With summer in full swing, it is important for employees who punch the clock and work outside to stay hydrated. Not only is it good for your work production, but it is also beneficial to your health as well. It is recommended for the average person to consume 64 ounces of water each day according to Health Line. But what if you are working outside and losing fluids much faster than you usually would? OSHA reports you should drink about 4 cups of water every hour while the heat index is 103 to 115°F. In this article we are going to cover a few basic tips on what helps me stay hydrated while working out in the summer heat and what to look for when dehydration starts to kick in.
Why it is important to stay hydrated while working in the heat
With the possibility of your body being able to sweat out 2 to 3 gallons in a single day when working in the heat, you can see how one can easily become dehydrated. It seems like every year we hear more about how many people have to go to the hospital for medical treatment from dehydration.
It is recommended by Safety and Health Magazine to consume 5 to 7 ounces of water every 15 to 20 minutes to replenish the body’s fluids. It is also advised to not just depend on when you are thirsty to drink water. I know how it feels to be so wrapped up in a job working out in the sun and forgetting to drink water, but I have learned to set reminders and stop for water breaks.
Staying hydrated has many benefits when you are and are not working in the summer heat. Here are just a few of those benefits when staying hydrated:
- Helps keep muscles working to their potential
- Keeps the body cooler and prevents it from overheating which can cause serious health problems
- Helps with cognitive and memory function
- Can increases cardiovascular health
- Allows organs in the body to operate and function like they should
- Good for energy and concentration
- Good for overall health
Common symptoms of dehydration
Many times dehydration can sneak up on us and before we know it we aren’t feeling very well, but here are some common symptoms of dehydration reported by eMedicine Health so you can know what to pay attention to.
- Dry mouth and increased thirst
- Decreased urine output
- Tired or sleepy
- Rapid heart rate
Everyone experiences dehydration a little differently depending on the severity, and it is recommended to seek medical attention in severe cases or if the symptoms do not go away shortly after consuming water.
Ways for employees to stay hydrated when punching the time clock
Little things such as getting a drink of water and taking breaks throughout the day should be encouraged by small business owners. Employees are the backbone to a business and it is important to make sure they are working in a healthy environment.
Employees should take frequent breaks and know their limits when working in summer weather. Knowing your limits when working long hours can help improve your productiviy. This can help to prevent the body from overheating and losing too much fluids. WebMd recommends consuming good alternative sources of water such as chicken breasts, jello, fruits, smoothies, and sports drinks.
I am not a doctor and this article is not intended to be used as professional medical advice. I am simply trying to spread awareness on how important hydration is when working outside and what seems to work for me personally. Please be cautious during this summer season and know your limits when you clock in for work.