How dehydration affects leadership ability

Here at the-Coaching Blog-run by Gerard O’Donovan, our aim is to constantly bring value to those seeking to improve their lives. Therefore we have a policy of publishing articles and materials by guest authors whom we value and appreciate. Today’s guest author is Dawn Campbell (France).

‘Don’t wait till you’re thirsty to dig a well’ says venerable master Hsuan Hua.  We now know by the time someone realises they are thirsty, it’s too late; they are already suffering the effects of dehydration.  

One such effect is in the brain.  Functionality to do with concentration, creativity, decision making etc. are all markedly reduced when dehydrated.  Dehydration has long been recognised to cause shrinkage of brain tissue which negatively affects cognitive performance and no-one is immune.  

At birth, we are approx. 90% water.  As we mature this decreases to about 70% until finally, in old age, we’re typically about 60% water.  The typically visible effect is first seen on our skin hence we wrinkle as we age.  However, this is only an external indicator of the damage going on internally whereby organs and bones are also shrinking.  Of course, several factors contribute to this situation, but water loss is the key one.

Dehydration means ‘loss of water’ and it does not have to be excessive loss before the body and the brain is negatively affected either.  Our bodies are naturally and continually eliminating waste and water waste is no exception.  Water is excreted through sweat (yes I know ladies don’t sweat, they glow), breath, urine and other routine functions.  That means we lose on average 1 ½ litres daily.  How much moisture is lost depends on variables like age and general health, the climate, seasonal temperatures and of course how active we are.

Even drinking a little less than our body requires creates electrolyte (mineral) imbalances that could potentially lead to more serious conditions impacting on the body’s ability to function properly.  So water is critical to our survival and well-being.  We know depending on a person’s fat reserves they may survive many weeks, even months without food. However, a lack of water means no-one will survive for more than a few days.  Consequently, water is the most important nutrient we must consume on a daily basis.





Lost moisture needs to be continually replenished by sipping quality water throughout the day rather than trying to remember to gulp down a glass of water on the hour.  So be kind to yourself and your organs (brain, colon, kidneys etc. all of which need enough quality water to function properly) and keep yourself adequately hydrated.  

Top Tips for increasing your water consumption –

  • swap your morning coffee for a fresh vegetable and or fruit juice
  • swap your regular tea for a green, herbal or fruit tea
  • swap carbonated water for natural spring water
  • swap plastic bottled water for glass bottled water
  • swap tap water for distilled water or at least reverse osmosis water
  • swap canned sugary pop for fresh wheatgrass shots
  • swap pasteurised shop bought juice for freshly squeezed juice
  • swap alcohol for non-alcohol beverages
  • swap sugary snacks for the best quality water there is in juicy fruits
  • swap sports drinks for fruit or nut/seed protein based smoothies
  • swap dairy drinks for nut or seed milk.

Why? Because:

  • Coffee, whether it’s decaffeinated or not (in fact decaffeinated is actually worse in terms of chemical content) is acid so very dehydrating as is black tea – apparently, it takes 8 cups of green tea to neutralise the effects of one cup of coffee.
  • Carbonated water has carbon dioxide added to it to create the bubbles, not something you want to be ingesting.  
  • All carbonated beverages (water, soda, pop) have phosphates, which can cause calcium loss and excretion.
  • Plastic bottles leak chemicals into the drink thus raising the risk of cancer.
  • Tap water is full of chemicals as well as a cocktail of drugs despite being cleaned up to 7 times.  This encourages an enormous range of health problems; Even when boiled, water is full of inorganic matter your body cannot eliminate hence arthritis and furred arteries are likely to occur.
  • Canned drinks have a chemical of dyes and sugars that encourage weight gain to name but one problem with them (addiction being another).
  • Alcohol passes straight into the blood stream and consequently the brain not to mention the fact it’s dehydrating so puts unnecessary pressure on your kidneys and liver.
  • All shop bought juice is pasteurised so dead (yes even the ones from the health food shop) consequently, they are full of preservatives and sugar and contain absolutely no goodness at all.
  • Don’t even get me started on dairy; we are the only species still being ‘weaned’ on milk regardless of our age.  Not only that, we are the only species to habitually drink species milk.   Add to the fact that cow’s milk is not a healthy option for human consumption (after all it’s designed to get calves to a weight of half a ton in just 6 months hence our obesity problem because milk and milk based products (ice-cream, chocolate, yoghurt, puddings, whey etc.) is in just about everything.

Of course, you may be thinking like a lot of other people do ‘but I do drink a lot, I cannot be dehydrated, I’m never thirsty.  I have a coffee for breakfast; I have a couple of cups of tea throughout the day, a coke with my lunch, wine with my dinner and so on’.  All I can say is try cleaning dirty linen with a bucket of that mixture and see what results you get.  You certainly won’t get clean laundry.  Yet you are asking your body to clean itself internally on that mixture of liquid day in day out. It’s simply not possible; all that is happening is the body is becoming chronically acid and ever more dehydrated as it tries to process these liquids – proving not all liquids are created equal.

It’s this range of liquids that typically cause so many people to be routinely plagued with issues such as heartburn, high blood pressure,  bad breath, skin problems, migraines, constipation, dandruff, back pain, arthritis, bloating, fatigue to name but a few ailments.

The remedy is simple and effective.  Drink pure water.  I challenge anyone to try it for just one week (better still one month) and not report back a huge improvement both physically and mentally.  Also, notice how many niggling symptoms disappear.

FACT – many people owe their growing weight issue and fatigue to misunderstanding their body’s cry for water.  They think they are hungry so reach for something to eat, when instead what they should be reaching for is a glass of room temperature water.  So the next time you think you’re hungry, have a glass of water instead and wait half an hour or so before deciding if you are in fact actually hungry or just thirsty.  That’s the only way to get back in touch with genuine thirst.

How to measure hydration?  Well, there are various options from pinching the skin on the back of your hand to see how quickly it pings back; to smelling your urine, observing the colour (the stronger smelling / darker urine is an indication of being chronically dehydrated not to mention acidic), through to being tested on specific software.  The frequency of needing to urinate is also a benchmark. For instances, alcohol and caffeine products are major causes of dehydration so business lunch time drinking is bound to lead to dehydration throughout the rest of the working day.

Finally, a word of warning, heart attacks are caused by all sorts of factors that may be aggravated by the stresses and strains of running a business.  Dehydration is also a major contributory factor which is why heart attacks typically happen early in the morning.  So after a night’s sleep, rehydrate your heart by starting the day with a big glass of water and let that set the tone for the rest of the day.


Credit Source:

Dawn Campbell (France) 

To find out more contact me directly, or read about the ancient benefits of water healing and water only fasting in either of my books.





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