With the highly publicized heat related deaths of professional, collegiate and even prep athletes over the years, awareness has risen over heat related illness.
According to the Virginia Tech Sports Medicine Department, fluid balance is one of the most important nutritional concerns for athletes. Optimal bodily function and peak athletic performance cannot be reached without proper fluid intake before, during and after exercise.
Football players are especially prone to extreme fluid loss due to workouts in August heat combined with the donning of shoulder, knee, thigh and hip pads combined with a padded helmet that hold heat close to the body which results in extreme sweating and the loss of precious fluids.
For preps, it’s important to communicate with your doctor, athletic trainer and coaches. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about what you can do to stay hydrated before, during and after workouts, scrimmages and games. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to communicate heat related symtoms.
The WVSSAC has recently adopted heat and concussion guidelines for heat related illness in athletics. Guidelines have been adopted to help coaches recognize the dangers of heat and humidity.
Head coaches in all sports will also be required watch a 30 minute video about concussions prior to taking the field or court for scrimmage games.
The National Federation of State High School Associations hope to have a video completed on heat related dangers by early August of this year.