Driving a semi or another big truck is a huge responsibility. Drivers need to be at their physical and mental best when sitting in a truck seat during long hauls. Staying properly hydrated can help your overall health and also ensure you stay alert on the highway.
Truck Driver Health vs. Safety on the Road
The human body has to have water. Our organs and tissues need it to function properly, and water is the primary component of human blood. When we’re properly hydrated, our energy levels are better, and we’re more awake and alert. When dehydration occurs, some common symptoms may include extreme thirst, headache, fatigue, muscle cramps, and dizziness. These are all conditions truckers want to avoid to ensure their safety and that of other motorists.
More extreme signs of dehydration can include little or no urine production, darker urine than normal, confusion, sunken eyes, rapid heartbeat, very dry skin, and fainting. Chronic dehydration can lead to a number of health problems, not to mention premature wrinkling and aging of the skin.
Water serves a number of purposes in the body, including:
- Delivery of oxygen and nutrients to cells, organs, and systems.
- Regulation of internal body temperature via sweat and evaporation.
- Lubrication of joints in our arms, hands, knees, feet, and throughout the body.
- Cushioning of vital organs, protecting them against impact and damage.
- Transport of waste products out of the body.
Hydration Tips for Truckers
It’s easy to forget to drink enough water when you’re traveling on the road, especially on long trips. For most people, a normal amount of water is drinking six to eight 8-ounce glasses per day. That equals about 2.5 to 3 liters of water per day, for an average adult male, and 2 to 2.5 liters of water daily for an average adult female.
For truckers who want to stay properly hydrated, these tips can be helpful:
- Eat fruits – Most fruits have a lot of water content and can help you stay properly hydrated. Fruits are also full of fiber and other important nutrients, so increasing your diet’s fruit content can help you stay healthy. Some of the best fruits for hydration include watermelon, which contains 91.5% water by volume, strawberries (91% water), and grapefruit (90.5%).
- Consume plenty of vegetables – In addition to drinking lots of water, vegetables to hydrate your body include cucumbers (96.7% water), iceberg lettuce (95.6% water), and celery (95.4% water). Vegetables contain a number of other nutrients, including fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
- Get a health tracker – Most smartphones can download health tracking apps that can help you keep up with how much sleep you’re getting, how much walking you’re doing, etc. Getting a health tracker and getting in the habit of logging your water consumption can provide a helpful behavioral reinforcement for increasing your water consumption.
- Keep water onboard – Keep a cooler, dorm fridge, or jug of water in your truck. It will give you access to water anytime when you’re on the road.
- Avoid sodas – Sodas won’t hydrate you as well as water, and excessive soda consumption can contribute to obesity and diabetes—two health problems unfortunately common to the trucking industry. Stick to the pure stuff, with occasional soda drinks as a reward or when you need a caffeine jolt.
- Get a convenient cup – Having a cup that’s convenient to take with you and use while you’re traveling can make staying hydrated a lot easier. Find a cup that’s sturdy and can keep water cold for extended periods.
How to Prevent Dehydration
Adequate water consumption is the best way to avoid dehydration. Truck drivers are vulnerable to dehydration, as they spend many hours on the road each day. To address their safety, truck companies can educate drivers on the importance of hydration and the symptoms of the onset of dehydration. It can help to offer reusable water bottles to drivers, including those with infusers to add flavor to your water. Posting water consumption recommendations and the types of foods (including fast foods) that can contribute to dehydration is also beneficial.
In addition to the above mentioned hydration tips for truckers, you want to ensure your truck cabin is cool and comfortable. Aside from making sure the A/C is working, ventilated truck seats and other accessories from Suburban Seating & Safety can help. We offer leading-brand seats from Bostrom, Sears, National, ISRI, and others. Some of our climate control seats include cooling elements in the seat and backrest to help prevent your body from overheating and becoming dehydrated.
Order from Suburban Seating & Safety Today
Suburban Seating & Safety sells truck accessories that promote driver health and safety. Check out the company’s online store today to find the best custom truck seats and other gear for your truck. We stock seats for on- and off-highway vehicles, including trucks, buses, vans, and heavy-duty construction equipment. Also available are accessories such as truck mattresses, mobile device holders, laptop mounts, and seat cushions and parts.