Water consumption is the best way to beat heat exhaustion

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 2, 2001

The death of Minnesota Vikings offensive lineman Korey Stringer from the complications of a heat stroke on Wednesday refocused the sports world on the issue of heat and sports practices. Just one week ago, Florida freshman fullback Eraste Autin died from a heat stroke while gearing up for the college football season.

The two deaths certainly struck a chord with Natchez High assistant football coach Eric Quon Wednesday night. In one of the final meetings of the summer before football players report to two-a-days on Aug. 6, Quon reminded his players to &uot;Make sure you’re hydrated&uot; during practice next week. The message is fitting, as everyone is well aware that the Miss-Lou experiences sauna-like conditions at this time of the year. And just in time for fall sport practices.

Dr. Rus Fairbanks of the J.H. Fairbanks Orthopedic Center of Natchez said players should force fluids into their bodies before heading to the practice field. He said about one quart of water or a sports drink is needed to hydrate players before practice.

Email newsletter signup

If an athlete complains of being tired as a result of the heat, he should drink water and find shade immediately. Also, putting a cold towel over the skin or pouring water over the body helps, he said.

Fairbanks also said coaches should know when to halt practice when more than one player heads to the sidelines because of the heat.

&uot;If more than one player shows signs of heat stress, then the whole team is probably having heat stress,&uot; he said.

Lynn Ogden, softball coach at Cathedral, and assistant football coach Benny Tillman at Natchez, constantly urge their players to monitor themselves. They also allow plenty of water breaks.

Odgen had one player succumb to the heat on Wednesday. &uot;If you get overheated, come off the field, get some water and sit in the shade,&uot; Odgen tells her players. &uot;You don’t need to say anything.&uot;

Tillman said, &uot;Even before the guy died, we told them to watch themselves and be mindful of the heat.&uot;