Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Michael Yurkewicz, DO
Adequate hydration prior, during and after exercise is of upmost importance to avoid potential complications of dehydration. As we exercise our body produces heat, in order for our body to dissipate the heat created, we begin to sweat, thus losing water. This loss of water can lead to serious complications if one is not properly hydrated, replacing what is lost. Such complications can include muscle breakdown, and kidney failure. Studies have been done in collegiate athletes, weighing football offensive lineman before and after practice. They found that during vigorous exercise they would lose 2-3 lbs. of water weight. Thus they found and began emphasizing replacing this water loss after practice to equal out the amount lost.

For every 1lb lost, one should consume 16oz of fluid, preferably water. Do not wait until you feel thirsty, as thirst is a late manifestation, and it could be too late. And remember to take frequent breaks to allow for hydration during exercise.

Adequate hydration is important regardless of the activity, but when combined with environmental factors such as high temperature, its importance is greater. When the temperature and humidity rise, our body’s natural ability to dissipate heat becomes impaired, this we are unable to get rid of the extra heat produced by our working muscles. This can lead to mild symptoms such as cramps, and heat exhaustion, to potentially devastating heat stroke. Symptoms can include but not limited to, muscle cramps, fatigue, dizziness, mental status changes, and elevated rectal temp.

If symptoms do arise, promptly remove from environment, orally rehydrate, apply ice to head, under arms and groin, and get to medical facility for prompt evaluation.

Michael Yurkewicz, DO
PinnacleHealth Sports Medicine Fellow