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  • Writer's pictureCRAIG BRYAN


There are a lot of factors looking at heat exhaustion individuals and athletes. There are NCAA guidelines to keep athletes safe from this happening which should apply to us as well. These guidelines are sometimes not used in the high school setting. There are things like heat acclamation periods for athletes to get used to the hot weather. Return to protocol procedures to make sure the athlete is ready to return to practice or to the game. One of the things you look at is urine color if you're is getting brown you're dehydrated. Another dangerous thing that can happen to is you stop sweating or you get light headed then pass out. Here are some safety issues to really protect the athlete and yourself. Monitor your training volume, be mindful of how long you are outside, provide or take longer breaks, allow for or take more water breaks, have ice water on hand, practice times or actives to cooler parts of the day which is usually later in the day. This also goes for those of us working outside as well. While the time you spend in the heat may be unavoidable because of your job you still must be aware of how you feel. Keeping your head and neck covered to help keep it cooler. These things can help protect athletes and yourself from heat exhaustion, heatstroke, and possible death. I have experienced heat exhaustion and it can come on quickly.


Training intensity should not be used to enhance mental toughness which a lot of high school coaches believe in. there is no scientific evidence to support its use. New evidence shows that mental toughness may not be trainable but be genetic in nature. I have seen high school coaches run their athletes in the ground to the point of the time the season starts the players are tired, some injured, and a lot of smaller. I had an athlete that lost a lot of muscle and strength because the coach thought they needed to run and run during the hot Georgia summer. This athlete came to me about exhaustion and asking what color is urine was he said it was Brown. This meant that he was already dehydrated. So, I put them on electrolytes with extra fluids and told his parents to keep an eye out on him so that he didn't have further problems. I'm not saying all high school coaches do this but I've seen enough of them do it that there needs to be guidelines and protocol in a high school say to make sure it never happens. When you ask an athlete the color of their urine and they respond with it is Brown there's a problem. It can take up to 48 to 72 hours or longer to recover from the dehydration. When training continues beyond this point the dangers of heat exhaustion and heatstroke are imminent. If you have an athlete or even yourself training in a high heat environment be aware of how you're feeling the color of your urine. That's why collegiate schools have a urine color chart in the weight room.

So always stay hydrated use electrolyte replacements and be mindful of how your body feels. Other things to look for loss of appetite and sleep trouble sleeping always leads being fatigued and low energy levels.

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