Working as a truckload carrier can often lead to a person focusing solely on completing their job. You have a destination, a payload, and you want to get it there as soon as possible. This is often great for the trucking company and beneficial to the driver, but it can come with a cost.
Truckload carriers often complete their work at the expense of a proper diet, adequate sleep, and even proper hydration. These considerations are often overlooked not because we deem them to be unimportant, but simply because we’re too focused on the task at hand. It’s much more simple to catch up on these things once we’re off the road.
However, this is incorrect. We should be paying attention to all of these aspects of our lives all the time. This includes the time we spend on the road. Here’s why hydration should remain a focus of truckload carriers while they perform their duties.
Benefits of Hydration
Hydrating your body is the process of replenishing the water you use to function. Keeping yourself hydrated has a long list of benefits that you will notice immediately, as well as some that exist on a deeper level.
The first benefit is that you’ll simply feel better. The water we drink helps to lubricate our joints which can lead to feeling more limber, strong, and flexible.
Proper levels of water in your system will help you remain alert and focused as you drive to your destination. Our brain tissue shrinks when it doesn’t receive enough fluids. Think of how a sponge shrivels up when it dries out. This can lead to a variety of cognitive symptoms. Dehydration can contribute to irritability, confusion, and frustration.
Drinking enough water can help a person lose weight, too. It might be surprising, but it takes calories for our bodies to digest water. Cold water needs to be warmed up before digestion so it takes even more calories to process. It’s recommended to drink water before a meal to make yourself feel more full, leading to smaller portion sizes.
Overall, drinking enough water can have multiple physical, mental, and emotional benefits. And all you have to do is be mindful of how much you are drinking throughout the day.
Signs of Dehydration
Drinking water all day long simply isn’t an option. Truckload carriers are often mindful of this so they don’t need to frequently pull over to use the restroom. The trick is to find a balance between excessive water intake and keeping your body fueled with an adequate amount.
A truckload carrier will most likely be dealing with mild dehydration. Severe dehydration is normally experienced by people stranded in the woods or something along those lines. So as long as you’re at least drinking something, you won’t experience the severe symptoms such as feeling dizzy or fainting.
But mild and moderate dehydration can still have negative effects that should be avoided. One of the best indicators of your level of hydration is a little gross, but it’s easy to gauge: the color of your urine. The darker it is, the more dehydrated you are. The goal is to achieve clear urine. Be mindful if it becomes increasingly cloudy or dark.
Our bodies can start to cramp if our muscles aren’t receiving enough water. Sore and aching muscles and joints can be a sign that it’s time to get a drink of water. Headaches are also a sign that we are getting dehydrated. Reach for a glass or bottle of water instead of the bottle of aspirin.
The clearest sign, however, that you are getting dehydrated is simply a feeling of thirst or a dry mouth. Do you feel like taking a drink of water? Do it. Our bodies will tell us what they need. It’s up to us to listen.
Tips to Stay Hydrated
The very first tip is the most simple: listen to your body. As we said above, feelings of thirst and dry mouth are indicators or mild dehydration. This is your first line of defense against progressing to aches and other cognitive effects of dehydration.
This can seem difficult while you are on the road. You can’t exactly fill a glass from the sink while you’re in your truck. This is why you should bring a small cooler with you. Freeze some bottles of water beforehand and drink them as they begin to thaw out. Put some fruit in there as well. These foods are packed with water so you’ll be doing yourself two favors by eating healthy and hydrating at the same time.
Your bladder is a muscle and can be exercised like anything else. Place a focus on hydration for at least a week before hitting the road. This strengthens your bladder and can reduce the amount of bathroom trips you’ll need as you stay hydrated on the road.