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Handling the Heat

Photo by Tessa Madigan

As summer officially comes to a jolting halt and the new school year becomes a sure reality; with it not only comes the prospect of endless homework, but the return of all fall sports. However with fall sports officially lurching back into motion, the summer heat still lingers at an all-time high. This makes the prospect of dehydration a posing risk to our athletes more than ever. Although dehydration is commonly looked at as a trivial matter, in reality heat strokes due to dehydration are one of the 3 leading causes of sudden death in sports activities according to Health Research Funding. Therefore Columbus North athletes, such as Rose Sardina, have made sure to take the proper precautions when handling the heat.

“My teammates and I have dealt with the hotter practices this summer by drinking more water throughout the day, then making sure we have plenty of water at practice and then drinking more water when we get home,” Sardina said.

Sardina and her teammates have managed to remain healthy in the heat by means of drinking water. Sardina isn’t the only one who values the use of water to stay hydrated. Coaches and directors, such as Keith Burton of Sound of North, also agree in the use of water to remain healthy.
“You can’t just drink water during the event or during the practice,” Burton said. “You have to drink water all day long. When you leave your practice and you go home that night, keep drinking water.”

As a director, Burton not only values the use of water to remain hydrated, but is also able to see the effect that an excessive loss of water has on his students.

“When kids get dehydrated their muscles start to cramp, which obviously affects performance, but it can affect other parts of the health as well,” Burton said. “Your cardiovascular (system) is affected and your heart rate. The heart has to work much harder. There are a lot of things that are affected in the body from not staying properly hydrated.”

However proper hydration is often seen as achievable by drinking liquids as a whole, yet Burton is able to recognize what types of liquids ultimately do more damage than good to athletes.

“Avoid soft drinks and other carbonated drinks; those actually dry you out,” Burton said. “It’s good to not drink that much pop when you’re in season, especially when you’re involved in something like marching band or other sports. Same thing with really sweet or fruity drinks, they can dry you out as well.”

Nonetheless, Burton sees the importance of staying hydrated in both sustaining good health and exceeding a great performance level.

“You have to stay hydrated otherwise the body will start shutting down,” Burton said. “Kids get sick so you have to keep water going, so performance level stays up.”

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