Heat Illness

heat illness

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE. With my training, I’m interested in biomechanics to avoid injuries. I read « Sport Medicine Media Guide » and I learned some good stuff.

Every summer, hundreds of people experience sun-related illnesses and heat. Being prepared and hydrated avoids theses situations.

Why

When an athlete exercises, his/her body temperature increase and the body sweats to cool the body. During this process, body fluids and electrolytes are lost. If the boy is not recharged with fluids and electrolytes, it’s dehydration and it increase the risk of heat illness as a heat stroke.

Symptoms

Symptoms are :

  • Chills

  • Dark colored urine

  • Dry mouth

  • Headaches

  • Thirst

  • Weakness

If the heat illness progress, there are more serious symptoms like :

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Body temperature increasing to dangerous levels

  • Muscle cramps

  • Nausea

  • Tingling of the limbs

  • Death

How to prevent

The most effective treatments for heat illness are :

  • Proper training for the heat

  • Fluid replacement before, during, and after exertion

  • Appropriate clothing (light colored, loose fitting and limited to one layer)

  • Early recognition via direct monitoring of athlete by other players, coaches and medical staff

  • Monitoring the intensity of physical activity appropriate for fitness and how an athlete has acclimated to conditions.

  • If possible, having an athletic trainer on site during events and practices to properly prevent and treat heat illnesses.

In situations where the training program is intense or during a trip in a hot climate, an athlete should limit the intensity and duration of the training session. Thereafter, the athlete will increase the training’s intensity for a period of 7-14 days to allow to the body, the time to adjust to the climate and environmental conditions. For athletes with respiratory, gastrointestinal or other diseases, they should especially evaluate these new conditions.

When an athlete should hydrate

hydrate

It’s necessary to hydrate before, during and after a training session. Drinking 47cl (16 ounces) of water is recommended 1 hour before exercises. Hydration should continue with 11-23cl (4-8 ounces) of water every 15-20 minutes throughout the effort

There is a trick to track the hydration’s level is to weigh before and after a physical activity. If the athlete is lighter after a physical activity, this means that there a deficit of fluids (indicated by weight loss) and it’s necessary to recharge them. For the next physical activity, it will be essential to drink more to evaluate the losses (perspiration). An athlete who loses more than 2-3% of his/her bodyweight during exercise may decrease the performance and the body’s physiological function.

If the athlete is heavier after a physical activity, it means that there is a surplus of fluids (indicated by gain weight). For the next physical activity, it will be essential to drink less to evaluate the surplus.

How to treat it

When you see signs of heat illness or heat stroke, it may be an imminent danger of death. It’s necessary that a person immediately call for medical assistance while you’re cooling the person at risk.

Treatment included :

  • Getting the athlete to a shaded area

  • If it heat stroke, cool the athlete rapidly using cold water immersion. If immersion is not available you may use spray from a hose, cold water sponging, or placing cold towels over the entire body

  • Monitoring body temperature

  • Providing cool beverage if possible (i.e., if the athlete doesn’t have altered consciousness).

  • Getting medical assistance as soon as possible.

Heat exhaustion is a type of heat illness that can happen after several days of exposure to high temperature and improper or unbalanced fluid recharging.

Statistics

  • Heat stroke is a type of serious illness related to heat. It can cause death to athletes and this is probably the leading cause of athlete death during the months of July and August.

  • The body produces 1.8 liters (a half of gallon) of perspiration to cool the body every hour. If there are not enough fluids or the heat is overwhelming the body, the person may develop heat-related illness.

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food, click here.

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Drinking Water But How Much

drink water

I read a Nerd Fitness article  and I wanted to share this with you.

As you know we have to drink water to stay hydrated but how much ?

8 glasses of water per day

8 glasses of water

Water is good for you. A big part of your body is composed of water and you lose your fluids with your bodily functions (sweat, urine, etc.). Drinking water helps you to restore your fluid reserves.

Drink 8 glasses of water a day isn’t a rule. The truth is that there is no real evidence that this is the right amount.

We are all unique and we need different amounts of water ! A person who exercises regularly will need more water than a person doing less exercise regularly. There is not a single amount that works for all of the world.

Where did this figure of « 8 glasses of water a day ». Nobody knows. According to Snopes

Back in 1945 the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council stated that adults should take in about 2.5 liters of water per day (which is roughly the equivalent of eight glasses of water), but it also noted most of that intake level was already satisfied through the consumption of food without the need for the additional drinking of water.

It’s true that you consume a significant amount of water in your food. A large percentage of our body is made of water, a large percentage of the planet is made of water and it’s the same thing for food. (Fruits, vegetables, meat).

There is also something else to drink such as tea, coffee, milk, juice and alcohol.

How much water

how much water

Honestly ? Drink when you’re thirsty, it’s simple. Thirst is an excellent indicator of when you should drink more water. You think cats, dogs, elephants are concerned about whether they are hydrated. No ! They drink water when their body thirst.

If you are one of those who need more information, you can look at your urine’s color. With this chart  according to of your urine’s color, you will know your hydration’s level.

Now, what are the dehydration’s signs according to the National Institute of Health (USA) :

  • A feeling of thirst

  • Dry or sticky mouth

  • Low production of urine or the urine is dark yellow

  • Sunken eyes

  • Lethargy

Yes, severe dehydration can create big problems, even coma.

Now you’ll tell me : « If I feel thirsty, it’s too late, I’m already dehydrated ! ». You’re right, this is why you must drink water.

Coffee

cofee

There is the myth that drinking coffee dehydrates. It’s true that drinking caffeinated beverages expel more water than you consume. Caffeine is a mild diuretic but the body is very smart and because all drinks are composed almost entirely of water, it compensates the effects.

This is explained in this study 

Ingestion of caffeine in large doses (at least 250-300 mg, equivalent to the amount found in 2-3 cups of coffee or 5-8 cups of tea) results in a short-term stimulation of urine output in individuals who have been deprived of caffeine for a period of days or weeks. A profound tolerance to the diuretic and other effects of caffeine develops, however, and the actions are much diminished in individuals who regularly consume tea or coffee. Doses of caffeine equivalent to the amount normally found in standard servings of tea, coffee and carbonated soft drinks appear to have no diuretic action.

Alcohol

Same thing. Alcohol has diuretic properties. Alcohol causes dehydration when it is consumed beyond the recommended levels.

What to do

what to do

Water allows you to keep functional properties of your body so drink water when you have a feeling of thirst. Drink water before a meal can help you to avoid overeating. If it works for you, continue.

  • Drink when you have a feeling of thirst

  • If your urine is a darker color than the normal color, drink more water. If your urine is a brighter color than the normal color, drink less water.

  • Stop stressing about your dehydration intellectually

Do you have other questions about water ?

-Steph

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