HRSC Athletic Training Fall 2023 Newsletter Statement:

As the Fall season approaches at HRSC, the Sentara Athletic Training team wants to send a few reminders on preventative maintenance to assist in lowering injury rates. Though the days are getting shorter and “sweater weather” is just around the corner, August and early September still experience days with highs in the 90s and high humidity. Turf fields can also be up to ten degrees hotter than the grass fields when in direct sunlight. Did you know heat illness is the leading cause of death in high school athletes, often occurring from inadequate hydration? Maintaining proper hydration, especially in hot and

humid environments, is a vital component in preventing heat illness from occurring. Please see the recommendations from the Kory Stringer Institute listed below on how to ensure adequate hydration as the Fall season rapidly approaches.

  •  Before beginning exercise, urine should be light colored (the darker the color, the more dehydrated a person is)
  •  Consume 17-20 ounces of water 2-3 hours prior to exercise
  •  Consume 8 ounces of water 20-30 minutes prior to exercise
  •  Consume 7-10 ounces of water every 10-20 minutes during exercise
  •  Consume 8 ounces of water within 30 minutes after exercise
  •  For every 1kg (2.2 lbs) loss in body weight, an additional 1 liter of water should be consumed
  •  For every 1 hour of exercise, 1 liter of a sports drink (Gatorade, Pedialyte, BodyArmor, LiquidIV, etc.) with a 6% CHO (carbohydrate) concentration should be consumed
    • Please note: sweat loss leads to fluid and electrolyte loss. Water alone does not replace electrolyte loss; therefore, a sports drink should be consumed to replenish those electrolytes (sodium, potassium, etc.)

Recognition of Heat Illness (signs and symptoms):

  • Heat Cramps:
    • Painful involuntary cramps/spasms usually in the legs, abdomen and lower back
    • Athletes may complain of feeling abnormally tight or muscle twitches before cramps start
      • Is sometimes confused with exertional sickling
  • Heat syncope (fainting)
    • Fainting due to dehydration after exertion in hot weather
    • Can feel dizzy or light-headed before fainting
  • Heat exhaustion (this is seriousness but not all cases require referral to ER)
    • Athletes may complain of being tired, dizzy, having a headache, feeling nauseated
    • Excessive sweating
    • Fast breathing or heart rate
    • Weakness, feeling unable to continue with activity any longer
  • Heat stroke (this is a medical emergency)
    • Core body temp is too high and can damage organs or lead to death if not treated properly
    • Headache, confusion, nausea, dizziness, may act aggressively
    • They may have stopped sweating and have dry skin
    • Rapid strong pulse
    • Changes in consciousness/loss of consciousness

Heat exhaustion and heat stroke have similar symptoms. The key symptom other than core body temperature that differentiates heat stroke and heat exhaustion is the change in mental status.

If you or someone you know is suspected of having a heat related illness, contact the Certified Athletic Trainer on site via phone at 757-567-5483 as soon as possible to have the patient properly evaluated. Please note that Athletic Trainers are scheduled to be on site only during peak hours. Therefore, if there is not an ATC present at the time of injury and symptoms warrant, please go to the ER for immediate care.