Hydration and business travel in the heat

Hydration is always a challenge when travelling on business, especially when there is a heatwave.   The northern hemisphere summer has been super-hot, but work must go on.  Travelling for business can be tough when we start to swelter.   Fatigue, headaches and dizziness are the first signs that we are drying up.

The time is right for a re-cap on staying hydrated.

Getting Thirsty

Thirsty is the message from our brain signalling that our body is short of fluid.  It’s hard to avoid getting thirsty on a hot day, but good to recognise that if we feel thirsty we are already fluid deficient.

To Glug or to Sip?

Sipping water is the best way to stay hydrated.  It’s cheap and free from sugars and acids that can damage our teeth.

On an average cool day, we need about 1.5 litre fluid, but when it’s hot and especially if we’re active, this can rise to 4 litre per day.  It helps to have a variety to keep up a large fluid intake.

Tea, coffee, infusions, juices, cordials and sodas will all aid hydration, but if we take lots of little sips of a sweet or acidic drink, the environment in our mouth will be corrosive for an extended period of time.  Sodas and sweet drinks need to be drunk in one hit.

Is Water Always Enough?

If we have become dehydrated then water alone is very slow to absorb.  Research on athletes revealed that a dilute sugar solution of around 6g/100ml gives the fastest active uptake of fluid.  Sports drinks, which also contain the minerals excreted in sweat, are designed specifically for this purpose.  On a very hot day, if travel for work has made us hot and thirsty, this is a great option.

In the past, a 5-6% sugar solution was only to be found in sports drinks or home diluted cordials.  Fizzy drinks tended to have around 10 – 13% sugar content which also gives a slower hydration rate, and a huge sugar hit.  Since the introduction of the UK Sugary Drinks Levy, many sodas (but not the original Coke and Pepsi products) have now been reformulated and contain around 6% sugar solution with added artificial sweetener to maintain the very sweet taste.  Generally, I wouldn’t recommend these drinks, but cold fizzy lemonade is very easy to access when we are on the move and if it prevents a dehydration headache, it’s worth compromising on our healthy food regime.  Check the labelling to be certain.

What to Avoid?

Salty food needs extra fluid to help our kidneys excrete it.  Salty snacks are a hazard.

Alcoholic drinks – while obviously the more dilute the better, it is actually the total amount of alcohol consumed which matters.  Alcohol reduces our production of the hormone which allows our body to hold onto fluid and remain hydrated.  With less anti-diuretic hormone, we make more urine, however much fluid we consume, the more alcohol we drink, the more we are at risk of becoming dehydrated.

Caffeinated drinks are fine, it’s virtually impossible to get enough caffeine to cause dehydration and they are often a welcome source of fluid.

Whatever our mode of travel for business, it always pays to plan ahead and carry and re-fill our own water bottle.  Some modern airports, railway stations and roadside services now provide water fountains as part of their amenities.  You’ll usually find them next to the toilets.  Other airports offer free or subsidised bottles of water, such as Ireland.  Some cafes, such as Gatwick Nando’s and Yo! Sushi offers free refills or unlimited water so to reduce plastic bottle waste.

© 2018 Executive Travel Vitality

 

Keeping Hydrated en route is no longer as problematic as it once was.

Collapsible cups and bottles have become a popular trend for saving the environment.  Equally these collapsible items are great for travelling.

Choose from the selection below for hot beverage cups and cold drink bottles.

Uarter Coffee Cup Collapsible Silicone Travel Mug Reusable Folding BPA Free With Lids Portable Fit Pockets Backpack 12OZ 350ML, BlueMeyon Large Collapsible Coffee Cup [520ml] | Eco Friendly, Reusable, BPA-Free Silicone Travel Mug for Hot & Cold Drinks | Foldable & Expandable Drinking Cup with Leakproof Lid    Valourgo Collapsible Water Bottle - BPA Free Silicone Leak Proof Portable Travel Water Bottle for Camping/Outdoor/Hiking, 550ml  Imikoko Collapsible Water Bottle, 750ML/26oz BPA Free Sports Travel Bottles FDA Approved Portable Leak Proof Silicone Drink Bottle Folding Reusable for Traveler Walking Camping Hiking

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Author: Carol Sadler PhD
Carol is a Nutrition Consultant. She counsels in diet and lifestyle change at Surrey Cardiovascular Clinic where clients have been referred by the clinic cardiologists. Prior to this Carol worked in private practice in Dubai for nine years, where she had various media engagements including Emirates Radio 2 Lifestyle Show monthly ‘phone-in’ on nutrition topics; Gulf News Friday Magazine (weekend supplement) monthly nutrition letter answered; City7 TV appearances on Breakfast Television and Lifestyle Show commenting on nutrition topics. Contributions to local magazines, and organizations, eg Rheumatoid Arthritis Group, Grazia Magazine, Living in the Gulf magazine. She continues to write nutrition articles and blogs, recently writing for Reader’s Digest, and HASTE Academy heart health charity and provides talks on diet issues. Carol is a member of The Nutrition Society, a Registered Nutritionist at the Association for Nutrition, Registration No. 912 and a member of SENSE (self employed consultant Nutritionists group for professional development).

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