1. Start conditioning & hydrating regularly, no less than 30 days prior to the start of practice. This gives your body time adjust to working out in the heat.
2. Weigh yourself before and after work outs or practice. You should never loose more than 7 lbs. after a workout or practice.
3. Absolutely NO intake of carbonated beverages (ex. Soda), drinks high in sugar (ex. Kool-aid and huggies), and absoulutely NO ENERGY DRINKS. Once you start conditioning; you should be drinking 16-32oz. of water and or sports drinks throughout the day. When you arrive at practice you should already be hydrated. DO NOT over do it, too much fluid can also be harmful. You should not have the feeling that your stomach is floating.
4. You should drink sports drinks (ex. Powerade, Gatorade) before and after practice not during. Sports drinks are used to replenish the body of electrolytes that are lost during activity. Athletes should only be drinking water during practice.
5. DO NOT wear "doo rags" or any type of head coverings besides a helmet during the hot summer months. These types of head coverings will only trap heat in your body. Your scalp has hundreds of thousands of sweat glands and pores that release body heat. If the pores are covered the heat will travel back down into your body to find a release point; which can result in your body over heating.
6. If you have been running a fever or suffering from diarrhea or vomiting, you need to tell your coach and NOT practice. You should be clear of all symptoms at least 48 hours before returning to the field.
7.Change your diet; eat salads and or baked foods during this time. Eat more fruits and vegetables; bananas are really great source of potassium which reduces cramps. Stay away from fried foods and foods high in saturated fats.
8. NEVER come to practice on an empty stomach; you should have eaten a healthy meal or healthy snack 2 hours before practice. You body needs energy to burn and that’s what healthy foods are, energy. If there’s none present in your body, the body will try to pull that energy from other places. This can result in passing out or dizziness.
9. Limit the layers of clothing your wear to practice; breathable clothing is highly recommended. Nike and Under Armor make excellent breathable shirts.
10. ANYTIME you suffer the following symptoms: nausea, blurred vision, headache, not sweating, dizziness or cold chills. Tell a coach or parent. These could be symptoms of heat stroke.
*It takes the body 10 -14 days to acclimate to working out in the heat. Acclimatization is complete when the body sweats sooner, loses less salt in the sweat and increases its blood flow to the skin to dissipate body heat.
**Symptoms of Heat Illness Associated with Dehydration:
Heat cramps: Painful cramps of the abdominal muscles, arms or legs. Heat syncope: Weakness, fatigue or fainting after exercising in heat. Heat exhaustion: Profuse sweating, fatigue, headache, dizziness, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, chills, weakness, excessive thirst, muscle aches and cramps, vision problems, flushing, agitation or irritability and sometimes unconsciousness. Heat Stroke: High body temperature (often it's 104F-105F or higher) and rising, nausea and vomiting; seizures; disorientation or delirium; hot, dry skin; shortness of breath; decreased urination; blood in urine or stool; unconsciousness; or coma.
***Heat stroke is an EMERGENCY; for a child, who appears to have a heat stroke, cool the body while awaiting the ambulance by removing clothing and placing ice bags on the neck, in the armpits and the groin areas. Fan the child and spray with cool water. If he is awake and able to swallow, give fluids. Get him to an emergency facility quickly.