Your Company Perks Are Killing You

by Dr. Hanson Lenyoun and Zachary Kazzaz


For the uninitiated, walking into tech companies’ office spaces can feel like stepping into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Sweets and treats line the walls and stocked beverage fridges greet you at every turn. Employees are never more than a few steps away from a snack–and that’s before the free lunch appears.

These perks seem awesome, but there’s a side that isn’t discussed. While free snacks are meant to increase employee morale, few people acknowledge they may be harming employees’ health, well-being, and productivity, and negatively impacting the companies they work for. It’s time to take a step back and reconsider the costs and benefits of company perks.

From the Freshman 15 to the Tech 20

While set in a new venue with conference bicycles and Lego-filled innovation rooms, it’s important to realize the behaviors being perpetuated in these offices are not novel, and neither are the outcomes. We’ve seen this play out in the form of the “Freshman 15” – the weight gain of first year college students due to convenient access to fat and carbohydrate-rich foods, served buffet style. Now those former students are a bit older, their metabolisms slower, their lives significantly less active, and we’re setting them up for failure, again.

Colleges have realized the problem and are launching programs aimed at helping students build positive health and fitness habits. Yet in tech, we’re still on the wrong side of the curve, creating a hiring market where these Wonkian perks are expected, and we’re surprised when we end up driving young professionals to gain the more nefarious “Tech 20.”

Continue reading Your Company Perks Are Killing You

The Origin of 8 Cups per Day

8 Cups Lead

The origin of ‘8 cups’, and what it means for you today.

The truth is, there is no confirmed source of this “myth”, but there are a few potential candidates:

  1. In 1921 a scientist measured all the water he lost in one day (urine, sweat, etc.), which was 8 cups.
  2. In a 1945 report, the National Research Council wrote that 1 mL of water for each calorie of food consumed is a suitable allowance in most instances. For the standard 2,000 calorie American diet, this is about 8 cups.
  3. Renowned nutritionist Fredrick Stare said that the average adult should consume “6 to 8 glasses” of fluids per day in a book he authored in 1974. 

Regardless of where it comes from, with all the research and technological advancements since 1974, surely we can do better.

Ultimately, the 8 cups concept is flawed because it focuses on generalization rather than personalization. The goal was to make one recommendation that’s right for everyone, but that’s not possible. Each one of us is different, with different hydration needs that change constantly. One of our Mark One team member’s likes to point out the absurdity of suggesting that Taylor Swift and Shaquille O’Neal should both be drinking the same amount of water. To take it one step further, think about Shaq playing a game of pickup versus filming “Inside the NBA”, sitting in a studio – 2 very different days where the same person would require vastly different amounts of water to stay hydrated.8cups-wideEach person’s unique needs change moment by moment depending on who they are, where they are, what they’re doing, the time of day, and much more. Because of this extreme variability in individual water needs, it has been impossible to make personalized recommendations with any degree of accuracy… until now.

This is an exciting time! Our ability to measure the ever-changing factors that alter our hydration needs, like our activity level, location, consumption behavior, etc., enables us to take the guesswork out of how we are meeting our unique hydration needs. We now have the capacity to move beyond the static, one-size fits all hydration guidelines like “8 cups” that have been used up until now.

Pryme calculates each person’s unique needs using a variety of personal variables and then updates those needs over the course of the day in an intelligent manner. It’s a personalized, dynamic estimate of your unique hydration needs, so that you can hydrate intelligently and stay ready for your moments of greatness. We’ll talk more about Pryme in our upcoming posts.

– Dr. Hanson and Mark One


  1. Adolph EF. The regulation of the water content of the human organism. J Physiol. 1921 May 24;55(1-2):114-32.
  2. Food and Nutrition Board, National Academy of Sciences. Recommended Dietary Allowances, revised 1945. National Research Council, Reprint and Circular Series, No. 122, 1945 (Aug), p. 3–18.
  3. Stare FJ and McWilliams M. Nutrition for Good Health. Fullerton, CA: Plycon, 1974, p. 175.

What is Pryme and why is it important? Does it take activity into account?

Pryme is about hydrating intelligently and optimizing wellness, performance, and health.

When it comes to hydration, it is important to drink sufficiently, but it’s about more than just how much you are drinking. It is integral that we optimize fluid intake over the course of the day based on our personal needs.

Pryme grew out of the desire to simplify your real-time hydration needs into a single metric.

Hydration matters to professional athletes and to us everyday folk. Whether it’s about preventing hydration-related illnesses, losing weight, or simply aiming for peak concentration and performance, how well you hydrate can make a meaningful difference.¹ ²

Pryme represents an estimation of your moment-to-moment hydrations needs. If you’re in your Pryme zone, then you’re doing a good job of meeting those needs.

Pryme measures your unique hydrations needs based on many factors. These include gender, age, height, weight, geographical factors (temperature, altitude, humidity), sleep schedule, diet, types of beverages you consume, as well as activity and exercise patterns. While Pryme can offer generic guidance if it knows little about you, the more it knows the higher its accuracy. That’s why we plan on integrating with activity and sleep trackers, so that Pryme can do the complex math for you.

Here’s to hydrating intelligently,
Mark One Doctors

¹ Manz F, Wentz A. The Importance of Good Hydration for the Prevention of Chronic Diseases. Nutr Rev. 2005 Vol. 63, No. 6

² Popkin BM, D’Anci KE, Rosenberg IH. Water, Hydration and Health. Nutr Rev. 2010 August ; 68(8): 439–458.