Training in the heat? Dripping sweat can compromise your health

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Hydration is a full-time job. Photo: Erin Herle

When you work out in the heat, your body needs a way to cool down and it does this by sweating. If temperatures soar above the level of your body heat, then dripping sweat can mean that your body isn’t able to do its job. Sweat must evaporate and intense heat environments prevent this.

Drink water: This is a no-brainer but the amount you need to drink and the consistency is important. If it becomes a chore to keep your water bottle filled, then you’re probably doing it right. Experts suggest that you drink constantly throughout the day, especially with meals. Eight cups a day is the average but in the summer heat bump that number up to twelve.

Before exercise drink four cups, splitting the amount between two hours before and one hour before. When you exercise your body loses water through breathing and sweating. Your body can lose up to 2-3 liters of water per hour. During exercise drink half a cup every half hour and directly after, drink two cups or 16 oz per pound of water lost.

Avoid any caffeinated beverages and especially sugary drinks or sport drinks as the necessary H20 is hindered. All of these amounts will vary between experts but the as long as you are urinating regularly, drinking consistently throughout the day and have reached your minimum per day, you’re in better shape than most.

Know the signs of dehydration: If your urine isn’t a light shade, you need to drink more. If you’re working out in an environment where heat is high or the sun is on you, make sure you’re adequately hydrated beforehand for preventative measures.

Dripping sweat means your body isn’t evaporating and therefore it’s not properly cooling your body. If you feel nauseas, your muscles are cramping, your face is flushed, your pulse is rapid or your skin is cool and clammy, you could be suffering from heat exhaustion.

Even dizziness and feeling really fatigued is a bad sign that could escalate. Dehydration to heat exhaustion to deadly heat stroke, know when you or your training partners are in bad shape and cool them down/hydrate them before they get worse.

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