New research has revealed that only 29% of Australians drink the correct amount of water everyday, leaving the rest at risk of dehydration, according to a new report by Thermos® Australia.
The study, which should serve as a public warning during summer, also revealed inadequate water consumption often has a noticeable affect on performance with 80% of Australians who fail to drink the daily recommended amount of water feeling an impact on their body.
The research also found that of those who do feel an impact:
Almost three quarters (69%) notice feelings of dehydration when they fail to drink enough water
Over half (57%) get headaches when they haven't had enough water, while a further 44% experience exhaustion
According to a study from the University of Barcelona, being dehydrated by just 2% impairs performance of the simplest of tasks, like throwing a ball.
Dehydration is a deficit of body water when fluid output exceeds intake. The study suggests it only takes 1-2% loss of body water to cause mild dehydration; impacting tasks that require attention and psychomotor, which is the relationship between cognitive functions and physical movement.
The Thermos research also suggests that Australians experience a deterioration of mood and a reduction in productivity as a result of failing to stay hydrated. Findings showing over a third (37%) of those who suffer health issues experience low mental awareness, while a further 30% said they slip into a poor mood without enough water throughout the day.
'Dehydration – no matter what level – is dangerous and this research highlights there are serious side effects that ultimately could be prevented by consuming more water," says Paul Fitzgerald, Marketing Manager at Thermos Australia.
'Even if you're not exercising or exposed to harsh environments, consciously drinking more water is something we all need to turn our minds to. Poor health is a serious issue and there is a need for greater awareness among the general public about the importance of proper hydration, especially as we head into summer.
'The number one way to increase our water intake, according to 39% of the nation, is simply making an effort to think about drinking more water. This may sound obvious but how do we put this into practice? Keeping a water bottle by your side can actually remind you to drink more water. Another tip is to record how many glasses you've consumed throughout the day," says Fitzgerald.
The Thermos study also found nearly a quarter (21%) of Australians would drink more water if it tasted better and a further 21% would if they felt thirstier throughout the day. Just under a fifth (19%) of respondents said they would consume more water if they could keep it colder for longer. While 16% said they would drink more water if they had better access to it throughout the day.
'We are very fortunate to live in a country with superior water availability, however if being out and about during the day is limiting your water intake, plan ahead and take water with you from home," adds Fitzgerald.
Genuine Thermos Brand's Top Four Tips for Staying Hydrated
Keep it cool–If you prefer your drinking water to be cold, store it in a Genuine Thermos Brand Hydration Bottle as it keeps contents cold for up to 18 hours, no matter what environment you're in.
Be mindful of intake –Make a conscious effort to drink more water throughout the day even if you don't feel thirsty and keep a water bottle by your side to serve as a reminder to consume more.
Plan ahead –If you know you're going to have limited access to water during your day (like tradesmen or those on the road) get organised in the morning and take a large bottle of water from home.
Add some flavour –If you don't like the taste of water try adding a squeeze of lemon or lime (or both) into your bottle.
Question: Where you surprised to find that only 29% of Australians drink the correct amount of water every day?
Paul Fitzgerald: Yes, 29% is an extremely low percentage of people who are drinking the correct amount of water daily. Keeping our bodies hydrated should be a top priority for all Aussies, especially as the weather heats up in summer.
Question: What made Thermos Australia want to research Australian drinking habits?
Paul Fitzgerald: We conducted this consumer research into Australia's hydration habits for two reasons:
1. Proper water consumption is a topic that many Australians are aware of, but few put into practice. We wanted to bring to life the importance of good hydration, and the realities that come with dehydration. The side effects of poor hydration can play havoc with a person's productivity or mental dexterity, and with the warmer weather here, now is the time to be extra conscious of this.
2. As the world-leading manufacturer of vacuum insulated food and beverage products, the team at Thermos® also wanted to gain a deeper understanding of how Australians drink water so we can in turn create products to meet their needs and complement their lifestyle
Question: How much water should we be drinking daily?
Paul Fitzgerald: We didn't ask this question in our study as the exact amount varies for each individual. However, the Dietitians Association of Australia recommends that adults aim to drink 1,500 – 2,000mL/day (or 35-45mL/kg/day).
Question: What happens if we don't drink enough water?
Paul Fitzgerald: Our research found that inadequate water consumption often has a noticeable affect on performance with 80% of Australians who fail to drink the daily recommended amount of water feeling an impact on their body. In addition, 57% of people said they get headaches when they haven't had enough water, while 44% of people experience exhaustion. These statistics are very concerning.
Question: How does Summer change our water consumption needs?
Paul Fitzgerald: As you'd expect, the body functions best when it is at a certain temperature. When the human body is trying to cool down on hot summer's day, our cooling senses kick in to action – this often includes increased perspiration, which can lead to dehydration. Rehydrating is important as it helps to replenish fluids lost due to the heat. For more on this we recommend you check out health and wellness sites such as About Health.
Question: How do you suggest Australians reach their daily water quota?
Paul Fitzgerald: There are lots of ways people can go about doing this! One of the easiest steps to reaching that recommended daily water quota is to simply make an effort to drink more water. This may sound obvious, but there are several tactics people can put in play to remind them to stay hydrated. We recommend keeping a water bottle by their side, or putting little notes or reminders in obvious spots. Another tip is to record how many glasses they're consuming throughout the day. Herbal teas can also help keep up the water count.
Question: How can Thermos help us increase our water consumption?
Paul Fitzgerald: Thermos® has a comprehensive range of products designed to meet the demands of everyday living, including a selection of hydration bottles for all ages. Keeping a Genuine Thermos® Brand Hydration Bottle handy ensures people always have a source of cool, enjoyable water readily available. Genuine Thermos® Brand food and beverage bottles contain our unique vacuum-insulation technology for maximum temperature retention, meaning foods and liquids stay cooler (and hotter) for longer.
Question: Can you tell us about the Genuine Thermos Brand Hydration Bottle?
Paul Fitzgerald: The Genuine Thermos® Brand Hydration Bottle uses Thermos®' unique vacuum-insulation technology to keep liquids cool for up to 12 hours. The Genuine Thermos® Brand Hydration Bottle is the perfect solution for those who need a cool hydration fix wherever they go. Sporting an unbreakable stainless steel exterior and interior, the product also comes with a hygienic push button lid to protect the spout from dirt and germs.
At Thermos® Australia HQ, our team loves using their Hydration bottles when exercising, sitting at their desks or when out-and-about at picnics and BBQs.
Question: What's next for Thermos?
Paul Fitzgerald: We've got lots in the pipeline for Australia in 2015! We're hoping to bring some new and colourful ranges to market, and we'll be doing some fun, informative campaigns that should excite consumers. For more, check out our new website early in 2015 www.thermos.com.au
Interview by Brooke Hunter