Why Hydration is Important When Working
Working in the Heat
Shades on, budgie smugglers out – yep, it’s officially summer. The sunny season is already upon us, and if you’re going to be working in the heat this summer, then it’s crucial to remember the importance of staying hydrated. Bore snore, you’ve heard it all before. But it’s surprising just how severely dehydration can affect us…
Even when we’re only slightly dehydrated, our brain doesn’t operate as well as it should. When you’re operating heavy machinery, such as drills or cranes, or using sharp objects such as a chef’s knife, well, that’s where sub-par brain functionality begins to become a slight bit of an issue. Time to pay attention!
Dehydration can happen very easily when working in high temperatures; outside in the strong Aussie sun for instance (got to love a good old hole in the Ozone layer right?), or inside a restaurant’s kitchen, or underground in a mine…the list could go on. Machinery itself emits heat, and construction materials such as aluminium or glass can reflect the sun meaning guess what…even more heat. Not only does the air temperature count for something, but often the protective gear required to work in such places, only adds to the insufferable warmth. In such high temperatures, our body must work hard to maintain its core temperature, because if our core temperature rises by even one degree, well, that’s bad news, and it can come with severe consequences.
What’s our body’s solution? It’s sweating of course! This is the main mechanism to control our core temperature: as our sweat evaporates, heat energy goes with it, and it is this transfer of heat energy that helps to cool us down. However, as we sweat, we begin to lose not only water, but electrolytes also. Electrolytes are crucial to maintaining fluid balance in the body, and low electrolyte levels can result in impaired judgement, mental confusion and fatigue. These symptoms are not exactly conducive to the work environment, are they?
The Moral of the Story
So, the moral of the story? Well of course, it’s to stay hydrated, and to do this, we need to drink plenty of water, and eat foods with high water content. Fruits and vegetables are high in water, watermelon for instance (admittedly the name slightly gives that one away), or tomatoes, lettuce, and even soup broths. It’s also a good idea to consider taking on a sports drink with added electrolytes. Staminade contains added Magnesium, an electrolyte that is crucial in the energy-conversion process. Keeping our Magnesium levels up can help with fatigue and decrease the build-up of lactic acid (which can often lead to muscle cramps).
Overall, staying hydrated basically helps us to remain in tip top condition at work and to be as productive as possible…after all, isn’t that what we live for – to work as hard as possible…? Maybe don’t answer that question, but either way, it’s imperative to stay hydrated and keep up our electrolyte levels for the sake of our own health and state of mind. Drink up, eat up, and have a Staminade!