With a huge physical demand, long shouts at a moment’s notice and regular, high-endurance physical activity a part of day-to-day life, firefighters are constantly putting pressure on their bodies. So staying hydrated is of huge importance in the service.

Here, The Charity’s Health Improvement Lead, Dr Greg Lessons, shares some top facts and tips to stay hydrated on the job:

  1. Approximately 60% of the human body is water. We should drink about 6-8 glasses of fluid each day – but this can be from a variety of drinks
  2. Teas and coffee can count (in moderation), although it is recommended to consume them without sugar, honey or syrups (zero/low calorie sweetener is fine)
  3. Milk Is a useful source of nutrients including calcium, iodine, B vitamins and protein. Adults and older children should choose lower-fat varieties
  4. Sugar-free drinks provide fluid without extra calories. In contrast, drinks like squashes and fizzy drinks are acidic, which can harm teeth
  5. Fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies provide some vitamins and minerals, however, they also contain free sugars so should be limited to one small glass (150ml) per day. This counts as a maximum of one portion of your 5-a-day
  6. Sugary drinks have been linked with obesity, type 2 diabetes and tooth decay. These drinks should be consumed very rarely
  7. Sports drinks can be high in free sugar and are generally only useful if training at high intensity for over an hour
  8. Energy drinks can be high in free sugar and may contain high levels of caffeine and other stimulants. These drinks should be consumed very rarely (if ever)
  9. Alcohol is a diuretic which causes greater fluid loss leading to dehydration. 14 units of alcohol per week is the maximum recommended safe limit. This should be spread evenly over 3 or more days
  10. Feeling thirsty is usually a sign of dehydration, therefore regular fluid intake is recommended throughout each day. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty