How to eat well and be water wise on the mine site

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We all know what it’s like during busy days at work: often there’s not enough time to scratch yourself, let alone ensure you’re drinking enough water and eating properly. When you’re working on a mine site in 40C-plus summer temperatures though, good food and adequate water can mean all the difference between good times and dire days. In really hot conditions you can lose up to one litre of water an hour from sweating, and an overweight body is much harder to keep cool. So here’s the low-down on eating smart and upping your intake of fluids, from the experts at Kinetic Health...

Water wise

Water plays an enormous role in how well our body functions. (And by water we mean water alone – not the stuff mixed into Powerade, Coke, Diet Coke, juice, cordial, coffee, tea or beer. Just plain, old water!) Water contains no calories, cholesterol or fat. The other bonuses are that it’s cheap and readily available.

Water helps to:

  • Maintain muscle tone
  • Prevent lower back pain, migraines, asthma, cholesterol, neck pain and other complaints that may hinder our movement
  • Regulate body temperature and remove toxins and wasters keeping our insides healthy and our skin glowing
  • Digest and absorb food
  • Suppress appetite
  • Lubricate your joints
  • Encourage efficient kidney function
  • Combat dehydration, fatigue and heat stress
  • Increase your energy levels and help your body operate at full capacity

It is important to keep hydrated, especially in extreme conditions where you can lose up to one litre of fluid an hour from sweat and breathing hard. The minimum water intake recommendations are half a litre of fluid every half hour.

How much water is enough?

You can use any of these measures as an easy guide:

  • 5 x 2 litre bottle containers p/day
  • 10 x 1 litre containers per day
  • 50 x 200ml cups per day

Note: The condition of your body and the area where you work, as well as the temperature will affect how much water you should drink.

Tips to increase your intake

  • Have a water bottle with you always – at your desk, in the car. You don’t have to refill it as many times as a cup.
  • Have a drink of water before work. Drink it at breakfast, or in the vehicle on the way to work. That way you’ll be topped up from the get go.
  • Drink water with each meal. Go easy on the cordial, juice and soft drinks.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine as these in fact make you more dehydrated.

Tips on eating smart during summer

It can be difficult at times, sticking to a healthy eating plan while on-site. But the simple fact is, the more body fat you are carrying, the harder your body will have work to keep cool.

Here are some basic principles of weight loss, weight gain and weight maintenance:

  • If you put in more energy (calories) than you burn = weight gain
  • If you use more energy (calories) than you put in = weight loss
  • If you burn as much energy (calories) as you put in = weight maintenance

Your dinner plate: the 50:25:25 rule

Think of your round dinner plate. How do you normally fill it? Maybe two-thirds steak casserole with a few carrot sticks? Or maybe a plateful of pasta with creamy sauce?

Try following the 50:25:25 rule: fill half your plate (50%) with salads and vegetables; one quarter of it (25%) with protein (including meat, cheese, etc.) and the other quarter (25% with carbohydrates (bread, pasta, potatoes, etc.).

This way you can enjoy all the foods you like and avoid overload.

Portion control

Think about the food you eat for dinner. It might all be healthy food, but there might just be too much of it – leading ultimately to weight gain. You can enjoy all the foods you like without gaining weight by looking at the quantity of certain foods you are eating.

Know when enough is enough

Don’t feel obliged to eat all that is in front of you. Assess your own feeling of fullness and stop when you’ve had enough.

Try and avoid biscuits, cakes, lollies and sugary drinks during morning/afternoon tea. Instead opt for fresh fruit, yoghurt, muesli bars, a sandwich, or some fruit and nut mix, and enjoy a biscuit or slice of cake every now and then on a special occasion (if you eat these type of ‘extra’ foods it’s inevitable that you’ll start to gain it in body weight).

More expert advice on health and wellbeing

Got a health and fitness question? click here.

Borne of the merger of Gemini Medical Services and Prime Health Group, Kinetic Health boasts almost 50 years of combined experience in corporate medicine. With a national network of wholly owned medical clinics, a vast array of occupational health services, and the expertise and capacity to deliver in remote as well as metropolitan locations, Kinetic Health are the "Go To People" for corporate and community healthcare. Proudly Australian, their understanding of customer needs ensures they are proactive and decisive in their approach to corporate medicine. They're passionate about the health of your business – and about the people within it. They deliver healthcare to large and small corporate and community groups through for key service offerings: Safety & Training; Health & Wellness; Onsite Medicals; and Clinical Services. For more information visit or call 1300 793 004.