Dehydration Self Diagnosis
Tired today, dragging through your day recently? Not sure why? It could be…the change in weather! The change of seasons sneaks up on us so quickly every year, doesn’t it? It happens EVERY year, one would think we would be used to the changes. Our bodies are amazingly adaptable, but not as adaptable as we might like to think-or at least as quickly as we would like to think.
This is a well recognized risk in sports. For example, in sports, as a season starts or as a climate changes, performance and the effect it has on our physical wellness can be significant. Take the season of football, for example. We may think of football season as a fall/winter season. Visions of puffy coats, beanies, and crazy men with their shirts off while everyone else is bundled up may come to mind, but the beginning of the football season starts during peak summer time. In order to properly prepare these players, practice is slowly phased in regards to the time spent, intensity of training, and amount of equipment worn. This phasing is very specific to the temperature change, to the amount of humidity on a daily basis as well as the temperature levels the previous days AND night.
Now let’s put this into context for the industrial athlete. The industrial athlete plays during every season. This means that when the weather warms up, we continue our work as we had always done. Our bodies, however, are not always ready for the change in temperature and physiological forces it must contend with. The bright side? We ARE adaptable. We just need a little time.
Staying safe against heat illness is reliant on our ability to recognize symptoms. These symptoms will be even more important to recognize when temperature or humidity changes rapidly whether you work inside OR outside. For example, even if you work in a temperature controlled environment, your home and where you sleep might not be. If your body is fighting to acclimate to new temperature swings at night while you are sleeping, your ability to stay properly hydrated is compromised. This is NOT weakness. This is strength. Strength is the ability to withstand forces on our body. We are withstanding these temperature related forces, but just as strength gains take time, so does acclimating to new temperatures.
This topic is of such importance to us that we designed a free tool box talk for the recognition of symptoms and self diagnosis of dehydration. Yes-you CAN self diagnose dehydration with something as simple as…the color of your urine. What’s more is that it is one of the most accurate ways to diagnose your hydration as well. Certainly not glamorous, nor pleasant, but you should be consistently checking the color of your urine throughout the day. This is normal for every professional athlete and as a professional industrial athlete, this should be normal to you as well. Check out our color chart below.
Print it out, post it around your workplace…maybe in the bathroom stalls or on the bathroom door as an additional reminder!!