Dehydration & overheating

From a physiologist’s point of view drinking less and dips in the water are not the way to prevent dehydration and heat illnesses.

Dips in the water: while this will provide you with temporary relief from the heat, the long term effects are not as nice. When you experience immersion cooling (even a few degrees below body temperature) your body will redirect blood flow from the skin to the core. The skin is where you loose heat through sweating, so a reduction in skin blood flow will increase the rate of overheating.

Training without fluids: this does very little to help you acclimatize, except get you used to being dehydrated.

Drinking less: this will speed up dehydration and ultimately lead to the same conditions as above.

Well tried and used methods for athletes to deal with the heat include;

    A) Light coloured clothing (i.e. white long sleeved shirt that wicks perspiration / dry fast. Patagonia paddling silks, Xcel products and the like are ideal),
    B) Energy drinks mixed to optimal concentration (i.e. manufacturer’s
    recommendations) allow for faster absorption of fluid than lower concentration
    C) Using the energy drink regularly as part of training, recovery and racing

Alan Carlsson
Engineered Athlete Services

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