Keep Your Cool!
Deb Iovoli, MS,RD,CSSD,LD
is here! This time of year brings heat and humidity and the need
to consume more fluids on a daily basis, especially when running or
exercising. Dehydration certainly affects our training and racing
performance! What you may not know is that as little as 2% of body
weight lost in fluids can impair performance. Fluid balance is vital to
normal cardiovascular and thermoregulatory functions (body
temperature). Dehydration increases the risk of other heat
illnesses such as; heat exhaustion and life-threatening heatstroke,
especially in hot, humid weather or higher altitudes. Mild
dehydration over time has been linked with increased cancer risk,
reduced salivary gland function, kidney stones, and even fatal heart
attacks. The major cause of dehydration in athletes is sweat
losses that are not compensated for through proper fluid intake.
Each athlete has different rates of sweat loss based on environmental
conditions, clothing type, equipment worn, metabolic rate, and body’s
surface area. The onset of sweating occurs depending on an
athlete’s metabolic rate and core temperature, which largely depends on
exercise intensity and body mass. Higher body mass will put an
athlete at greater risk for dehydration.