Here at Rocky Top Sports World, we love summer in the Smoky Mountains! With average highs in the mid-80s and lows in the 60s, the weather is perfect for outdoor sports camps and tournaments. At the same time, the summer heat requires athletes to take special precautions when they enjoy some fun in the sun. We have put together a convenient guide with everything you need to know about staying hydrated during summer sporting events at Rocky Top:
The Risk of Dehydration
Drinking plenty of fluids is always a healthy practice, but when the weather gets hot, it is an absolute necessity. Water is crucial for maintaining blood circulation and body temperature. Fluids carry heat away from your internal organs and redirect it through your bloodstream to your pores, which causes sweat. When sweat evaporates, your body cools off.
If you don’t drink enough fluids when playing sports on a hot day, you run the risk of experiencing a number of serious problems, including:
Heat cramps: muscle spasms and cramping of the abdomen, arms, and/or calves. In many cases, the pain occurs hours after your time in the sun.
Heat exhaustion: a severe illness characterized by dizziness, nausea, headaches, irritability, high body temperature, and weakness.
Heat stroke: a medical emergency where a person’s body temperature is greater than 105.1 °F. If not treated effectively, it can result in organ failure and death.
One obvious sign that you need to drink more water is if you’re feeling thirsty! When you’re out in the hot sun, you want to make sure that you are hydrated to the point where you don’t feel thirst.
Another good indicator of proper hydration is the color of your urine. Pale yellow or clear urine is ideal, while darker, cloudier urine is a sign that you need more fluids. Drinking water after using the restroom is also a good idea.
Tips for Staying Hydrated
Staying hydrated isn’t hard! Just keep the following tips in mind:
- If you will be playing a sport for less than 60 minutes and the exercise will be low-to-moderate intensity, water should be your drink of choice during and after the activity.
- For exercise lasting longer than an hour, you should have a sports drink on hand, in addition to water. At Rocky Top Sports World, we provide Gatorade for all players at non-collegiate events.
- Be sure to drink plenty of water in the hour leading up to your sports event. Being sufficiently hydrated the night before is also important.
- Although it may seem counterintuitive, cool drinks are actually better than ice cold drinks. When drinks are ice cold they cause blood vessels in the stomach to constrict, which reduces the rate at which the fluid is absorbed. In contrast, cool drinks are absorbed quicker and keep you better hydrated.
Now that you’re an expert on hydration, you can enjoy all of the fun going on at Rocky Top Sports World this summer! To learn more about us, check out the Rocky Top Sports World Facilities page.