Commercial cafeterias often attempt to cut back on sugary beverages by offering their patrons water jugs with freshly cut fruit or fruit infused water that has steeped overnight. While this is a flavorful, low-calorie solution, it’s not always the most efficient one, since some cafeterias don’t have the extra bandwidth to prepare, monitor, and restock the jugs.
Given the time and money lost on this approach, more and more cafeterias are opting for Bevi, a smart water dispenser that allows users to customize their water with a variety of zero-calorie, unsweetened fruit flavors. Bevi monitors its own consumables inventory, allowing food service staff to focus on, well, the food, instead of restocking water jugs. With flavors like Lime Mint, Grapefruit, Pineapple, Strawberry Lemongrass and Cucumber, Bevi is a simple way to offer refreshing, interesting fruit-flavored drinks, without the sugar rush of juice or the artificial sweeteners found in diet soft drinks.
The widespread success of Bevi and other flavored water brands is due in large part to a national spike in sparkling water consumption. Rather than renounce fruit juices or carbonated beverages entirely, consumers now look to low-calorie, fruit-flavored still or sparkling waters to satisfy their cravings. As flavored water sales continue to rise and the healthy beverage trend continues to gain traction, only time will tell just how long juice’s sugar-rush will last.
Often times, the Office Manager is on the front lines of a continuous battle between those employees who value convenience and those who prioritize environmental impact. From balancing the office’s budget to fielding all types of employee complaints, the Office Manager is almost always stuck between a rock and a hard place.
As with any daunting task, it’s best to start small.And implementing a Bring Your Own Reusable Bottle initiative is a great place to start.
Rather than stocking and restocking sky-scrapers of plastic cups in your kitchen, reduce your plastic waste exponentially by encouraging employees to take their favorite canteen into work with them. This BYOB approach will not only save the Office Manager time, but save money — money that can be reinvested in something everyone in the office will love, like fruit or snacks!
Don’t left the office kitchen battles continue: check out these 5 tactful ways to get everyone on board — and even excited about — the new BYOB initiative.
Green Strategy #1: Form an eco-minded task force
Remember: there’s strength in numbers.
Whether you’re an Office Manager or an environmentally-conscious employee, it’s best to have a team of people behind you when proposing a new and drastic change to life at the office.
Don’t face the rebuttals and complaints alone. Gather a squad, inform them of the change and its rationale, and let the company know that there’s a whole group of excited employees ready to answer any questions that may come up.
Especially at larger companies, where it’s unlikely everyone knows each other on a first name basis, try to involve a few people from each department in your sustainability task force. Employees are more likely to trust and support the people they work with everyday than a faceless email announcement from someone they’ve never met.
Before kicking-off your BYOB program, be sure to form a squad of people who can help hype up its positive, environmental impact, as well as field any comments or concerns different departments may have.
For some offices, getting rid of plastic cups might be as simple as never buying them again. In other offices, however, the transition might not be as smooth. If you’re worried about an impromptu employee mutiny, there are several ways to ease your office into a more zero-waste approach to water cooler talk.
After launching your BYOB program, try leaving only a small stack of plastic cups in plain sight. Chances are, many folks won’t go looking — or won’t know where to look — when the stack disappears. This will help to incentivize people to bring in their bottles, since having to find and restock the plastic cups is more effort than carrying your own bottle. You might get some annoyed comments about the lack of cups over Slack, but stay strong! Tell these folks where they can find more cups, but don’t restock them yourself.
If your office isn’t equipped with reusable glassware, keeping an emergency pack of single-use cups on hand is kind of a must — especially if you frequently have visitors. In this case, stash the solo cups away in a secret cabinet or drawer, and reveal them only when you’re expecting guests.
Green strategy #3: Get custom bottles made for your office
If you’ve got the budget, this is a no brainer.
What better way to launch your BYOB initiative than to purchase a personalized or company-branded (or both!) reusable bottle for each of your employees.
