No substitute for water to keep you well hydrated

When you’re racing to get a load delivered on time, staying hydrated might not be the first thing on your mind. Drink too much, and you’ll have to either stop several times or come up with another solution …

But even in the midst of your hectic schedule on the road, you must drink water — and lots of it. As you set out each day or after every break, have a plan for how you will get your requisite (stick to that old rule of eight 8-ounce glasses a day, or more if you’re very active when not driving) amounts of water. Know that you’ll get 40 ounces from this, 8 ounces from that, etc. Below are some tips about hydration.

• Keep a water bottle in your cab. Yes, this is an obvious one, but I recommend purchasing a reusable, BPA-free bottle. Bisphenol A is a chemical used in many plastic bottles, and recently doctors have raised concerns about that chemical’s affect on health. Save the concern, and get a 40-ouncer, such as Kleen Kanteen ( Keep it filled and ready to go in your fridge, and you’ve already gotten five of those eight glasses.

• Add flavor to your water. If you hate the taste of unflavored water, try buying bottles of real lemon or lime juice, not imitation. These containers will keep fresh longer than the fruits themselves. Squeeze in a few drops at a time, shake and add more to taste.

• Don’t count caffeinated drinks toward your total. As a personal rule, if I drink two cups of coffee a day, I’ll add two extra cups of water to my daily total.

• Avoid sugary drinks such as sports drinks and sodas. The sugar in those drinks has no health benefits. Also, if you’re not very active while not driving, the sodium and potassium in sports drinks is completely unnecessary. Water is cheaper and better for you.