Water and Hydration

 

Article provided by GSC On-Site Services 

August 15, 2019 

Why do we need water?

Proper hydration is vital for work performance and your overall health. Water is the best source of liquid for the body to consume since it makes up approximately 65% of your body. It performs many bodily functions such as body temperature regulation, waste removal, and joint lubrication. It also transfers hormones and nutrients to your organs through your blood and plays a role in healing injuries.

 

Benefits of Staying Hydrated

  • Optimizes your physical and mental performance at work.
  • Reduces injury and illness.
  • Increases brain function, task performance, reaction time, short-term memory, and mood.

 

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What can I do to make sure I am hydrating properly?

The average adult should consume between 90-120 ounces of water per day. When the body is thirsty, drink water. Regulate hydration and electrolytes with sports drinks, such as Gatorade or Powerade. Sports beverages are not recommended for people who lead sedentary lifestyles due to the added sugars. It is meant for replacing lost fluids when we are dehydrated. Drink approximately 17-20 ounces of water before any physical activity. Take mini water breaks approximately every 10-20 minutes. At that time, drink approximately 7-10 ounces of water. Following physical activity, drink 8 ounces of water within 30 minutes.

 

How do I know if I am hydrated?

Refer to the urine color chart. Lighter color urine indicates good hydration while darker color urine indicates poor hydration.

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What are signs and symptoms of dehydration?

  • Excessive thirst, fatigue, general malaise, headaches, altered mental state, dizziness, hyperventilation, and/or vomiting.
  • Any rise in body temperature and excessive sweating followed by a stop in sweating indicates heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

The body is at risk for the following heat-related illness:

  • Heat cramps
  • heat syncope (fainting)
  • Heat exhaustion (core body temperature is between 97°F-104°F),
  • Heat stroke (core body temperature is >104°F) which is a medical emergency and can be fatal.