The human body has the ability to adapt to different environmental conditions, called acclimatization. However, there is a limit to our organism’s ability to adapt to such situations.
Hot weather conditions lead to physiological changes in our bodies. These are mostly defense mechanisms for protection. Body temperature is normally between 36.6 and 37.2°C and this temperature is almost constant unless there is a case of a febrile disease. During severe physical exercise it can rise up to 39.4-40°C, especially if the sports environment is hot and humid it can even reach 41-42°C. This may cause heat shock and serious health problems. Therefore, excess heat must be removed from the body. The increase in body temperature is higher in humid and hot weather than in dry and hot weather. As we all know, some of the first acute changes in the body in hot weather and during hot air exercises are sweating and enlarging of the skin blood vessels to remove heat from the body. Sweating is the main mechanism of heat loss from the body under such conditions. There are about two and a half million sweat glands in our body, we see that some people sweat very much and some sweat less depending on whether this number is slightly more or less than this number. It also depends on the the working rate of these sweat glands. Receptors in our skin and in hypothalamus in our brain, initiate perspiration by informing the brain about the increased body temperature. Sweat that evaporates through our skin allows the removal of heat from our body and thus body temperature is reduced. Evaporating one milliliter of water over the skin, Equals removal of 0.58 from the body. It is important to note that the removal of calories from the body by sweating does not mean that our body fat ratio will be further reduced, since the heat being removed is the result of the fat, carbohydrates or proteins already burned. That means more sweating doesn’t mean losing more weight, in other words, sauna does not result in fat burning! On a high tempo, you can sweat about 7-8 liters on a hot day. Such excessive fluid loss is referred to as dehydration. A marathon runner sweats up to 4-5 liters during the race. This is about 6-10% of the body weight. Cardiovascular system is adversely affected by fluid loss of 2% of body weight. Over 3% leads to hyperthermia (increased body temperature), which can lead to health problems. In case of a 4-5% liquid loss, the performance decreases significantly. Athletes can acclimatize to heat within a week or two with moderate intensity exercises. Under such training conditions, the minerals such as sodium and chlorine (salt), potassium and magnesium besides water are also excreted from the body. In particular, the loss of sodium can lead to a drop in blood pressure and thus unconsciousness. As the athletes train, the amount of salt lost through sweat decreases.
So what should we do to recover our losses due to perspiration, protect our health and improve our quality of life during these periods when the weather is well heated?
First of all, the water lost through sweating must be recovered by drinking high amounts of it when feeling thirsty. The minerals lost with sweating should also be recovered. If there are no cardiovascular or high blood pressure problems, salt consumption should be slightly increased and mineral water should not be neglected. While exercising it is very helpful to avoid nylon tracksuits that increase perspiration and reduce evaporation, dark and thick clothes if we are directly exposed to the sunlight, instead light clothes should be preferred much as possible. 150-200 milliliters of water should be drunk every 15-20 minutes before and during exercise (Reminder: one water cup is 200 milliliters). No salt should be taken during training or competition, but a salty meal to be eaten later will cover for the amount of sodium and chlorine lost. Under extreme hot weather, exercise should be done in the early morning or in the evening, and exercise intensity and duration should be kept at a lower level in temperatures above 28-30°C