Now that summer has come to an end and the sweltering heat that was encouraging you to stay hydrated is behind you, we have to be more conscious about our hydration habits.
Water makes up more than half of your body weight. It flushes out toxins, carries nutrients through your body, and provides a moist environment for your ear, nose, and throat tissues. It helps your body regulate its temperature, cushions joints, and protects your spinal cord. You lose water each day when you go to the bathroom, sweat, and even when you breathe. You lose water at a faster rate as the outside temperatures increase, when you are physically active, or if you are running a fever.
Every person’s need for fluid varies based on their size, age, gender, body weight, climate, and activity levels. In general, eight 8-oz. glasses of water is a safe, moderate amount for most adults. However, if you add activity to your day, you should drink more fluids. You become dehydrated quickly when you do not replace the fluid that you naturally lose throughout the day. Without an adequate water supply, you would begin to feel more tired and may experience muscle cramping.
Basic Signs of Dehydration:
- Loss of coordination
- Reduction in work capacity
- Dark colored urine or decreased urine production
- Dry mouth, nose, or eyes
- Unable to concentrate
- Feeling thirsty—this means that your body is already dehydrated
It is also important to recognize the causes of dehydration, including illness, consumption of alcohol or other diuretics such as energy drinks, and even dieting (drastically decreasing food and fluid intake).
Tips On Staying Hydrated:
1. Drink Early & Often
Start your day off with a glass of water. This is a great way to kickstart your daily hydration. Then continue to drink water throughout the day.
2. Don't Pass a Drinking Fountain Without Taking a Drink
As a truck driver, you are in a wide variety of environments constantly for your job. So, when you’re at a customer or supplier dock, at a truck stop, or at a gas station, be sure to take a drink of water from every water fountain you pass to help stay hydrated.
3. Carry a Water Bottle With You
Whether you’re at work or running errands at home, carry a water bottle with you at all times. This will make for easier access to water and be a physical reminder to drink more.
4. Dress Up Your Water
Dress up your water by adding a little flavor with a wedge of lemon or lime.
5. Eat Plenty of Fruits & Vegetables
Consuming fruits and vegetables with a high water content—like watermelon and celery—is a great way to add extra water into your day.
6. Try Flavored Water
There are many variety of flavored waters out in the marketplace. If the lack of flavor is what turns you off from drinking water, this is a great solution!
7. Start Drinking Water 1-2 Hours Before You Reach Your Destination
Another way to manage your water intake is to base it on different markers along your driving route. Know you’ll be stopping at a customer’s dock in two hours? Start drinking your bottle of water now with the goal of finishing it by the time you bump the dock.