Training and Competing in the Heat

A distinguished group of international environmental physiologists made recommendations for exercising in the heat:

  • Athletes should acclimatize to heat by training in hot climates for at least 60 minutes per day for two weeks.
  • Tank up before training or competing in the heat by drinking six milliliters per kilogram of bodyweight every two to three hours until normally hydrated.
  • Minimize weight loss during prolonged exercise in the heat by replacing fluids appropriately.
  • Increase sodium intake when training or competing in the heat.
  • Rehydrate after exercise by consuming enough fluids and electrolytes to offset 100 to 150 percent of lost weight. Rehydrating regimens should include sodium, carbohydrates and protein.
  • Cooling methods include wearing ice garments, cold towels, water immersion and ingestion of cold fluids or ice. Precooling may benefit athletes involved in prolonged exercise.

Acclimatization, hydration and cooling are vital skills for athletes competing in the heat. (Scandinavian Journal Medicine Science Sports, 25 (Supplement 1): 6-19, 2015)

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