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National Safety Month: Preventing dehydration in sports

Date: June 15, 2022 Category: Community

AMHERST, N.Y. – As National Safety month continues, our next set of safety tips have to do with hydration and sport.

Hydration Importance, Recognition and Monitoring: Proper hydration is an important part of overall health and is key to help avoid heat related illnesses. Our body is made of approximately 65-70% water.  The water level within our bodies is in a constant flux dependent on several factors – mainly activity. As humans, we perspire, or sweat, to cool the body. As we sweat, our natural cooling mechanisms deplete water storages; therefore, it is important to understand that consistent hydration is vital for everyone.  Remember: Humidity can impact our body’s ability to regulate body temperature through sweating; therefore, take caution when exercising in humid conditions.

  • Signs of mild to moderate dehydration include:
    • Increase in thirst
    • Dry mouth
    • Headache
    • Lightheadedness
    • Dizziness
    • Cramping

If left untreated, dehydration can lead to heat exhaustion and heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke – heat stroke is a medical emergency requiring prompt intervention. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke can be prevented when fluids are consumed throughout the day and hydration status is monitored. One of the best ways to calculate the amount of water lost during activity is to calculate your sweat rate. To determine sweat rate (per 60 minutes of exercise):

  • Weigh yourself (in pounds) with as little clothing as possible PRIOR to exercise.
  • Weigh yourself (in pounds) with as little clothing as possible FOLLOWING 60 minutes of exercise.
  • Weight before exercise – Weight after exercise (in pounds) = Weight loss in pounds
  • Weight loss in pounds x 16 ounces = A
  • Weight loss in ounces (A) is a good estimate of how much fluid you need to replenish after 60 minutes of exercise

Example:

  • 140 lbs (prior to exercise) – 138 lbs (following 60 minutes of exercise) = 2 pounds lost
  • 2 pounds (weight lost) x 16 ounces = 48 ounces (A)
  • 48 ounces of fluid should be consumed by this individual prior to the next exercise session

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