Many companies that are both getting a Bevi and moving into a completely new office space like to include reusable bottles as part of a ‘Welcome to Your New Office’ gift for each employee. Broadly speaking, moving into a new space is the perfect occasion to put new, eco-friendly systems in place!
While not every office has the funds to purchase bottles for everyone, there are many work-arounds. Water proof stickers are a simple and affordable way to get employees hyped about showing off their newly decorated reusable bottle around the office. Have your designers create a whole series of stickers to pick and choose from, or get everyone a decal of their name. Another solution is to work with your team to select and design a bottle that people can order on their own if they so choose — this works well in offices in which most people already have a favorite bottle, and may not need the company topurchase one for them.
Once your custom bottles arrive, encourage folks to leave them at work. With shiny, new reusable bottles on their desks, the die-hard plastic cup users will surely become BYOB champions.
Green Strategy #4: Reinforce — and reward! — positive behaviors
At Bevi, we love giving shoutouts over Slack or in our HR portal, Namely.
Ever heard of intermittent reinforcement conditioning? If you haven’t, all you need to know is this: it works! As foreign as this term may sound, chances are it’s something you’re already doing in the office. Each time you randomly give a shoutout to an employee over Slack, you are using the power of intermittent conditioning to motivate and reinforce positive behaviors!
The true beauty of intermittent conditioning lies in the fact that you only have to reward behaviors occasionally in order to reinforce them. In knowing that they might get recognition for their positive behavior, employees will start to make good habits part of their normal routine, whether it’s helping to clean out the fridge or bringing their reusable bottle into work.
Don’t take this the wrong way: we’re not suggesting you treat your co-workers like Pavlov’s dogs!
All we’re saying is that highlighting or rewarding someone who has brought their reusable bottle into work is a really great way to motivate that individual — and others — to keep your BYOB initiative going strong.
Green Strategy #5: Proudly share positive results
A toast, to all those who use a reusable bottle. Cheers!
Similar to Green Strategy #4, keep your BYOB program top-of-mind by frequently sharing how it has positively impacted your office and beyond.
In addition to a company-wide email or appreciation post, go big and briefly share results in the next All Hands meeting. If eliminating plastic cups has saved you enough money to buy more snacks for your office, put a sign on the fridge or water cooler explaining how the new treats are the fruits of your office’s collective labor!
For companies that have an explicitly environmental mission, your newly instated BYOB initiative could be a great occasion to brag about your company’s awesomeness on social media. Some companies might even opt to highlight an eco-warrior of the month; in other words, give a shoutout to an employee that has gone above and beyond when it comes to keeping things green at work.
Whether you’re a small startup or an international corporation, a Bring Your Own Reusable Bottle initiative is a simple and effective way to reduce your office’s footprint.
The best thing about hydration is that your body is good at regulating it for you.
Whether you’re thirsting for a big glass of cold water or feeling like you need just a sip, your body naturally gives you a nudge — in the form of a craving — when it’s time for a refill.
We sat down with Dr. Tom Ronay, Medical Director at Circle Medical (the doctor’s office that comes to you, paid for by your insurance, now operating in the Bay Area), for a deep dive into hydration in the workplace. Since the majority of people spend most of their waking hours at work, how you hydrate in the office can have a big impact on your our overall health.
What is happening on an anatomical level when a person feels thirsty?
Thirst is regulated by your blood vessels and kidneys via a complex and very fast-acting cascade that triggers your brain to crave fluids of any kind. This process all happens automatically: the human body is excellent at regulating hydration and is faster than any laboratory test out there. 1 out of 4 office employees say they don’t hydrate enough.
What do you consider the biggest limiting factor when it comes to workplace hydration?
Access is key. Some offices may not have a filtered water cooler, which forces employees to either buy bottled water at the Starbucks down the street or to try and ignore their thirst. Given that proper hydration can increase employee productivity up to 14%, it’s in every office’s best interest to provide a consistent and healthy source of beverages to their employees. In some larger offices, the water cooler might be tucked away in the corner or halfway across the floor. Small layout changes or adding additional hydration stations is a great way to give employees more immediate access to water.
