Importance of Hydration in Heat

By: Jessica Dealy Email
By: Jessica Dealy Email

There are plenty of people who make their living by working outdoors. You typically think of construction workers as the most likely to suffer from dehydration during the summer months.

However, the summer heat affects anyone who doesn't take time to drink enough water. For example, a truck towed away from Interstate 20/59 Friday belongs to a driver that law enforcement officers say suffered from severe dehydration.

"Individual had some medical issues. Law enforcement came up, they requested fire and EMS," said Reid Vaughn of Cuba. "We responded to treat the patient and send him to the hospital."

You may find it odd that a truck driver, who sits in an air conditioned cab, would become dehydrated to the point of hospitalization.

But after speaking with several truck drivers, we found the problem to be more common than originally expected. In fact, truck drivers find they have to drink water constantly to avoid becoming ill.

"I have a friend who was a doctor and she was real big on staying hydrated," said truck driver Clint Booker. "And then you have to be careful not to drink too much water because there is a thing called water toxification. You know, out here it is just real easy for a driver to get to thinking about what he is doing and forget to drink water."

"You know, this morning it took me about an hour and a half to unload and I drank two bottles then, and then finished up a third bottle in the truck," said truck driver Steve Aldridge.

As Aldridge noted, the unloading and loading of cargo in the summer heat is one easy way for a driver to lose vital fluids and then drive away forgetting to replenish their bodies, something many people forget to do regardless of their profession.

So how much water should you try to drink everyday in order to avoid dehydration?

Many people go by the 'drink 8 cups of water a day rule.' That equates to around 2 liters of water. Those who are more active need to double and sometimes triple that amount.

If you are concerned about your fluid intake, you may check with a doctor or dietitian for the proper amount.

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