Written by Ashlea Romano, Occupational Health Trainer, New York
Throughout the month of June, the Occupational Health team at Dot Foods has been helping educate drivers on the importance of staying hydrated. Before we discuss hydration in depth, let’s first review the basics.
- Water is the main component of blood, which supplies cells with oxygen and nutrients, and carries waste out of the body.
- Water regulates internal body temperature. Through the process of sweat production and evaporation, the body can avoid overheating.
- Water lubricates joints.
- Water cushions vital organs.
You should drink water every day. Most people have been told they should drink six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. However, different people need different amounts of water to stay hydrated.
Most healthy people can stay well hydrated by drinking water and other fluids whenever they feel thirsty. If you are concerned that you are not drinking enough water, check your urine. If your urine is usually colorless or light yellow, you are well hydrated. If your urine is a dark yellow or amber color, you may be dehydrated.
What are the signs of dehydration?
- Little or no urine
- Urine that is darker than usual
- Dry mouth
- Sleepiness or fatigue
- Extreme thirst
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
How can I stay hydrated?
Keep a bottle of water with you.
Carry a reusable water bottle and fill it with tap water.
Eat water-rich foods.
Many fruits and vegetables are loaded with water and provide an effective way to help stay hydrated—in addition to drinking water.
Water-rich vegetables you can use to rehydrate include:
- Cucumbers – 96.7 percent water
- Iceberg lettuce – 95.6 percent water
- Celery – 95.4 percent water
Fruits that can help you stay hydrated include:
- Watermelon – 91.5 percent water
- Strawberries – 91 percent water
- Grapefruit – 90.5 percent water
Try infusing water with fresh fruit.
With so many water alternatives readily available, bottled or tap water may seem bland or boring. To give your water a flavor boost without adding sugar or chemical sweeteners, try infusing water with fresh fruit by adding a lemon wedge or a handful of berries to your water.
Replace sugary sodas with sparkling water
If you prefer the flavor and carbonation of sodas, try replacing your favorite soda with flavored sparkling water. You get the bubbles and fruit flavor without the sugar, artificial colors, preservatives, and flavorings.
Dot Drivers: If you have any questions about hydration or need help on how to stay hydrated, please reach out to someone on your occupational health team.