health watch: bruce valentine
Wanna be healthier? Perform better? Hyrdrate Want a silent edge to your game? Stay hydrated! When we lose body water through perspiration during intense activity, the results include fatigue, increased heart rate and a general drop off in one’s game. If we lose 2 percent of our body’s water, we lose 10 percent of our ability to perform. Not only would this have an impact on our game, it also makes us vulnerable to injury. If we find ourselves thirsty, we have already lost that 2 percent of our body’s water. If your cooling mechanism is highly refined and you sweat profusely, your requirement of fluids is greater than those who don’t. Not only does proper hydration help maintain a high level of performance; it also wards off heat illness which is a highly preventable medical emergency. Dehydration can lead to the loss of the body’s most efficient cooling mechanism, sweating. When we lose our ability to sweat, core temperature will rise quickly with intense heat or exercise. This rise in core temperature is debilitating and can be deadly. Fluids should never be restricted during physical activity. A good rule of thumb for staying hydrated is drink a bit more than you think you need. It is also recommended to drink 6-8 ounces of water or sports drink every 20 minutes of activity. One big gulp is about an ounce. Try this in practice next time and see if you feel like you have a little more energy in the end. That’s what it takes to stay in the game. ✪ Bruce Valentine is a physical therapist assistant for the Sports Medicine For Young Athletes, a division of Children’s Hospital Oakland.
July 1, 2013
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