- Recognize the early warning signs of dehydration.
These can include: dark yellow urine, loss of energy, dizziness, loss of coordination, cramps, headaches, or unusual fatigue. If left untreated, more extreme symptoms can occur.
- Allow for acclimation.
Acclimation is the body's adaptation to a hot environment. Slowly increase practice intensity and duration over the first two weeks of training. Most cases of heat illness occur in the first 2 to 3 days of training.
- Drink up.
Once acclimated, fluid intake needs to be greater because sweat losses will be higher.
- Have fluids within arm's reach.
Fluids should be easily accessible during workouts, practices and games.
- Don't rely on thirst.
Drink during exercise to minimize
- Favor sports drinks over water.
Research demonstrates that the carbohydrate in sports drinks fuels muscle 2,3,4,5 and sodium encourages voluntary drinking and promotes hydration.1,6,7
- Drink it. Don't pour it.
Pouring fluid over your head may feel great but won't help restore body fluids or lower body temperature.
- Exercise in the morning or evening.
This is when the weather is coolest. Also, avoid the direct sun to minimize radiant heat from the sun and hot playing surfaces.
- Dress for the weather.
Keeping cool in hot weather means wearing fewer clothes and frequently removing gear like helmets during breaks.
- Break it up.
Increase the frequency and duration.