As summer is kicking off, hydration is a key element to feeling your best and performing well both onsite and outside of work. Adult human bodies are made up of about 60% water. Studies have shown that even a slight decrease in bodily fluid, as little as 2%, can impair your alertness, concentration, short term memory, and reduce performance. Staying hydrated is a simple and vital part of maintaining good overall health. This will help keep your body feeling refreshed and replenished by fueling your muscles, increasing energy, and reducing fatigue.

Hydration should be looked at as not only an individual goal, but a team effort made by both employees and employers. Employers can support their teams by providing and keeping accessible cool water and electrolyte-containing beverages for employees onsite. On average it is recommended a person drink 8, 8-ounce glasses of water per day. An easy way to achieve this is to drink water in 20-minute intervals throughout the day even if you are not necessarily thirsty when working in the heat.

A yellow cooler with bottles inside

Description automatically generated with low confidenceAs your body induces physical activity your heart rate, body temperature, and breathing will begin to increase. This will trigger your body to use the water store to keep you cool though perspiration. Wearing appropriate clothing material for the season can be a great aid to provide comfort during each season. Dehydration can occur all year round. In colder climate dehydration tends to be more severe. In colder weather your body’s thirst response decreases up to 40%. Lowering your likeliness to drink water voluntarily. No matter which climate you are working in it is important to know the signs of dehydration and how to keep it from happening to you.

The following are some important questions to ask yourself when monitoring your hydration levels. Are you thirsty? Do you have a dry mouth or a headache? Do you feel fatigue or dizziness? Does your urine appear darker in color? These are common early signs of dehydration that in severe cases can lead to heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and hear stroke. Dehydration occurs when your body is using and losing more fluids than you are taking in. Heat illnesses are important to take seriously and easy to avoid through proper hydration.

Image result for water coolers for construction workersRemember to start your day with a sip of water. Hydration is an easy way to support your overall health. Take the time to stay hydrated throughout the day. Keep your cool, your body will thank you onsite and outside of work.