Eat To Hydrate
by Steven Limbrunner, ATC
If you’re like me, staying hydrated can be a boring and repetitive process. The constant need to drink some high-quality H2O feels like maintenance work for our bodies. Trips to the water cooler. Trips to the bathroom. Repeat. What if I told you… there are more ways to hydrate than just drinking water?
What’s all this water doing for me anyway?
For industrial athletes, long shifts take a toll on our bodies. Proper hydration keeps you energized and aids in discomfort. Water intake throughout your workday can make substantial differences for improving your overall health and performance. Staying hydrated gives many benefits including: body waste removal through urination, perspiration, regular bowel movements, temperature regulation, and joint lubrication.
As an industrial athlete, these factors are especially important since we lose fluids through energy expenditure and perspiration. Being on our feet all day demands a lot from our joints. Adequate hydration helps to cushion these joints to prevent further discomfort.
How much water does the industrial athlete need?
There is no cookie cutter number for the amount of water a person should drink each day. This number depends on several factors specific to each individual like body type, weight, and level of activity. On average, however, men should drink 15 cups of fluids a day and women should drink about 11 cups each day. Being an industrial athlete typically requires a higher than average water intake.
So what are good substitutes?
With so much water to consume, how can we switch it up? Drinking bottle after bottle of water can be a grueling process. Whole, nutrient-rich foods and beverages can provide nutritional supplementations for regular H2O. Here are some good substitutes to be added to your daily lunch or snack:
– Strawberries – 92% water and has the highest water content of all berries. 1 cup yields more than 100% of your daily dose of vitamin C and 3g of fiber.
– Peaches – 88% water and has a significant source of potassium, an electrolyte that needs replenishing when you’re sweating.
– Apples – 84% water and has excellent source of antioxidants that support brain and heart health.
– Bell Peppers – 92% water. Rich in fiber and potassium. Red and orange peppers also have vitamin C.
Other alternatives that count to your fluid intake include: tomatoes, zucchini, lettuce, watermelon, cantaloupe, and celery. There is also some merit to including other beverages for hydration! Tea, Coffee, and coconut water are possible alternatives in moderation.
No matter the warm summer months or cold winter months, staying hydrated is a year-round responsibility. Avoid the monotony of the water bottle and try out some substitutes!
Test your hydration level!
Next time you are in the bathroom, take a look at your urine color. Check out or an ideal level 👇🏽
Steven Limbrunner, ATC || Steve is a Certified Athletic Trainer out of Normal, IL and is Work Right’s resident foodie chef. He has worked in youth sports, high school, college, clinic settings and now the industrial setting. He is passionate about motivating people to take care of themselves through preventative exercise. When he’s not at work he enjoys working out, cooking, and golfing.
Be sure to check out our other blogs for further injury prevention education and tips for the industrial athlete from Work Right NW!