Orthopedic Surgeon Fort Mill SC

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Staying Hydrated, Happy, and Healthy in this Summer Heat

While summer heat means pool days, trips to the beach, and summer sports it can also lead to dehydration and heat-related illnesses. Follow these tips to ensure you and your family stay hydrated, happy, and healthy all summer long.

Why do I sweat?child athlete drinking water to stay hydrated

Sweat acts as the body’s cooling system during exercise and in hot conditions. The evaporation of sweat allows your body to cool. This is why hydration is so important. Excessive sweat can cause your body to dehydrate which can affect the performance of athletes and can cause heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

It is important to avoid losing more than 2-3% of body weight and to drink regularly to offset the sweat loss. The orthopedics and sports specialists at SpecOrtho recommend drinking 3-8 ounces every 20 minutes for young teens and 16-32 ounces every hour for young adults.

Should I drink water or electrolyte drinks?

Electrolytes are minerals that help regulate the fluids in the body and help regulate muscle contraction and blood pressure. Three important electrolytes are sodium, potassium, and magnesium. While water is sufficient for workouts that last up to an hour in the heat, electrolyte drinks are important if you’re exercising for longer in a hot environment.

What are the warning signs for heat-related illness?

If you or your child experience any of the following warning signs, it’s important to find some shade and try to rehydrate.

  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Muscle cramps
  • Confusion

If symptoms become severe, this could constitute a heat emergency. This is why identifying the early signs is important.

The highly trained orthopedic surgeons and sports medicine specialists at SpecOrtho are dedicated to keeping young and adult athletes happy and healthy. If you have questions concerning maintaining athletic performance in the summer heat, contact our office in Fort Mill, SC at (803) 548-6464 today!