Staying hydrated is a lot more than grabbing a glass of water whenever you feel thirsty or drinking a certain number of ounces a day. While these are good routines to follow, they’re not the only things you should rely on to stay hydrated – especially in the hot summer sun. Good hydration for truckers is extremely important. In fact, some studies have even shown that driving while even mildly dehydrated is the same as driving drunk. It can affect your ability to respond quickly in an emergency and many times, people don’t know that they’re experiencing dehydration until it’s too late. Here are some great tips to be proactive about your hydration this summer:

  1. Add flavoring to your water

If straight water isn’t something you get excited about, many people enjoy flavoring their water to make it taste different. Try infusing your water with fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs, such as slices of lemon, cucumber, or mint leaves. You can also add a splash of fruit juice to your glass. Some people opt for low-calorie drink mixes or bottle flavored water. Just make sure you’re reading labels and keeping an eye on calories and sugar content.

  1. Hydrate with food

Did you know that the food you eat can be a good source of hydration too? It can account for about 20 percent of your fluid intake. Fresh fruits and vegetables are the best when it comes to being good sources of hydration, but you can also incorporate broth-based soups, oatmeal, and cereals to the list. There’s a lot of produce in season this time of year, so take advantage of all the fruits and vegetables that are water-rich sources including tomatoes, cucumbers, melon, berries and more.

  1. Set a timer

One reason why many people don’t drink enough water is we simply forget to do it. Set multiple timers or reminders on your phone throughout the day to help you remember to drink water. For instance, you can set an alarm to go off every two hours to remind you to drink. You can also look ahead at your schedule for the day and set specific reminders for times you know you’ll already be taking a break and will be able to drink some water. Doing either of these will help make drinking water regularly become a habitual thing.

  1. Add an electrolyte hydration powder

Electrolyte powders have become popular recently and there are several on the market to choose from. These powers can be mixed with your water and are designed to hydrate you faster than water alone and contain important electrolytes and vitamins that help with hydration and focus. These are especially helpful if you’re spending a lot of time out in the sun loading or securing freight, after a workout or on extremely hot days.

  1. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink

The feeling of being thirsty is actually a sign of mild dehydration. This is why it’s so important to drink water regularly throughout the day as well as drinking more when the weather is hot and/or you’re being more active.

  1. Dress for the weather

What you wear can play a role in your hydration too! Wear light, breathable, moisture-wicking clothing. Avoid cotton and wool if you can. Always wear a hat and don’t forget to wear plenty of sunscreen to avoid a sunburn.

  1. Keep a bottle of water with you

If you’re always keeping a bottle of water within reach, it’s easier to remember to take sips throughout the day. Keep water next to you in your truck and enough for a refill or two if you can’t refill at a truck stop right away.

Know the signs

It’s also important that you know the symptoms of dehydration so you can recognize when you need to get off the road, hydrate more or seek medical help. The most common symptoms of dehydration include:

– fatigue

– dark-colored urine or low urine output

– dry skin and cracked lips

– dry mouth

– sweating less than usual

– headache

– light-headedness/dizziness

– irregular heartbeat

– low blood pressure

– muscle cramps

Ready to join us at Carter this summer? We’ll help you beat the heat with weekly home time, top pay and lots of great benefits including paid vacation. Give us a call today to learn more!