Hydration Matters: How To Beat The Heat This Summer While Moving

Hydration Matters: How To Beat The Heat This Summer While Moving

Okay, here we go again! We’re in another scorching summer and whether you're a professional mover or a DIY guy or gal, the heat will treat you the same. Let’s talk about summertime heat, humidity, the effects on people working in the heat, and what can be done to stay hydrated and avoid a trip to the hospital.

It’s a well known fact that Texas heat is an absolute beast during the summer months due to its geographical location by being in the center, in the south, and close to the Gulf of Mexico. But regardless of location, keep in mind that understanding what your body is telling you is super important to keeping you healthy. 

Impact of the high temperatures

No shock that the heat's impact on the human body’s hydration while moving can be extreme. Here are some of the typical reactions:

  • Heat causes the body to sweat more profusely as it tries to regulate its temperature, leading to increased fluid loss.
  • Evaporation of sweat from the skin's surface is essential for cooling down, but it also depletes the body's water reserves.
  • Prolonged exposure to high temperatures can result in rapid dehydration, especially if fluid intake is insufficient.

Combine the summer months with a high exertion activity like moving household belongings and furniture and it’s very easy to become dehydrated and increase heat related health risks.

Some of the symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Thirst and/or dry mouth
  • Dark colored urine
  • Fatigue and dizziness
  • Headaches and muscle cramps
  • Confusion and inability to focus

When dehydration becomes severe, it can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke, which are serious medical emergencies that can lead to hospitalization.

So how can you deal with the heat and still get the job done? By following some basics of What? When? And Where? 

First, what to hydrate with:

  • Water is your best friend.
  • Gatorade, or Liquid IV stick packs that can be easily added to water are great add-ons to water.
  • Soda and diet soda or energy drinks are NOT your friend in the heat, as caffeine actually acts as a diuretic, pulling moisture out of your body, and the sugar makes the water in these beverages harder to absorb.
  • Beer and/or other alcoholic beverages are really bad for your hydration. Never on the job, but even after the job is done, be careful as these drinks can impact the following days’ activities and hydration levels.

Then, when to hydrate:

  • Hydrating after you’re thirsty is too late and it takes multiple days to get and stay hydrated
  • On average, the recommended guideline is to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily, but with the exertion that comes with moving during the summer, that amount needs to be more, and combined with electrolyte replacement.
  • Start before work, and continue to drink fluids at regular intervals, advisable to do stops every 30 minutes to one hour.  Alternating water and electrolyte drinks will help the body pull the hydration into your body faster and keep your stomach from getting upset by doing too much water or too much Gatorade in a short period of time.

Finally, where to hydrate:

  • Keep it close. If you’re a professional, having coolers with water and/or Gatorade at the ready in the back of the truck, and/or stick packs that can be added to water in the cab is a great way to ensure the crew will be in good shape.
  • For the DIY mover, same logic. Keep it close and accessible, as it is very easy to lose track of time and not stay on a hydration schedule.
  • It starts with the home and ends with the home.  Hydrate early at home, during the move, and again at home in the evening.

It is extremely easy to lose 5-10 lbs. of water weight during the course of a day while moving, and your body will let you know by cramping and tiring out.

 Keeping yourself hydrated and your professional crew or your friends just helping out hydrated will help keep everyone healthy and prevent downtime due to the heat. As an added benefit, water helps with digestion and turning foods into energy to keep the move fueled. Drink lots, avoid the hospital, and keep on moving.

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