While exercising during hot weather, it’s crucial to keep yourself hydrated with electrolyte supplements and fluids. Whether you’re running, hiking, exercising, or playing sports, physical exertion in hot weather conditions quickly drains your body of fluids and electrolytes in the form of sweat. Your body needs to maintain the optimal temperature, which it does by increasing blood circulation in your skin by diverting it away from your muscles. As such, physical exertion, hot weather, excessive sweating, lack of blood circulation in your muscles, and increased heart rate eventually lead to various heat stress symptoms, increasing your risk of heat cramps and heat exhaustion.
This article takes you through the warning signs of heat exhaustion, describes heat exhaustion causes, and how to treat a heat stroke.
What are the warning signs of heat exhaustion?
When you’re exercising in hot weather conditions, you must be wary of the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion, heat stress symptoms, and sunstroke symptoms. These heat sickness symptoms are your body’s way of signaling that it needs nourishment and hydration. If you notice the signs and symptoms of heat sickness, you must stop exercising, get out of the heat, lower your body temperature, and replace your electrolytes with an electrolyte supplement. Ignoring these signs eventually leads to medical emergencies.
The following are the primary warning signs of heat exhaustion:
- Muscle cramps
- General weakness and fatigue
- Extreme sweating
- Dizzy sensation
- Low blood pressure
- Rapid heart rate
- Vision problems
What are the most dangerous heat exhaustion symptoms?
If you don’t listen to your body’s warning signs, you may eventually experience advanced heat exhaustion symptoms and problems. If you experience a severe sunstroke, you’ll need immediate medical attention. People experiencing severe sunstroke or heat stroke can’t drink fluids and need to receive the necessary fluids and electrolytes through IV tubes. One of the clearest signs of dangerous heatstroke is a severe drop in your body temperature. If your core body temperature is less than 104 F (40 C), you need immediate and urgent medical attention. Furthermore, it might be weeks before you can exercise again — it’s far better if you take the necessary precautions and learn how to prevent a heat stroke.
What causes heat exhaustion?
In normal situations, your skin, blood vessels, circulation, and sweating responses adjust your body temperature to the heat. However, your natural cooling systems often fail after going on overdrive due to excessive heat exposure or physical exertion. If you sweat too heavily, exercise consistently, and don’t replace your electrolytes, your body can’t cope with the rise in your body temperature, leading to a total collapse of your internal cooling systems, resulting in heat-related problems.
Heat exhaustion refers to heat-induced fatigue due to dehydration and the loss of electrolytes. However, heat exhaustion is just one amongst many possible heat-related illnesses, characterized by weakness, fainting, headaches, nausea, clammy skin, etc. If left untreated, you may experience a heat stroke or sunstroke, a life-threatening condition wherein your skin doesn’t have enough moisture to keep you cool. You might also experience heat cramps, muscle cramps, and spasms.
What are heat cramps, and who is affected?
Heat cramps are involuntary muscle spasms that occur in hot weather conditions. It affects individuals who are physically active — working or exercising in hot weather without sufficient hydration and electrolyte replacement. Heat cramps are often associated with dehydration, which occurs due to severe loss of fluids (as sweat) without sufficient rehydration. Heat cramps usually affect the hamstrings and quadriceps, though they can also affect other muscle groups.
What steps can be taken to cool the body during heat exhaustion?
You should take the following steps to treat heat exhaustion or make your body cool down:
- Get out of the sun.
- Stop exercising.
- Go to an air-conditioned room or some cool spot with lots of shade.
- Elevate your legs higher than your heart level to facilitate blood circulation.
- Drink electrolyte supplements to restore your body’s electrolyte balance.
- Take a cool shower or place a cool towel on your body.
- Remove extra layers of clothing and wear loose clothes.
- Take a cold or ice water bath to lower your body’s temperature quickly.
- If your body temperature doesn’t normalize, someone should contact health care specialists or a medical emergency.
Can RecoverORS in preventing heat exhaustion?
RecoverORS is one of the best electrolyte supplements for those experiencing heat exhaustion symptoms. It’s ideally suitable for athletes and travelers who spend long hours outdoors in hot conditions. RecoverORS is a medical-grade electrolyte supplement formulated by pharmacists and doctors in FDA-inspected facilities. It contains the ideal concentration of electrolytes necessary to restore your lost electrolytes and aid in your heat exhaustion treatment.
RecoverORS certainly helps minimize the heat exhaustion symptoms, but it’s even more effective at preventing heat exhaustion. Athletes and travelers need to rehydrate constantly and maintain their body’s electrolyte balance to prevent the symptoms of heat illness, such as heat exhaustion, dehydration, and heat cramps. RecoverORS provides ideal electrolytes hydration, even better than salt tablets, thus allowing you to continue exercising without problems.
How much should I drink during hot weather?
RecoverORS is easy to prepare — dissolve 1 packet of RecoverORS in 1 cup of water and consume. You should drink RecoverORS before, during, and after your exercises. Ideally, adults should consume up to 8 servings of RecoverORS during hot weather, consuming 1 packet approximately once every 1 to 4 hours. The optimal RecoverORS consumption habits should protect you from a sunstroke or heat illness, though you should still listen to your body and stop exercising if you notice the warning signs of heat exhaustion.