When summer arrives, a trucker's job becomes a little more difficult, because the heat and humidity can be punishing even if you spend a good chunk of your day in an air-conditioned cab. The conditions you often encounter on the road at this time of year dictate that you hydrate regularly throughout the day.
The following tips should help you get a better handle on hydration, and keep you happy and healthy while you're doing your job:
1) Try to drink about a gallon of water per day
An entire gallon of water may sound like a lot to consume on a daily basis, but it's the number doctors typically recommend, according to Hydrant. Of course, the actual number can change quite a bit based on your personal height, weight, how much physical labor you do each day, etc. — but this is a good rule of thumb to follow.
2) Stay away from coffee and sugary drinks — or plan to drink more water
One thing you absolutely need to keep in mind is coffee, soda, energy drinks and more do not count as hydration, Hydrant recommended. In fact, they often have the opposite effect, and actually make you more dehydrated. If you must have these beverages during the day (after all, you likely need the caffeine), then you should plan to drink more water afterwards.
3) Snack on fruits and veggies with high water content
Because a whole gallon of water is a lot to drink during the day, you can mix things up with certain types of fruits and vegetables that are naturally packed with water, Hydrant further advised. These include cucumbers, melons, celery and more. Each offers a great option to hydrate in a different way.
4) Know the symptoms of dehydration
Again, the amount of energy you exert throughout the day may affect your hydration level, and as such, you need to be aware of the symptoms that might mean you need to drink even more water, according to Trucking Info. Some of the most common symptoms are dry mouth, increased fatigue, lightheadedness and more.
5) Carry a refillable water bottle
A great way to make sure you're drinking enough water is to carry a large bottle or jug with you and fill it up with tap water every time you stop, Trucking Info said. Many bottles even come with measurement lines on the side that show you how much you should drink at any given time, and help you stay on schedule.
6) Mix it up with sparkling or infused water
Hydrating doesn't have to be boring, and even if you think water is a little too "unexciting" for you, there are options to liven it up, according to Dot Transportation. You can, for instance, drop some cut-up fruit into your water to infuse it with flavor, buy flavor mixes you can put in the bottle, or even just get some sparkling water to mix things up.
7) Keep in mind why it's so important
Hydrating is going to keep you healthy and attentive when you're behind the wheel, and for that reason alone, it's something you should be proactive about, Dot Transportation added. Remember, this is about your health and even the safety of your truck, other motorists and more.