Drinking enough water is critical to both your mental and physical health as a truck driver. Although it can be tempting to not drink a lot of water in order to eliminate stops, the consequences of that to your health can be detrimental.
Learn how drinking more water can benefit your health and learn how to increase your water intake.
The benefits of proper hydration
The benefits of drinking enough water is almost too many to list. Basically all body functions are impacted in some way by water and can easily go awry if you are not properly hydrated. Here are just a few of the benefits:
Promotes cardio health: Dehydration lowers your blood volume. This means that your body has to work even harder to pump blood through your body to get enough oxygen to your cells.
Cleanses your body: Your kidneys are the organs that can help filter waste out of your body. Without water, your kidneys cannot function properly.
Keeps your body cool: If you are dehydrated, it takes longer for the blood vessels to expand and cool your body down.
Keeps muscles and joints working properly: Water is critical to ensuring your muscles get proper nutrition and lubricating joints.
Increased alertness: Your brain is very impacted by how hydrated you are. Studies show that even mild dehydration can impair aspects of brain function, mood, concentration and alertness.
Reduced stress on the body and mind: Being dehydrated generally creates stress in the body. Not having enough water to do bodily functions slows down and stresses your internal organs. The stress of dehydration also stresses your body and impacts mental health and focus.
Ways to stay hydrated
Now that you know how important hydration is, it is time to switch focus on how to stay properly hydrated. These 3 tips can help you work towards reaching proper hydration.
1. Set goals
The first step to making sure you are properly hydrated is to figure out how much water your body actually needs. 8 glasses is the standard rule of thumb but that may not be adequate for everyone. A better rule to follow is to drink between ½-1 ounce of water for each pound you weight. For example, a 180 pound person should drink between 90 and 180 ounces of water a day.
To find out if you are drinking enough water is to check the color of your urine (it should be clear) and also to monitor if you are thirsty throughout the day. Thirst is an indicator that your body is already dehydrated so the goal is always to drink enough water that you are rarely thirsty.
2. Track your water
Now that you’ve set your water goal, the next step is to track it. There are a few ways to do this.
There are a many water bottles on the market now that track the amount of ounces you are drinking. Tracking your water is also now as easy as entering it into an app. Many fitness apps have water trackers and there are separate water tracking apps that track ounces and remind you to drink water if you are behind on your daily goal.
3. Add flavor
It can often be difficult to drink more water if you are used to drinking soda or energy drinks with sugar and flavor.
But drinking more water doesn’t have to be boring. There a quite a few options for making your water more flavorful. Adding fruit, vegetables or herbs to your water is a healthy way to bump up the flavor in your water. You can also add sugar-free water enhancements like lemonade or other flavors. There are a lot of options available at your local grocery store. Even making iced tea without sugar is a good way to consume more water. Herbal tea is an even better option because it doesn’t contain caffeine and often has additional health benefits.
Experiment what works for you and what helps you drink more water throughout your day.
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