Have you ever thought about fueling your truck with a solid fuel? In the past, solid fuels were used to create power.Think back to the steam engine, and heating a boiler with coal. Fortunately, today'...
Have you ever thought about fueling your truck with a solid fuel? In the past, solid fuels were used to create power.
Think back to the steam engine, and heating a boiler with coal. Fortunately, today’s engines are more sophisticated and efficient.
Current vehicles use an engine that requires liquid fuel (and thankfully, less manual labour).
The liquid fuel is composed of many different molecules that your engine requires to fire properly, but it is the liquid that allows these molecules to flow to the proper places.
If we took the same molecules out of diesel or gasoline, and put them into the engine in a dry form, they would be ineffective.
The liquid portion of fuel allows these molecules to flow to the appropriate area in the engine and to be used properly.
It is the same for people. Although our fuel source is primarily solid food, we cannot get the benefit from food without liquids. Just think, if you put a dry cracker (containing only one per cent water) into your mouth, does it stay dry?
By the time you swallow it, it is a ball of mush. Why? Your body has added its own water – saliva.
Otherwise, you could not get the energy, or nutrients out of the cracker. It is really surprising how much our body depends on water to work properly. About 60 per cent of an adult body is composed of water – inside and around cells.
Why is water so important? Because it’s used for transporting almost everything within your body.
What carries oxygen to the cells and carbon dioxide away? Blood, which is mainly water.
What carries antibodies to fight infection and disease? Lymph, again mainly water.
What carries most of the vitamins to keep cells healthy? Water.
What transports poisons, such as ammonia, out of the body? Urine, which is mostly water.
The list goes on, but you see the relationship. If you aren’t drinking two litres of water each day, you are seriously reducing the effectiveness of your machine.
Although your body needs about three litres a day, you don’t have to drink that entire amount. You can expect to get about one litre from your food.
Vegetables and fresh fruit (not dried, such as raisins) are good sources of water. Most other foods contain water as well, although at different percentages.
As you can imagine – crackers have very little water, and oil has none. Of course, drinks are almost entirely water. But watch the coffee, the caffeine acts as a diuretic, and may cause you to get rid of more water than you take in.
Because your drinking schedule is often determined by the location of the next coffee shop, I recommend you keep a two-litre bottle of water in your truck at all times.
This will be a simple gauge – if you finish it in a day, you have consumed enough water. Buy another one, or just fill the empty one for the next day.
Be careful, on a very hot day, two litres will not be enough. More sweat, more water.
Sometimes, especially in the evening, you may feel hungry, but often your body is actually signaling that it needs more water.
Reach for your water bottle, you will probably find that a few swallows of water will satisfy that hungry feeling (and improve the waistline, too).
If you don’t take in enough water, your body starts sucking it out of your cells in order to continue transporting materials.
This is when dehydration sets in. How does your body let you know you need water?
There are no water level gauges on the dash, and your engine is not going to start stalling. But these are some signs:
Thirst is the first signal. If your blood gets a bit concentrated, it causes your mouth to feel dry. So, you take a drink. When your stomach feels full, you stop. But this may not be enough.
If you have put off drinking for a long period of time, you should drink some more as soon as that full feeling passes.
It takes a while for your body to take those water molecules from your stomach and send them where they belong.
If you don’t respond to your thirst, you may become dehydrated. The signs of dehydration in the order they occur are thirst, weakness, exhaustion, and, in extreme cases, delirium and death.
For most people, the first three signs are minor and easily remedied, but for a truck driver, exhaustion can cause accidents leading to injury or death – for you or others.
For a trucker, sufficient water intake is essential.
Most people don’t realize how necessary water is.
Water aids in regulating our body temperature.
It also lubricates our joints, eyes and spinal cord.
Without water, the foods we eat can’t be used.
Without water, the poisons can’t be excreted.
Reduced water equals reduced health.
So, put that two-litre bottle of water in your truck.
And make sure to always drink to your health. n
– Karen Bowen is a professional health and nutrition consultant and she can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.