Dehydration is not Just a Summertime Issue

When you're dehydrated, your muscles work harder, which can make you more tired. It can also increase your blood pressure and lead to irregular heart rhythms. So being dehydrated is nothing to ignore or think you can power through. Your health and safety depends on you staying hydrated.

You can tell if you're getting dehydrated if you're terribly thirsty, aren't sweating, or start getting a headache. Also, if you don't have to urinate as frequently, or if your urine is a dark yellow color, you're not getting enough water.

Ongoing dehydration — not drinking enough water every day — can also give you bad breath, dry skin, muscle cramps, and even cravings for sweets.

When this happens, the best thing to do is drink a lot of water, but to do it fairly slowly. Don't guzzle an entire quart of water at once. Instead, take smaller drinks over a longer period of time. You can also drink an 8 ounce glass of water every hour if your schedule allows it. Otherwise, keep a water bottle handy and take a drink whenever you feel thirsty.

If you're seriously dehydrated and can't keep water down, then take tiny sips and take your time. If you're at this stage, you may have some other serious symptoms like feeling light-headed or being dizzy, so be sure to tell you crew leader or foreman.


Avoid Energy Drinks

At Townsend, we don't allow our crew to consume energy drinks on the job, because they actually cause dehydration. An energy drink contains high caffeine and sugar content, which contributes to dehydration (which is why you shouldn't drink soda to fight thirst either).

Energy drinks are also diuretics, which means you "put out" more than you take in. Tea and coffee are also diuretics, so try to avoid those on the job, unless you're also drinking plenty of water.

Energy drinks are not suitable boosts if you're feeling tired. Of course, the best boost is to get plenty of sleep, but if you had a late night, stick with water and maybe some coffee at lunch. By staying well hydrated, you can fight off that drowsy feeling.

Finally, Gatorade and other sports drinks may offer electrolytes and other nutrients, but nothing beats water when it comes to staying hydrated. You can drink Gatorade on the job, just remember to drink an equal amount of water with it.

Hands down, the best way to stay hydrated is with regular water, or even fruit juice in a pinch. If you're not a fan, then add a splash of fruit juice, like lemon juice, to give it some extra flavor. Make sure you have plenty of fresh produce at lunch, since it contains a lot of water.

Posted: 12/5/2017 2:19:21 PM by