During exercise our body regulates its core temperature through sweat. As a result we often excrete more water than we intake, which can lead to heat cramps, heat syncope, dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. The most common electrolyte/fluid imbalances are heat cramps and syncope and dehydration.
Heat Cramps and Syncope
|Symptoms of Heat Cramps:||Treatment:|
|cramps usually in abdominal or calf muscles during or after sustained exercise||drink water with .5% sodium content, massage muscle, and rest in a cool environment|
|blurred vision and/or brief fainting or near fainting with normal temperature *May result from dehydration or from blood pooling in lower extremities||lay on back in cool environment and drink water|
|Dehydration Symptoms of Dehydration:||Treatment:|
|fatigue and weakness, dry mouth *Loss of work capacity is a result of dehydration||drink fluids and sodium replacement Roitman,|
Dehydration is the most common water/electrolyte imbalance. If an athlete losses 2% of their fluid reserve, they will have reduced their work capacity by 10-15%. Each pound of weight lost represents 16oz. of fluid or two cups of sweat (Jordan, P. (1995). Fitness Theory & Practice (2nd ed.). Sherman Oaks, CA: Aerobics and Fitness Association of America.). Therefor this measurement should be used as a guideline for fluid replacement after an exercise session. However precaution for dehydration should begin before during, and after exercise.
General Training Guidelines for Fluid Intake
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The Exercise and Physical Fitness Web Page is an ongoing project by graduate students in the Master of Science program in Exercise Science in the Department of Kinesiology and Health at Georgia State University. This project was created by J. Andrew Doyle, PhD, and was last modified on: April 27, 1999.