Over the last 10 years, the daily high temperature in Memphis during the month of July has averaged 92 degrees. So, what better time to emphasize hydration? It’s no secret that staying adequately hydrated is crucial for a healthy lifestyle, regardless of your occupation. However, hydration isn’t just a matter of personal health for CDL drivers; it’s also a matter of safety. A study found that driving with moderate dehydration had similar results to driving drunk. Yikes!
Fear not – these 5 hydration tips will equip you with the knowledge that you need to stay healthy and safe on the road.
1. Measure Your Intake
Keep track of your water intake by using a refillable water bottle with measurement lines. Some bottles even show you how much you should have consumed depending on the time of day. Depending on your gender and weight, determine how much water your body needs on a daily basis. Then, set a realistic goal and use your refillable bottle to help you achieve it.
Try this hydration calculator to find out how much water you should aim to drink.
2. Ditch the Sports Drinks
Truck drivers often make the mistake of thinking they can substitute sports drinks for water. However, sugary drinks like Gatorade are not much better for you than soda, as they are high in added sugar (about 36 grams per 20 ounce bottle). In the long run, these tasty beverages can contribute to weight gain, tooth decay, and the risk of type 2 diabetes. So, unless you’re an athlete losing tremendous amounts of sweat during exercise, look elsewhere for flavorful hydration. Speaking of…
3. Add Natural Flavor
Many people avoid water because they don’t enjoy the taste. If you’re in this camp, try infusing your water with fresh fruits or vegetables. This will go a long way to add flavor and make water more enjoyable, not to mention the additional nutrients and antioxidants you’ll receive. If you don’t have the time for an all-out infused water recipe, just try adding a wedge of lemon or lime to get some natural flavor. You may be surprised how much more water you drink when it’s flavored.
4. Eat Fruits & Veggies
Drinking fluids is not the only way that you can keep your body hydrated. Eating fruits and vegetables that are high in water can hydrate you and replenish electrolytes at the same time. Some good options include strawberries, watermelon, cucumbers, and tomatoes. It’s also worth noting that fruits and veggies are a good source of electrolytes (nutrients that your body loses when you sweat).
5. Know the Warning Signs of Dehydration
Your body has several telltale ways of letting you know that you are becoming dehydrated. Though not exhaustive, here’s a list of some common indicators that you need to drink water ASAP:
- Dry or sticky mouth
- Fatigue / low energy
- Dark urine
Read more on the warning signs of dehydration.
You Can Do it!
Knocking bad hydration habits is tough, and it won’t happen overnight. But, by setting goals and following some practical guidelines, you can drastically improve your wellness, which will in turn make you more reliable from behind the wheel.
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