Most of our HVAC service jobs at Oliver keep us outside in the summer months, and it is very important to stay hydrated all day long. I did some research online and found some good information on the Cleveland Clinic web site that can not only help keep our techs safe, but can help your family too as you’re enjoying outdoor summer activities.
Why we become dehydrated…
When you exercise, your muscles generate heat. To keep from burning up your body needs to get rid of the heat, which it does through perspiration. As your body releases sweat it evaporates off your skin, cooling off the tissue below the moisture. As you sweat, the fluid level in your body decreases and you become dehydrated. This is right up our alley, all of us technical guys recognize this! It sounds like our body acts as a water cooled condenser: heart rate increases, heat builds up, sweat or condensation forms and than it evaporates to cool down the surface.
What to Avoid
When you’re out in the heat, avoid alcohol, teas, coffee, and soda. These drinks actually pull the fluids from the body. The caffeine also speeds up your heart rate, causing your body to work harder than it needs to and hence, cause dehydration to happen faster. Fruit drinks and juices tend to have too many carbs and have very low sodium which will cause an upset stomach. If you must drink fruit drinks, a best practice is to mix with water at a 50-50 %. The best fluid to drink while working or playing outside is water. Sports drinks are best used when playing sports for an extended period of time or if you are working very hard for an extended period of time.
So we know what to drink and why we need to drink, but how do you keep yourself properly hydrated? A good rule of thumb is to follow these guidelines:
- 1-2 hours before activity drink 16-20oz of water
- During activity drink 6-12oz of water for every 10-15 min outside
- When finished activity drink 16-24oz of water as a replenishment to the body
Have a safe and happy summer my friends!
– Safety Sean