Staying hydrated while you drive isn’t just good for your body. It will keep you – and every around you on the roads – safer. Dehydration can result in sluggishness, confusion, even dizziness; and recent studies have shown that dehydrated drivers make twice as many mistakes behind the wheel as properly hydrated drivers. Follow these steps to stay healthy and safe on your next road trip.
Most of you probably read the article title and immediately guessed water. If so, you were half right. Maybe even more than half. Drinking water is the single best thing you can do to maintain proper hydration. Soda and other caffeinated beverages may quench your thirst, but they increase your chances of dehydration.
Most doctors recommend adults drink at least 64 ounces of water a day, but that’s a minimum. A better estimate is to divide your body weight in half. So if you weigh 190 pounds, go for 95 ounces a day.
Skip the Sports Drink
If you were thinking of grabbing a sports drink at your next stop, you might want to think again. Those are great if you’re a high-endurance athlete and need to quickly replenish your electrolytes mid-game. But for the rest of us, all that sugar adds up, and the additional potassium and sodium can have adverse effects on our bodies, even leading to kidney stones—which, we’re assuming, are no fun on the road.
Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables
That’s right, maintaining proper hydration isn’t just about drinking more. Your body needs electrolytes to maintain hydration. Bananas, strawberries, cucumbers, and artichokes are full of electrolytes, fit well in a small cooler, and can easily be added to any meal. Or enjoy them all on their own for a healthy, hydrating snack.
Add a Touch of Salt
While your body doesn’t need as much sodium as they pack into sports drinks, it does need some. Grabbing a bagel with peanut butter, or even a small handful of pretzels (not the whole bag!), will help replenish the sodium your body natural uses up throughout the day.
Drink Your Milk
All those ads you saw as a kid about milk doing your body good weren’t just slick marketing, they were true. Along with being a great source of protein, milk is full of electrolytes, including calcium, sodium, and potassium. So wash down your bagel and banana lunch with a nice, cold glass of milk.