Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
April 24, 2015
This site looks at exercising in the heat from the perspective of hydration and food choices. It also offers unexpected tips. For example, hydration is about more than just drinking water. Eating foods such as watermelon, grapefruit, lettuce, and yogurt can help keep your body stay hydrated. In addition, using sunscreen can play a role in helping you prevent heatstroke. Sunburn limits your body’s ability to cool itself off. Small choices such as these can make a difference when you’re exercising in the heat.
October 2, 2015
The article provided here takes a look at devices on the market that claim to help people identify high core body temperatures—a key factor in heatstroke. Perhaps even more compelling, the article describes how heat illnesses damage the body and makes the point that every single person is unique and will handle heat differently. General prevention guidelines are helpful, but a person’s specific health, fitness level and circumstances should always be considered.
The article provided here takes a look at devices on the market that are designed to help people identify high core body temperatures—a key factor in heatstroke. Perhaps even more compelling, the article describes how heat illnesses damage the body and makes the point that every single person is unique and will handle heat differently. General prevention guidelines are helpful, but a person’s specific health, fitness level and circumstances should always be considered.
Causes of Heat Stroke—Overmotivation
This is from a paper published in 2002 by the Gatorade Sports Science Institute, Sports Science Exchange
Over motivated athletes can overheat by doing too much too fast or trying to endure too long. An Australian runner, out of shape, sped to the front of a hot race and kept going hard until he dropped from heat stroke at 4.5 miles (Lee et al., 1990). The same happened to a novice runner who, on a mild day, sped up at the end of a six-mile race (Hanson et al., 1979).
Similar lessons come from the military. A soldier died of heat stroke marching at night, carrying extra weight. He completed just 2.5 miles (Assia et al., 1985). Running generates about twice the heat of marching. Of 82 heatstroke cases in Israeli soldiers, 40% were from brief exercise, as in the first three miles of a run. Overmotivation was a risk factor (Epstein et al., 1999).
Football breeds a warrior mentality. Victims of heat stroke are described as “the hardest worker” or “determined to prove himself.” During a hard practice on a hot day, the never-quit mentality can work against a player.
Some football players are over motivated by pride and driven by tough coaches. They believe no limits exist. They ignore warning signs. Never let the warrior call the shots.
Heat Illness: Would Your Workers Recognize Exertional Heatstroke?
July 1, 2016
Occupational exposure to heat can result in injuries, disease, reduced productivity, and death.
To address this hazard, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has evaluated the scientific data on heat stress and hot environments and has updated the Criteria for a Recommended Standard: Occupational Exposure to Hot Environments.
This document was last updated in 1986, and in recent years, including during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response of 2010, questions were raised regarding the need for revision to reflect recent research and findings.
This revision includes additional information about the physiological changes that result from heat stress; updated information from relevant studies, such as those on caffeine use; evidence to redefine heat stroke and associated symptoms; and updated information on physiological monitoring and personal protective equipment and clothing that can be used to control heat stress.
The most significant change to the NIOSH document is a change in the definition of “heatstroke.” At one time, the accepted definition of “heatstroke” included confusion, unconsciousness, and/or convulsions, accompanied by a lack of sweating. In fact, workers were warned that if they stopped sweating, heatstroke was imminent.
Unfortunately, this type of heatstroke, now called “Classic Heatstroke”, isn’t the type that most commonly strikes workers.
NIOSH has recognized that another type of heatstroke, known as “external heatstroke”, is more common in workers – and profuse sweating is one of its symptoms. So, workers who have been taught that sweating is a positive sign, are actually at increased risk. Because exertional heatstroke is more likely to occur in workers than classic heatstroke, NIOSH recommends that all workers exposed to hot working conditions be retrained to recognize exertional heatstroke.