Given the frenetic unpredictability Mother Nature has exhibited this summer and last — essentially since the start of the 2010s — the dangers of heat stroke in the construction trades, roofing in particular, are real. 

Remembering to hydrate is a forethought exercise since, axiomatically, your body is already in dehydration mode by the time you “feel” thirsty. A recent news broadcast on KOTV in Tulsa, Okla., offered a unique hydration ‘hack’ one roofing contractor firm employed to ensure roofers stay internally quenched.

Solid Roofing, a residential roofing concern based in Broken Arrow, Okla., took the extraordinary step of providing intravenous drip fluid hydration to its workers during the height of the Great Plains heat wave that blanked the region last month.

"Our guys are basically sitting in a microwave," Mikey Uphold of Solid Roofing told the CBS affiliate during a field interview.

The company contracted with a mobile IV hydration therapy company called Hydrate You IV Therapy and set up a refueling station to ensure worker safety. A medical tech with the company, Jacob Rodriguez, also a paramedic, said the solution contains minerals and vitamins like magnesium, zinc and B-complex vitamins. 

IV - Saline.png“From a boost in your immune system, mental clarity, it kinda helps with brain fog if you have any of that,” Rodriguez said. “As well, as well as things like athletic performance.”

Uphold said that the weather extremes, particularly the oppressive heat that settled over much of the country this summer, was a driver for Solid Roofing in hiring a mobile IV service. “When it's 100 plus degrees every single day in Oklahoma, and we've got crews that are up on the roof and their working, we want to make sure everybody is safe,” Uphold said.

And he noted that he’s seen a night and day difference with his crews. 

“So if we had a choice between 'Yeah, this could work' or 'this guarantees that they're going to be better and they're going to be able to feel better and at the same time be safe to drive home,’ we wanted to go with the best option,” Uphold noted.”

Hydration, of course, is essential for your body to function properly, helping regulate body temperature, lubricate joints, transport nutrients and oxygen, flush out toxins, and prevent infections. Dehydration, on the other hand, can cause headaches, fatigue, muscle cramps, dizziness, confusion, and even heat stroke.

IV 3 - NAD.pngIV therapy is a procedure that delivers fluids, electrolytes, vitamins, and medications directly into the bloodstream through a vein in one’s arm or hand. It bypasses the digestive system and allows the body to absorb more fluids faster than drinking them.

Nor is IV therapy a new concept: It’s been used for decades in hospitals and emergency rooms to treat patients with severe dehydration, blood loss, infections, or other conditions. In recent years, IV therapy has become more accessible and popular among the general public, especially those looking for a quick and easy way to hydrate and recover from various situations.

Some people use IV therapy to cure hangovers, fight jet lag, enhance beauty, and improve athletic performance. And, as the news report indicated, a burgeoning industry of mobile IV services now offers on-site service to homes, hotels and even construction sites to administer IV fluids on demand.

The service Uphold chose, Hydrate You IV Therapy, based in Oklahoma City, offers more than a half-dozen ‘bespoke’ fluids ranging in price from $100 for straight-up saline to $400 for the “Megalodon,” which contains vitamin C, Glutathione, Zinc, B-complex vitamins, magnesium and B-12. There is also the NAD+IV concoction that varies in price depending on dosage but can cost up to $1,000 per bag.

IV 4 - Megaladon.pngWhile IV therapy can help stay hydrated on the construction job site, it’s neither commonplace nor practical regularly. Therefore, lest one fear being labeled a Luddite, the safest bet is to ensure hydration is not an afterthought. The National Institutes of Health offers some practical hydration tips for those not on the cutting edge: 

  • Drink at least 64 ounces of water per day
  • Drink more water before, during, and after working in hot or humid conditions
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, or sugary drinks that can dehydrate you
  • Eat foods that contain water, such as fruits, vegetables, soups, and yogurt
  • Wear loose-fitting and light-colored clothing that allows sweat to evaporate
  • Take frequent breaks in shaded or cool areas
  • Monitor your urine color and volume to check your hydration status

IV therapy can be a helpful option for some workers who need a quick boost of hydration, but it should not be the only solution nor replace what’s been tied and true for thousands of years. Remember to drink plenty of water and fluids daily and listen to your body's needs.