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Dehydration

Driving Tips

Dehydration

Dehydration is one of the most common preventable medical conditions in the world. Yet for something so common, most of us are unaware of its dangers.
 

The Facts 

  • Research shows lack of hydration can cause as many driving accidents as alcohol [1]
  • Company car and van drivers that fail to keep themselves sufficiently hydrated make as many mistakes on the road as drink or drug-drivers according to a new study [2]
  • The body loses and needs to replace approximately 2-3 litres of water daily
  • Dehydration causes fatigue. You’re much more likely to feel tired if you’re not adequately hydrated
  • Dehydration triggers the body’s thirst response. So when you feel thirsty, dehydration is already setting in and the effects on concentration will already be evident


The Advice

  • Keep hydrated – It seems obvious to say, but it’s very easy to forget to be drinking water while on the road.  Make sure to have the recommended amount of water in your vehicle at the start of your journey and drink the water in equal quantities during each break from driving
  • The European Food Safety Authority recommends that women should drink about 1.6 litres of fluid a day, and men should drink about 2.0 litres of fluid. That’s about eight glasses of 200ml for a woman, and 10 glasses of 200ml for a man 
  • Plain water is always a sensible choice, but other options like juice, tea, and milk can do the trick too. Evencoffee coffee can give you the fluids you need, along with a caffeine jolt to help your focus. A common misconception is that coffee causes dehydration, it is however unlikely that coffee causes your body to lose more fluids than it provides. “There’s some evidence that if a beverage contains very large quantities of caffeine, eg more than ‚Äč400 mg, which might be found in some very strong coffees, then the body will retain less of the fluid in the beverage” [3]. But that still doesn’t make it dehydrating


Sources [1] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/11547199/Not-drinking-enough-water-has-same-effect-as-drink-driving.html [2] Loughborough University – Professor Ron Maughan [3] Phil Watson, PhD

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