Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Football Players- Drink Up!

In Texas, we've started back to school (our kids actually started a whole week ago!) Despite the "fall" activities, we are still having enormously HOT days in August, and down here, they wont disappear any time soon. A recent study published in the CDC's weekly MMWR (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report) shows that heat related illnesses during practice or competition is a leading cause of death or disability among high school athletes, and that heat illness is most common in pre-season football practice.

What can we do to avoid this? Athletic programs need to emphasize hydration before, during, and after sports activity, as well as following guidelines regarding heat-acclimatization. This means taking two weeks to build up duration and intensity of exercise (as well as degree of padding) to gradually increase tolerance. Additionally, it means consuming 200-300 cc of liquid (water preferred) every 10-20 minutes of practice.

BOTTOM LINE: Especially in the south, where we LOVE our FOOTBALL, let's make sure our players are WELL-HYDRATED as we start into football season while the temperatures are still in the red zone!

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