10 ways to beat the heat

  1. SPEED LOGO 3Col2Recognize Signs of Dehydration – Dark urine (similar to apple juice), loss of energy/fatigue, dizziness, light-headedness, chills, loss of coordination, cramps, headaches, nausea, and confusion
  2. Allow time to acclimatize – It takes 7-10 days for your body to get used to a climate.
  3. Weigh in, weigh out – A weight loss of 1.5% – 2% can significantly impair performance.
    • Record what you weigh before and after practice.
    • If you lost weight, it’s all sweat loss, and you need to drink 20-24 oz of fluid for each pound lost.
    • If you gained weight, you need to drink a little less the next practice.
  4. Drink up and keep fluids accessibleDon’t rely on thirst – If you’re “thirsty,” dehydration is already setting in.Don’t rely on thirst. If you’re “thirsty,” dehydration is already setting in.
    •  Before exercise – At least two hours before exercise hydrate with 17 to 20 oz of water or sports drink, followed by 7 to 10 oz 10 to 20 minutes before exercise.
    • During exercise – Consume 7 to 10 oz of water or sports drink every 15 to 20 minutes (16-32 oz per hour).
    • After exercise – Approximately 20 to 24 oz of water or sports drink should be consumed per pound of body weight lost during the activity, until two hours after exercise has finished.
  5. Don’t rely on thirst – If you’re “thirsty,” dehydration is already setting in.
  6. Sports drinks – fuel muscles, encourage drinking and promote hydration
  7. Drink it. Don’t pour it. – Water on your head is not the same as water in your body.
  8. Exercise in the morning or evening when weather is cool and sun exposure is less.
  9. Dress for the weather – Though slightly more expensive, moisture wicking clothes (such as, Under Armour, Nike Dri-Fit, Champion C9) keep you cool by pulling sweat away from your body.
  10. Break it up – Utilize frequent rest breaks until acclimatized.

 Do I need a “Sports Drink”? YES!!!!

  • Sports drinks contain carbohydrates, sodium and potassium. Water can help with dehydration but it does not provide energy (carbohydrates) for muscles or electrolytes (sodium and potassium) to reduce cramps. Sweating causes water and sodium loss through the skin.
  • Research shows that people will drink more of a sports drink than plain water, which promotes hydration thus reducing dehydration.
  • Water does not contain sodium, which is critical for helping maintain hydration and help nerves fire and muscles work. Sodium reduces the risk of cramps and helps increase blood flow to muscles and skin.
    • Compete longer before fatigue
    • More explosive power in the closing minutes
    • Faster sprints in the second half
    • Increased sprint capacity
    • More accuracy late in the game

What should I look for in a sports drink?

  • Carbohydrate – about 6% (14g/8oz. serving) for optimum fluid absorption and energy. Appropriate mixtures include sucrose, glucose, and fructose. Avoid drinks containing only fructose–too much slows fluid absorption and causes abdominal cramps.
  • Sodium, which stimulates fluid absorption, maintains the desire to drink, helps the body retain water, and enhances taste. Taste preferences change during and after exercise, such that we prefer slightly “salty” beverages.
  • No carbonation, which can cause stomach discomfort.
  • No caffeine, which can promote dehydration.
  • “Energy drinks” are not meant to be consumed before
  • Muscle Cramps – Result from the trifecta of salt depletion, dehydration, and muscle fatigue. If you are a “salty sweater” (sweat tastes salty, sweat stings your eyes, you have a white ring on dark clothes, and/or cramp often) you need extra salt throughout the day. Try eating pretzels, peanuts, soups, cheese pizza, etc to combat cramping. You may also need a sports drink with extra sodium. Bananas may help with potassium loss but they do not help replace sodium.
  • If you feel cramps coming on, stop activity, gently stretch and massage the cramped muscle. Ice application may be useful. And drink up!


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