One of the best pieces of advice for a professional trucker - or, indeed, someone in any job - is to stay hydrated. Just like a big rig, when you're running low on fluids, you're not operating at peak efficiency. However, many people may try to hydrate in ways that aren't ideal, so it's always a good idea to review which beverages will be best for helping you stay alert behind the wheel.
Here's a quick review of some of the most common drinks truckers consume:
There is often a critical difference between fruit juice and juice cocktails or fruit drinks, according to CDL Life. The latter may be loaded with sugars that, while they won't dehydrate you, are nonetheless unhealthy for someone who spends hours a day seated in one place. Generally speaking, it's a good idea to check labels for calorie counts so you'll know exactly which drink you're considering will be the best for you.
Milk can be quite hydrating, and also provides truckers with critical proteins that they may not get otherwise, but here, too, it's important to real the labels, CDL Life advised. Some dairy drinks may be full of sugar, and while it's sometimes wise to drink chocolate milk (such as after a heavy workout), it's certainly not an all-the-time kind of beverage.
This is absolutely a kind of drink drivers should try to cut out, according to Truckers News. Even diet sodas aren't healthy for you, and they're not as hydrating as other options. It's not always easy to wean yourself off your soda addiction, but one of the best ways to do that and improve your hydration is to rely on seltzer, which replaces that fizzy feeling you get with soda, with none of the calories and still plenty of flavor.
It's hard to believe, but it's true: A recent study found that going too long without drinking water ended up making truckers perform about as well behind the wheel as drunk drivers, according to Fleet Owner. With that in mind, you should always have a jug of water on hand in your truck to make sure that whenever you're feeling a little parched, you have something that's perfectly healthy and energizing.
Coffee or energy drinks
Coffee has always been a standby for pro haulers because of the boost it provides, and specialized energy drinks that have become available in recent years are playing nearly as big a role these days. However, neither is particularly healthy, especially if the coffee comes a lot of sugar. Energy drinks are quite unhealthy, more so than soda in some cases. Replacing either with a strong brewed tea - iced or hot - would likely be a good idea.
Of course, you should try making beverage decisions based on your own tastes or needs, but steering clear of the sugary, processed drinks is almost always going to lead to better health outcomes. A little research - whether online or reading labels - should help you find a solution that works for you.
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