The risk of heat stroke, dehydration, and injury increase exponentially during the early summer practice periods of the Houston summer.
Football players are especially prone to suffer early during high impact periods when temperatures often reach in the triple digits. Training for heat acclimatization is a way for athletes to prepare their body for the stress of higher temperatures and humidy during high risk periods of early August.
“Football players are especially susceptible to heat exposure do to their body types and equipment,” says Brett Singer, certified sports dietitian for Memorial Herman IRONMAN Sports Medicine Institute.
“Acclimatization is the scenario where athletes are training in the specific environment. This is where the athlete ideally begins the training process 10 to 14 days before they begin their team practices or competition.”
Although most teams schedule practices early in the morning long sessions ca often end close to the noon time period, often the hottest part of the day.
“Things to factor in, if you’re an athlete, is to get accustomed to training at the right time of day. If your practices are running into the afternoon period then as an athlete you need to acclimatize yourself during this same period,” says Singer.
Other risk factors specific to football athletes are their size and body type. According to the Centers for Disease Control nearly 65% of football players who suffered from heat related illness from 2005-2009 were considered overweight or obese.
“What we highly suggest as health professionals is for athletes to adjust and practice on their own leading up to team organized activities,” says Singer.
For more information on Sport Nutrition and Diets contact Brett Singer MS, RD, CSCS, LD of the Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Sports Medicine Institute of Houston. To register for a free performance evaluation visit our website at athletetrainingandhealth.local or call our front desk at (713) 909-0085.
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