A heat related illness occurs when the body is not able to regulate, or control, its temperature. If left untreated, a heat illness can lead to serious complications, even death. If detected and treated early, however, most serious problems can be avoided.
The American College of Sports Medicine's 1996 Position Stand, "Exercise and Fluid Replacement" and the Gatorade Sport Science Institute (1997) generally recommend the following:
• Drink at least 32 oz. two hours before exercise
• Drink 16 oz. 15 minutes before exercise
• Drink 4-8 oz. every 15 minutes during exercise to replace sweat
• Drink 24 oz. for every 1 pound of body weight deficit post-activity
• Overall, an individual should drink 10-12 cups (80-96 oz.) daily
Rule of Thumb from USA Football: Take half of your body weight and drink that in ounces per day. Start when you wake up and create a hydration schedule that keeps you on track, but remember, it doesn’t include what you lose during a workout, so you have to replenish that as well.
Example: If you weigh 100 pounds (100/2=50), your hydration target is 50 ounces per day, not including rehydrating after practice.
Ü Use the Urine Color Chart to determine if you are getting enough water.
Be Aware of Supplements
• Research has shown supplements use can raise blood pressure, speed heart rate and contribute to dehydration.
• Products containing ephedrine contribute to fatal heart rhythm difficulties, heat related illnesses, stroke, and seizures.
• Ephedrine raises the body's heat production and body temperatures and increases the risk of developing heat illnesses.
• Supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As a result, nutritional labels may be inconsistent.
• Creatine may be linked to muscle cramping if working out in the heat of the day.
• Use ice towels
• Use cold tub
• Wear light-weight clothing
Ü Notify a Medical Professional if experiencing any signs of dehydration and heat illness.