Eagles Manage Summer Heat

by Bruce Wallace

The SoBoCo Eagles football team will hit the practice field again on Thursday and Friday afternoon, despite heat indices that will climb into the triple digits.
However, Eagles coach Trent Tracy says the team will need to practice in this type of weather to prepare for the heat during games the first three- to four-weeks of the season.
“We will take heat breaks during the games and we will have those during practice as well,” Tracy said during summer football camp. “But if we don’t practice in this with full pads, there is no way we will be ready to play games in August – even if it is in the evening.”
Tracy said the key to players managing the heat during practice is to prepare for it all day long.
“Our players are taught to drink water throughout the day and when they go home,” Tracy said. “They need to make sure they are managing their liquid intake every hour.”
According to University of Michigan director of sports nutrition Caroline Mandel, maintaining good hydration levels helps athletes delay fatigue, maintain mental focus and regulate body temperatures.
“Fluid needs depend on the intensity and duration of the activity as well as the environmental conditions and the types of clothing/equipment worn,” Mandel said in an ESPN.com article. “In general, high school athletes require 10 to 12 cups of fluid (water, fruit juice, milk, etc.) per day consumed at meals and snacks so they start exercise in a hydrated state. During exercise, athletes require 4 to 8 ounces of fluid every 15 to 20 minutes.”
Mandel recommends water and sports drinks for young athletes.
“Water is a great hydrator and is fine for exercise that lasts less than an hour and exercise on cool days,” Mandel said. “For intense exercise that lasts longer than an hour and for exercise on hot and humid days, a sports drink that contains carbohydrate (no more than 14 grams per 8 fluid oz.) and electrolytes like sodium and potassium has been shown to improve voluntary hydration and prevent dehydration better than water alone.”
Besides the upcoming practices, the Eagles will split up their team and play an inter-squad scrimmage on Saturday morning from 10a.m.-noon.