EXERCISING WITH HEAT: Wow what a summer so far! The sky is blue and the wind is light, and the temperatures are up around the 30 degree mark.
This is quite clearly going to have an effect on exercise. So how do we deal with it?
Obviously, the first options would be to exercise at the cooler times of the day. Between 6-8am or after 8pm. Choosing a lightweight, breathable fabric for your clothing will help a lot too.
But what if you need to exercise in the hottest parts of the day? If you play organised sports, or if you can't change your routine, then you need to find a better way to deal with it!
During high intensity exercise in the heat, your core body temperature can increase by about 1 degree every 5-7 minutes. We can't tolerate our core temperature being elevated past 40 degrees for very long. As such, the body is forced to dissipate heat effectively or reduce exercise intensity. In sport, the team that reduces intensity the least (or is the most effective in causing their opposition to keep playing at an intensity that is above their capacity) will be the one that runs out the matches the strongest.
The body functions best in a core temperature range slightly either side of 37.5 degrees celsius. Ice baths and ice vests certainly make us feel cooler but they actually do very little for cooling the core. They trick our brain into thinking our body is cooler. This enables us to keep working but at the risk of overheating because we continue to cook from the inside.
So is there anything effective we can do?
The most effective way we've found to date of cooling core body temperature is consuming slushed ice drinks. This was a common strategy in the Football World Cup in Brazil last year.
Particularly common is a sports drink slushie. The liquid needs to have a reasonably high sugar content (about 9%), otherwise it doesn't slush, it just freezes.
You can buy these drinks ready to go (Frozen Coke) or make one yourself (Powerade in the freezer!). Use these drinks to deal with the heat and keep on exercising!!