CDC Hydration. Making sure that you take the time to drink plenty of fluids is perhaps one of the most essential things that you can do, as this will help to prevent many illnesses that are related to heat. The CDC has found that the best type of fluid to drink is water, as this will help to almost always maintain hydration whenever you have to complete any kind of work in the heat, provided you also eat regular meals to help with replacing salt that ends up getting lost in sweat.
It’s also acceptable to make use of sports drinks, especially if you have been sweating for a period of several hours. While eating regular meals with an adequate amount of water intake is, as previously mentioned, the best way to help maintain regular hydration, sports drinks with balanced electrolytes are another useful option to help with replacing salt that has been lost as a result of sweating. You will want to ensure, however, that you don’t heavily consume sports drinks, as this can result in the addition of an unnecessary amount of calories due to added sugar.
Hydration is generally best prior to engaging in any work-related activities, as this will help to ensure that you are hydrated throughout the remainder of your day. In the event that you are dehydrated prior to starting any work, you may not be able to drink enough water in order to catch up with what your body typically needs. It’s also useful to hydrate while you’re working as well, especially drinking before you feel thirsty. Doing this will ensure that your body won’t be behind in terms of fluid replacement. One of the most common causes of heat exhaustion is dehydration, which can negatively affect your work performance, even if you may not actually notice it.
While working in the heat, you should typically drink a cup of water every 15-20 minutes, as drinking at shorter intervals has been shown to be much more effective than infrequently drinking larger amounts of water. Additionally, never drink more than 48 oz. of water per hour. This is because drinking too much water, as well as other fluids such as sports drinks, can end up resulting in your suffering a medical emergency due to the overall concentration of salt in your blood becoming too low.
In terms of what should be avoided when it comes to hydration, this includes energy drinks. This is because of a variety of reasons, one of the top ones being the fact that a majority of energy drinks contain more amounts of caffeine than normal servings of beverages such as tea, soft drinks, and coffee. In fact, drinking several energy drinks per day is something that can end up increasing your caffeine levels to the point where your heart can become negatively affected. Such high levels of caffeine can be extremely risky whenever they are added to the strain that has been placed on your heart.
CDC Hydration. Another important thing to avoid in terms of hydration is any kind of alcohol, as this can result in you getting dehydrated. Additionally, drinking alcohol within 24 hours of working in heat can also increase the likelihood of you suffering some form of heat illness. It’s also recommended that you should never take any salt tablets. This goes back to the aforementioned eating of regular meals, which is the best method to take advantage of to help restore your salt levels. Make sure that you never skip a meal.