- Jul 30, 2019 at 3:01 pm #3604098Dalton CooperBPL Member
I moved to North Carolina from Upstate New York during the summer and found that acclimating to heat was definitely doable, though not especially pleasant for the first 2-3 weeks. Basically boiled down to 3 things:
Jul 30, 2019 at 3:30 pm #3604105Ben CBPL Member
- Force myself to regularly be active outside – I’d play pickup sports, run, hike, etc., even when it was mid 90’s and humid. I found that as I got in better shape, it became easier to perform harder, for longer and that I kinda just stopped minding being outside.
- Hydrate – I naturally like to drink a lot of water when I do physical activity, so this one was pretty easy to adjust to. The big things I found helped me beyond this were hydrating before activity (I drink a Nalgene on the way to the trailhead) and drinking sports drinks since I actually sweat enough to lose salts. For a 2-hour workout, I’ve found that 2 liters of water and a liter of Gatorade is a pretty solid mix for not feeling hung over the next day.
- Patience – in my experience, a lot of bad sports things happen when people push too hard, too fast, without listening to their bodies. I will always be cautious and have zero shame in tapping out early while I’m building my conditioning in the heat. For pickup, taking more points off; for hiking, regularly taking breaks in the shade and hydrating; on runs, switching to walking.
I’ve spent most of my life in the hot and humid SE US. When I go west, I’m always amazed at the difference in drier heat; your sweat actually evaporates and cools you down. Here, the humidity is too high for sweat to have much cooling effect. It mostly just stays as water on your skin. I don’t think you ever acclimatize to it, honestly. You expect it, but you’ll always struggle in it. There’s just no way to cool a body in humid heat. I wait for fall.Aug 3, 2019 at 7:53 am #3604701
Desert rats like Roger, Nick, and others will scoff at my words, but I am not addressing them here.
I agree with your entire post, except the sentence above. I’ve experienced severe dehydration twice and the 2nd time almost required hospitalization. Fortunately the second time my friend’s wife, who was a nurse, realized I was in distress. As Tom pointed out, by this point my mind had become irrational and without her intervention I might have died. Both events happened during my first two years living in the desert.
When hiking or working in the heat I drink frequently. I don’t have a formula, nor do I drink a specific amount hourly or daily. I stop when I am thirsty and drink whatever amount quenches my thirst. The difference between me, living in one of the hottest deserts in the US for over 40 years, and non-desert dwellers is I don’t need to drink as much water per day. In hot weather I usually stop once an hour to drink.
As Craig mentioned, one needs to know their own body and needs. Every body is different and there is no standard recommendation. However, in our desert if one is outdoors all day in summer, they’ll probably need to drink a minimum of one gallon of water a day.
To truly become acclimated to a desert environment takes several years. At nearly 70 years of age I can still work outdoors all day when the daily high temp exceeds 120F. When I first got here I could hardly breath when it hit 110.
Hot weather and possible heat stroke are nothing to fool around with.Aug 3, 2019 at 8:00 am #3604702
I’ve hike in many parts of the SE in summer and agree with you wholeheartedly. The heat and humidity totally wipes me out. My recommendation to you is to move to the West :-)Aug 3, 2019 at 8:11 am #3604703
Except, we (Sue & I) are NOT desert rats. It’s just that the east coast of Oz can be over 40 C and rather humid as well in mid summer. Our method of handling this is to stay home for a month – 6 weeks in the worst part of the year. With global warming, this period is slowly getting longer each year.
If anything, we would be Alpine rats. Much more fun.
CheersAug 3, 2019 at 10:13 am #3604709John S.BPL Member
Wilderness Medical Society Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Heat-Related Illness: 2014 UpdateAug 3, 2019 at 6:23 pm #3604733
“I agree with your entire post, except the sentence above.”
Actually, I disagree with it, too. I just posted it to see if I could get a nibble from the desert rats, or maybe I should say Kangaroo Rats in one case. ;0)
“I’ve experienced severe dehydration twice and the 2nd time almost required hospitalization.”
