Understanding Dehydration in the Workplace
Often dehydration is only thought about in a hot climate or after a bout of exercise. However it can occur at any time and is more common than you might think. Some of the factors that can contribute to dehydration are sleeping in a house with central heating, working in an office with air-conditioning, jobs that are strenuous such as construction, jobs where access to water may be limited and working at altitude. Nights out drinking alcohol also contribute to being dehydrated!
Understanding The role of water in the diet
The body is made up of 65% water and performs many important tasks such as lubricating joints, regulating body temperature and carrying nutrients around the body. As part of these processes water is lost from the body through breathing, sweating and going to the toilet.
It is vital that the level of water in the body is maintained.
Be aware of the signs of dehydration
Thirst is the first sign that dehydration, but there are other signs that might be brushed away and thought of with indifference.
This can include headaches, feeling fuzziness and feeling tired.
It only takes the body to be 2% lower in body weight due to dehydration for the effects to be felt.
Some top tips can help to keep the body hydrated
Have a drink of water first thing every morning. Keep a glass of water at the bedside.
Have a bottle of water on the desk or with you where you are working and drink it throughout the day. Putting markers on the bottle helps to show how much or how little you have drunk!
Eat a Hydrating Lunch
Eat fruit and vegetables, these are not only so good for you because of their vitamins, minerals and fibre but they also contain lots of water. Carbs such as pasta and rice provide plenty of water too. An ideal hydrating lunch would be a pasta salad with peppers, tomatoes, apple and sweetcorn (with some protein such as tuna or chicken if not wanting a vegetarian option).
What to Drink
Tea and coffee do count towards fluid intake. Fruit juice, smoothies and fizzy drinks are not ideal since they contain excessive sugar and can often leave you still feel thirsty. The best answer is plain water. If you don’t like the taste, you could try a filter bottle or you could add a small piece of fruit such as strawberry.