woman with mask pulled down to drink from bottled water
Profiles and Features September 3, 2020

6 Ways to Stay Hydrated While On-the-Job

Finding ways to stay hydrated at work is one of the most important things you can do for yourself while on the job. 

From the minute your feet hit the halls of the nursing unit, you are on the go. 

Assessments, admissions, discharges, med passes, and more take up your physical and emotional energy. 

As a result, many nurses find it challenging to find time for self-care, even to the extent of just staying hydrated.

Your body works best when hydrated. According to the study Water, Hydration and Health, water, or its lack (dehydration) can influence cognition. 

Mild levels of dehydration can create changes in your mood and ability to think clearly, which will in turn lower your overall nursing effectiveness.

For RNs knowing the best ways to stay hydrated is important for your physical and mental health.

[CHECK OUT all the high pay, short-term travel nursing jobs from NurseChoice.]

Best Ways To Stay Hydrated At Work

1. Bring a Water Bottle

You are a busy, on-the-go nurse. A reusable water bottle is a must have when exploring ways to stay hydrated. Keep the bottle close by during your shift. 

If you have a med-cart, keep it there. Or, if your central location is the nursing station, that is where you should keep it. 

Carrying a water bottle with you will eliminate the need to make multiple trips to the water fountain and will curb the urge buy an unhealthy soda or snacks.

2. Track Your Water Intake

If you want to stay hydrated, set a goal of how much water you want to drink per shift. You can keep track in your head, write it down, or use an app to remind you to drink throughout your time at work.

3. Avoid Dehydrating Drinks

Avoiding dehydration is as important as focusing on hydration, and perhaps counter-intuitively, there are some drinks that can actually contribute to dehydration. Such drinks would be any ones high in sugar. 

This is because sugar requires a lot of water for breakdown and metabolism, leading to dehydration. A soda may sound refreshing, but it leaves your body more dehydrated than before.

4. Infuse Your Water

If you find the taste of water bland or boring, try infusing your water with fruits or vegetables. This is one of the best ways to stay hydrated while adding great flavors and even some extra nutrients, too.

Add a bit of lemon or lime juice for a citrusy treat. You can also create delicious combinations by mixing fruits, vegetables, and even herbs. You can look up recipes for infused water online, where you will find all kinds of ideas.

5. Snack on Fruits and Vegetables

While water is the easiest way to stay hydrated, it is not the only way. Foods with high water content are good, too, so you can snack on fruits and vegetables throughout your shift to stay hydrated. 

Celery sticks, melon, cucumbers, or berries are all great means of hydration.

6. Double Up with Your Caffeine

Sometimes coffee or tea is needed, especially for night shift nurses, and it is okay if used in moderation. A great way to battle the dehydrating effects of caffeinated drinks is to couple it with your water. For every cup of coffee or tea, drink your bottle of water too.

Water helps your body and mind work its best. When you hydrate, exercise, and practice other self-care techniques, you will fight off nurse fatigue. Use these 6 best ways to stay hydrated at work and home.