Nasty business, no? I was struck by just how subtly the symptoms came on. In my case, by the time they were obvious I was not mentally compepent to deal with them, just like you. Fortunate in both our cases there was someone around with their wits about them to get help.Aug 3, 2019 at 9:37 pm #3604742
The first time it was around 118F. My friend and I were painting my motel. We kept going without stopping to drink because the heat was playing havoc with my spray gun set up. We both became weak and dizzy and we realized we were in trouble. We stopped. We got into the swimming pool and started drinking ice water. What really helped was eating potato chips. When we finally started to feel better a couple hours later, I realized that the salty chips helped.
Afterwards I started taking salt tablets, which would upset my stomach… and I normally have an iron stomach. I dislike drinks with electrolytes or whatever they have to replenish minerals and they don’t quench my thirst like water. So for the past 40 years I drink water and eat Pringle’s.
Bottom line is to replenish salts along with staying hydrated.Aug 3, 2019 at 10:36 pm #3604745
I can remember one time, which was in summer, when we were walking out of a very remote area in 40 C heat, on a white dirt 4WD track with a blue sky overhead. Unfortunately we ended up short on water before we reached a forested area with shade. Fortunately we did know we were going to be in some trouble before real trouble happened. That helps.
So it was a case of walking 100 m – 150 m gently uphill, then resting for 5 minutes in partial shade (gum trees do not make good shade), then repeat N times. Obviously, we got there in the end.
We drove to the nearest town for cold milkshakes. The lady there told us that it was still 40 C at 7 pm on the farm where her husband was working. So we had a second cold milkshake each. We gurgled a bit as we left to drive home.
CheersAug 3, 2019 at 10:43 pm #3604747
“Bottom line is to replenish salts along with staying hydrated.”
+1 Simple as that, and so easy to forget for so many folks.Aug 3, 2019 at 11:28 pm #3604750
Original No Salt sodium free Salt has a ton of potassium. !/4 teaspoon has 18% of the daily requirement. This is far more than what’s allowed in potassium supplements or a banana. Far more! Also, no salt V-8 juice also has a lot of potassium because it uses Salt Free in its formula.
These amounts also far exceed anything in Gatorade etc., which are kind of paltry in terms of electrolytes if you ask me.
And of course you need salt in hot weather too. And magnesium. You can get good amounts of magnesium in supplements. Potassium is highly regulated because taking too much can be detrimental (that’s hard to do.Your body removes excess potassium quite well and fast.). Somehow Salt Free and V8 juice have slipped through the cracks. Shhh!Aug 3, 2019 at 11:55 pm #3604754idesterBPL Member
@doug-iLocale: The Cascades
“This is far more than what’s allowed in potassium supplements or a banana.”
I don’t believe the FDA is any longer restricting supplements to 99mg potassium as they used to. I have a bottle of potassium citrate in my cupboard that has 200mg per pill (which is still like only 4% DV).Aug 3, 2019 at 11:55 pm #3604755
Skip the highly-marketed ‘supplements’ – they rarely work.
Eat more bananas!
CheersAug 4, 2019 at 12:57 am #3604760
I’m totally with Roger: the best source of minerals and vitamins is good solid non processed foods–mostly plants, not too much.
Pistachios have the highest potassium content of any nut, which are all potassium rich. But pistachios are off the charts. Add salt–golden.Aug 4, 2019 at 3:18 am #3604766
,For those who think they need potassium, this will give you a modest amount of both sodium and potassium in 1/4 tsp(1.4 grams).
Personally, I find the same amount of regular table salt to be preferable. A person does not lose nearly as much potassium when sweating, typically only about 20% of sodium loss, and I do not wish to risk stressing my kidneys by loading up on potassium.
I use salt in my water because I do not like to eat while on the move, for reasons discussed elsewhere. For those who don’t mind eating while hiking, there are plenty of natural food sources for for all electrolytes lost through sweating. Taking in too much potassium can be hard on your kidneys; this is something worth bearing in mind when using potassium supplements, because a normal diet is not typically deficient in potassium.Aug 4, 2019 at 4:26 pm #3604797
From what I understand potassium is used in tissue restoration post exercise; that’s why they say, eat a banana for cramps. it’s particularly important for heart function. But yes too much can stress kidneys.
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