• Dr. Malcolm Stubbs

Dehydration and Sports


Summer is in full swing and that means one thing to all of us; it's hot! Temperatures and humidity are soaring, making it difficult to participate in outdoor activities. And that includes sports, recreation, and fitness. So if you are going to be active outside know what to look for and more importantly how to prevent this potentially serious condition.

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Thirst

  • Chills

  • Weakness

  • Dry mouth

  • Headaches

  • Dark urine

  • Cramps

Prevention of Heat Related Illness:

  • Proper training for the heat

  • Hydrate before, during, and after exertion

  • Appropriate clothing - light color, loose fitting, breathable

  • Decrease time and intensity during especially peak periods of heat

  • Monitor yourself and others

  • Take frequent breaks

  • Encourage children to hydrate

Tips for Hydration in Athletes:

  • Begin hydration before exercise

  • Drink 4-8 ounces of fluid for every 15-20 minutes of exertion

  • Water is sufficient if activity is less than an hour or so, but prolonged activities require electrolyte replacement and carbohydrates which are in most sports drinks

Severe dehydration can lead to heat illness or heat stroke which can be life-threatening! Prevention is the best treatment, so use common sense and be prepared. Treatment requires hydration, rapid cooling, and if necessary seek medical attention immediately.

Summertime is fun, but the heat can be dangerous. Staying hydrated will prevent heat related illness and other injuries and will allow you to continue to pursue your fitness goals throughout the summer months.

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©2017 by Dr. Malcolm Stubbs.