If you’re unusually exhausted or unable to focus at work, you may be inclined to reach for a coffee. But you’ll really benefit from water. 

According to research from Yale University School of Medicine, staying hydrated and consistently drinking water are important for your health and efficiency, especially while on the job. Dehydration can cause cognitive deficiency, impair executive function, and make you less alert and productive, actively diminishing your professional capabilities. Dehydration can even negatively impact your emotions, making you especially susceptible to mood swings. And nobody wants that — or to work alongside a cranky co-worker.

The consequences of being dehydrated can have an impact outside of the office, too. “People who are dehydrated feel more tired: If you are dehydrated in the late afternoon, you may decide to skip the gym after work. If you do go, you are likely to do less and enjoy it less,” Ron Maughan, Ph.D., a professor of medical and biological sciences at the University of St. Andrews, tells Thrive. “We know, too, that mental performance and concentration are impaired by dehydration.” 

So next time you find yourself yawning at your desk, don’t reach for an energy drink — have a glass of water instead. And to keep from getting to that yawning point in the first place, make a point of practicing a Microstep of regularly refilling your water bottle.

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