Staying Hydrated During Summer

Staying hydrating is essential for anyone, in particular athletes and surfers. While surfers might be in the water, they are just as prone to heat illness as anyone else. Dizziness, headaches, and feeling nauseous are some of the common signs associated with Exertional Heat Illness. EHI is a category of heat related injuries, such as heat cramps, heat syncope, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. EHI is 100% preventable-hydration (Adovacates for Injury Athletes, 2011) is key. Surfing is prone to EHI just like any other outdoor activity or sport. The sun, water, and exertion preformed while surfing increases susceptibility for EHI. According to the Journal of Athletic Training (2009), prevention of heat related illness include hydrating well before activity. Additionally, taking notice of urine color is a good indication of hydration levels. Urine should be a "clear to light yellow" color versus an "a dark amber" color. Another way to easily monitor hydration levels it to weigh prior to activity, and then again post. Body weight should be less than a 2% change on the same day as well as days after. Other preventative measures should be done such as activity early morning or late afternoon, acclimatization to water temperatures and heat (10-14 days) prior to a full on surf session, and consumption of nutrients. Keep hydrating and have a great summer! Nicole K., MEd., ATC


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