Another key factor is how you decide to quench your thirst. When you feel thirsty, in reality any fluid can quench that initial thirst, but only some fluids — the healthy ones — will keep you hydrated and balanced.
Let’s chat a bit about the most common beverage in any office: coffee. Can coffee keep you hydrated?
Coffee is limited in how well it can hydrate you. It is in fact a diuretic, meaning it can actually cause you to lose more fluid than you gain. Similarly, it also can move your intestines more quickly than is typically comfortable. It doesn’t have to be coffee either — really any caffeinated drink will have this effect on the body, so it’s hard to work around it. While it is better than nothing, drinking coffee all day isn’t exactly the best way to keep yourself hydrated and focused in the office.
How do our bodies respond to caffeinated drinks and will they actually make us more productive?
How we metabolize caffeine is different from the way in which our body processes something like alcohol. Caffeine is metabolized and removed from your body quickly at first, but after about 4–6 hours its metabolized much slower, meaning it sticks around in our bodies for a fairly long time.
Contrary to common thought, coffee does affect people in the evening, sometimes even disrupting sleep. Besides disrupting the amount of sleep, it can really affect the quality of sleep you get; the time you spend sleeping becomes inefficient, meaning you require more sleep to compensate.
Coffee may give you that extra boost you need to finish out the workday, but it will ultimately affect the amount of rest you get after work.
As the saying goes, ‘you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.’ How can someone like an office manager encourage employees to stay hydrated?
Forcing or shaming people to drink water is counterproductive, especially when there are many creative ways to integrate hydration into your typical office routine. For example, in our office, each person has their favorite mug, cup or glass. These personalized mugs or special glasses are fun and almost a form of personal expression.
Having a unique drinking vessel not only encourages people to fill up their glass, but also helps to lessen the occurrence of anonymous dirty cups in the sink.
What are some different types of healthy drinks an office can keep on hand for those employees that don’t usually opt for plain water?
The variety of alternatives out there is amazing. Many office now stock cold, fizzy drinks, hot drinks like tea, and everything in between!
In recent years, there’s been a national decrease in soda consumption and an increase in demand for healthier alternatives. People are now getting into different types of waters, such as mineral water, seltzer water, and fruit-flavored water, that are more satisfying alternatives to sugary carbonated drinks.
For offices that have a mixture of water drinkers and soda lovers, Bevi is a great compromise. Plain water drinkers can have their fill of plain filtered water, while soda lovers can make the transition to Bevi’s unsweetened fruit flavors.
Hydration is often cited as a form of disease prevention. How do your experiences align with this concept?
As young doctors in training, we learned that providing access to hydration was all that was needed for most of our hospitalized patients. Our patients did not require precise measurements or IV hydration, unless they were immobile or elderly. If you provide access to water, the patient will take care of the rest.
The same thing goes for flu or cold prevention in the office. Sometimes offices will provide their employees with Vitamin C during flu and cold season, but an initiative to hydrate more frequently could have an even bigger impact.
Keep in mind that our bodies are primarily water — somewhere around 60–78%. In general, our bodies are made up of elements that are subject to the laws of chemistry and physics, and therefore have many complex reactions. This means if you’re drinking poor quality water or your water level is simply low, you’re at a serious disadvantage on a chemical level.
When it comes to water, is there ever such a thing as too much?
In my own life, I have received a lot of conflicting advice on this point. My Sergeant in the Air Force always used to say “Drink water until you pee clear,” but this conflicted with what my marathon doctor advised me; he always emphasized that over-hydrating is a real risk for competitors.
These combined experiences taught me that forcing water on people (or in this case, marathon runners) was annoying and counter-productive, but providing access to water was critical in any situation. Unless someone is elderly or has limited access to hydration, they will most likely drink as much water as they need.
Do you have a favorite way of hydrating?
I will admit that I drink one cup of coffee at the office, and I could definitely do more to keep myself consistently hydrated. Having a Bevi in the office would certainly help me take care of that!
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