Environmental Health & Safety: Hydration

Jeff Mlekush, Coordinator Safety Operations

Water is important to your health and well-being. Water helps regulate your body temperature, lubricates and cushions your joints, and protects your spinal cord. It removes waste products from your body through urination, perspiration, and bowel movements.

Did you know that during strenuous exercise or work in high temperatures, our bodies can lose 2 to 3 liters of water per hour? If you don’t replenish the loss, you may become dehydrated. Dehydration can cause unclear thinking, mood changes, overheating and could lead to constipation and kidney stones.

So, how do you know how hydrated you are? One easy way is to look at the color of your urine. The color can be assessed and compared to the accompanying chart. The higher the number or darker the color, the greater the degree of hydration. Colors 4 and greater indicate dehydration.

Tips to Drink More Water

  • Carry a water bottle with you and refill it throughout the day.
  • Freeze water in a freezer safe bottle. Then you can enjoy ice-cold water all day.
  • Drink water instead of sugary drinks.
  • Choose water when eating out.
  • Serve water during meals at your home.
  • Add a lime or lemon wedge to flavor your water. This can help improve the taste and help you drink more water than you usually do.

Please keep these tips in mind as we go into the hot Oklahoma summer. Stay safe and well hydrated!