Hydration key during summer heat wave
Cox representative offers tips for staying cool
By Jared Lankford
Recent temperature indexes have hovered around the 100 degree mark, and for some individuals working outside or participating in summer sports camps, caution and care should be taken to ensure an individual doesn't succumb to the extreme elements.
Many health professionals say the average human needs 64 ounces of water daily to perform at normal levels, and for the weekend warrior and student athlete, caution must be used to ensure proper hydration.
"Some people will get up in the morning, weigh and then start their workout routine," said Greg Gilmore, Cox Monett's athletic training coordinator. "When those individuals weigh in a couple hours later they might see as much as two to three pounds of weight loss. However, that weight loss is really water loss and not burned fat. The water needs to be replaced."
According to Gilmore, an individual needs to prepare themselves to be in the heat.
"Your body needs 10 to 14 days to adjust to higher outside temperatures," Gilmore said. "You need to start building up a tolerance. Your body will sweat more during the first few days outside until it adjusts to the heat."
Gilmore explained that as a person perspires, the body looses more than just water.
"Your body sweats out vitamins, sugars, electrolytes and salt," said Gilmore. "If you have ever looked at the band inside a baseball hat that has been worn a lot, you can see the sediment deposits. As a person looses these minerals, if they are not replaced, the individual becomes more susceptible to heat-related illness and dehydration."
Eating a balanced diet should replace the lost minerals and sodium, Gilmore cautions people about sports drinks.
"Most sports drinks are make primarily of sugar, but it is really sodium that you are losing," he said.
One simple test you can use to check your hydration level is monitoring the color of your urine.
"The clearer your steam the more hydrates you are," Gilmore said. "If the color is dark yellow or has a stench you should immediately take steps to hydrate your body."
Gilmore recommend regally scheduled water breaks in activities and consuming at least eight to 12ounces of water during those breaks.