Let’s talk about heat adaptation training cause baby it’s hot outside. And it looks like many of us may be working out in the heat until gyms re-open.
There’s a few things we can do to prepare our body for heat. Our bodies are really adaptable, hence the phrase heat adaptation training. But we need to give ourselves the time to adapt. This means slowly increasing the time you spend in the heat for 4-10 days prior to being in the heat for long periods of time training. If you plan do you a 60 min workout in the heat then start with 20 mins and work your way up. Don’t go out and think you are going to go all out for 60 mins in heat and humidity. You will perform like poop and have a headache for hours.
Heat Adaptation Training
If you are in a cold weather environment 4-10 days before the event or before moving into the hot weather climate start going into saunas for 10-30 mins daily . If you are thrown into an environment that is hot without any prior adaptation time limit your time in the heat for the first week, titrating it upwards as the week progresses.
Top off training- go into a heated environment like a sauna after training for a short period of time, you can even do cardio for 10 minutes in that environment.
Clothing- Wearing wicking clothing that pulls the sweat from your body and allows your skin to breath is key in helping with your body cooling off. If you are playing a sport that requires padding and layering it's important to take that into consideration when hydrating because you will sweat more than somebody who is able to wear minimal clothing.
Cold slushy drinks, freezing water bottles the night before with a 4-6% CHO mixture icee slushy water helps cool off the core. Sip on that throughout the training in addition to any other fluids.
Electrolytes should be maintained the entire week not just during the exercise. Once we are dehydrated we have to play catch up.
Ice baths between events for all day competitions or practices being performed in the heat.
How many electrolytes?
Everybody sweats differently but we all sweat sodium. Some people sweat a lot less sodium than others and the only true way to know is a sweat test. They aren’t cheap or readily available so you have to guess based upon the amount of sweat you release, if you have white stains on your clothing from salt and/or if you feel your skin burn from salt. If you do see white residue , have your eye burn or skin sensitivity from sweat you are probably on the higher end of sodium needs. If you don’t sweat much or you sweat but don’t notice any salt then you are on the lower to middle end. If you are training in a hot environment the need for sodium will go up vs a cooler environment.
Hydration is a detailed protocol that should be prescribed specifically for you by an educated and licensed nutritionist. We have some standard guidelines which we follow but hiring a nutritionist will get you the best and safest results!
If you are interested in scheduling a call to talk more about heat adaptation training or hydration protocols click here.