Next time you’re feeling run down, it could be that you’re dehydrated. Instead of coffee or soda, have a bottle of pure water. Coffee dehydrates you, and soda is full of unhealthy sugars, chemicals and empty calories.
Lack of water can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when you don’t have enough water in your body to carry on normal functions. Even mild dehydration — as little as a 1% to 2% loss of your body weight — can sap your energy and make you feel tired. Dehydration poses a health risk for everyone.
Signs and symptoms of dehydration include:
- Excessive thirst;
- Dry mouth;
- Little or no urination;
- Muscle weakness; and
Thirst isn’t always an adequate gauge of your body’s need for fluid replenishment. The older you are, the less you’re able to sense that you’re thirsty. During vigorous exercise —and with warm weather coming, for you flat-bedders securing your load down in the heat — an important amount of your fluid reserves may be lost before you feel thirsty. Make sure you’re sufficiently hydrated before, during and after exercise or a heavy workload.
Increased thirst and increased urination, both in volume and frequency, can be signs and symptoms of diabetes. With diabetes, excess blood sugar (glucose) in your body draws water from your tissue, making you feel dehydrated. To quench your thirst, you drink a lot of water and other beverages, and that leads to more frequent urination. If you notice unexplained increases in your thirst and urination, see your doctor. It may not necessarily mean you have diabetes; it could be something else. Some people consume large amounts of water and experience increased urine output that’s not associated with any underlying disease.
Think in terms of your truck’s battery, with intense pressure placed on efforts to maximize your truck’s performance. Like our friends at Fahrenheit Batteries (www.fahrenheit31.com) recognize, today’s trucks are technological marvels, but they are also significantly more demanding on batteries. Making sure trucks have the right batteries for the right applications and that these batteries are properly taken care of helps fleets run longer and operations run smoother, and this keeps customers happier. Sound familiar? Dehydration places extra stress on our bodies’ batteries. To help prepare your body for unexpected emergency repairs, stay hydrated.
Staying safely hydrated
Make a conscious effort to keep yourself hydrated, and make water your beverage of choice. For a cheap alternative to bottled flavored water, try adding flavored green tea bags to your water bottle. This will make it taste better and make you want to drink more of it.
Eat water-rich foods, such as fruit, but be careful of the sugar content. Use water as a true measuring stick for your hunger. The next time you’re driving down the road and you think you’re hungry, drink some water; then wait a few minutes and see if the hunger pains are still there. Also, check the time; you should be re-fueling your body every three to four hours.
Bob Perry has spent nearly the past four decades on a mission to educate professional drivers and share life-changing products and services to help them live healthier lives while on the road. Recognized throughout the transportation industry, from bus drivers to over-the-road professional drivers, Bob Perry has played an important role in creating a paradigm shift helping regulatory agencies, private and public sector entities, and consumers understand the current health challenges of the professional driver. He has participated as a wellness advocate in several roundtable discussions, large audience groups and small forums as well as going “curbside” through a national truck stop tour.
Bob’s articles have been featured in The Trucker and a number of other national transportation industry publications and is the host of a weekly wellness call produced by Rolling Strong. Bob has been a regular guest on RedEye Radio and Land-Line Radio, and is often an invited guest on Sirius radio shows. He has been featured in the New York Times, Men’s Health Magazine, Drug Store News, American Road Magazine, WSJ, NPR, ABC National Radio, as well as hundreds of daily newspapers. He has appeared on television news shows across the nation, including a featured TV segment on ABC NightLine News.