These last few weeks of record breaking heat mean we all need to avoid dehydration while exercising outside. The average person loses a pint of water without any exertion. That means during strenuous excercise with temps over 90 degrees one may lose a half gallon in an hour. When we lose too much water and/or salts, dehydration or heat fatigue may result.
Symptoms of dehydration vary from person to person but some of the signs are headache, dizziness, confusion, fatigue & profuse sweating accompanied with rapid heart rate. Those over 50 years of age should be more vigilant about these symptoms.
If dehydration is suspected, move into a shaded area, or AC if possible. Sit down and start to drink water and/or an electrolyte replacement. Drink slowly until symptoms deminish. Consider getting help or transport if weakness continues. Most times fluid replacement and cooling down is enough to restore well being.
Keep an eye on fellow cyclists for any signs of dehydration. Ask them how they feel. In this kind of extra hot weather, carry more fluids and have more rest breaks in the cooler shade to be safe. Hey, if you needed another reason for a gelato, ice cream or snow cone break, this weather is the ticket!