Heat exhaustion prevention

This last weekend was pretty gnarly.  The heat in Texas was brutal…not quite as brutal as the Florida heat, but I digress.  Riders were tested physically and mentally racing where everything is bigger.  When the temperatures start to climb, the need to stay hydrated becomes even more important.  Many riders could not stand the heat and were exhausted, but not just from the heat, but from a lack of liquids in their bodies.  The effects of extreme heat on the body can take a toll on you and the rest of your day racing is done.

Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are no joke.  Before heat stroke, you get heat exhaustion.  This is when you are losing too many fluids and therefore, your body overheats.  The body’s temperature is raised but not too crazy, maybe a mild fever.  Many symptoms include pale, moist skin, sweating a lot more than normal, muscle cramps, dizziness, feeling weak, and sick with elevated heart rate.  Heat stroke on the other hand is much more dangerous.  Your core temperature is above your average fever.  At this point, the skin is dry and one begins to become confused and hyperventilate.  Sure, this sounds pretty intense, but knowledge is power.

A typical American does not drink as much water as they need.  The “average” person needs about 64oz of water.  However, since serious racers are training, they will need more than this.  And when the mercury rises, you need even more water.  Depending on your size and perspiration rate, you lose about 4 cups of fluid per hour of exercise and this is in air conditioned climate.  If you are training and riding, you need to be drinking a gallon of water a day, minimum.  Summer is in full effect and you can’t be too careful.

My best advice is to get a water bottle and sip on that all day.  The more times you refill the bottle, the better.  I don’t really think measuring out a certain amount of water is realistic or convenient, so make sure that your urine is clear and keep on sipping.  Eventually your body will become accustom to the water intake and you won’t have to pee every 5 minutes!

Posted on Jun 09 2010, under Nutrition, Training | 1 Comment »

One Response to “Heat exhaustion prevention”

  1. Hey nice read !! glad to see you post again.

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