AN ARTICLE from the Fleet Owner web site caught the attention of the Advisen FPN editors and then mine.
The article, Truck drivers' paradox: Not drinking is like drinking applies not only to truck drivers but to everyone who drives any vehicle.
IT SEEMS THAT DEHYDRATION can have the same effect on drivers as drinking intoxicants.
The article states that
- Truck drivers are especially prone to dehydration. Many truckers don't drink enough water because they don't want to stop for frequent bathroom breaks. And while there's no evidence that caffeinated drinks cause dehydration, they can be a mild diuretic in large amounts.
While the A/C may feel good, that cool breeze sucks moisture from the air and your body.
Even being mildly dehydrated is the same as driving drunk in terms of making errors in judgment and performance, according to researchers at Loughborough University in Loughborough Leicestershire, UK.
That little island off the coast of Europe is hardly known for hot weather, nothing compared to summer in the U.S.
Drivers are well advised to either make frequent water stops or to carry water in a vacuum bottle (a/k/a Thermos) to drink between stops.
According to the Mayo Clinic, signs of mild dehydration include:
- Dry, sticky mouth
- Sleepiness or tiredness
- Decreased urine output
- Dry skin
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
According to Web MD,
- Besides guzzling water, milk is a top choice to refuel. Sodas, even diet ones, get a bad rap for lacking nutritional value, but they can still be hydrating. Juices and sports drinks are also hydrating -- you can lower the sugar content by diluting them with water.
Coffee and tea also count in your tally. Many used to believe that they were dehydrating, but that myth has been debunked. The diuretic effect does not offset hydration.
Fruits are an excellent source for water. Watermelon is 90% water, so it ranks highest on the list. Oranges, grapefruit, and melons like cantaloupe and honeydew are also strong contenders.
Vegetables, though not as full of water as fruit, can also provide a nutrient-rich water source. Stick with celery, cucumbers, tomatoes, green peppers, and Romaine lettuce.
Bottom line: Stay sober by staying hydrated. Fruits and veggies provide hydration and roughage, and they don't make a mess if they spill, unlike that cup of coffee or bottle of juice from the last fuel stop.