Texas summers can see temperatures reaching dangerous levels. Proper hydration is key for personal health and athletic performance. IV hydration can get athletes the fluids and minerals they need to replenish those lost through sweat during practice and at games.
IV Fluids for Football Players
In football, the NFL commonly uses IV fluids before games to “prehydrate” athletes. In fact, 75% of teams in the NFL have reported using IV fluids to help players before games. Collegiate athletes also use this therapy. In a survey of 77 college football teams, 30% of teams reported using pre-game IV therapy for at least two to three of their players. The reasons for choosing this therapy included preventing muscle cramps, heat illness, dehydration and to boost exercise tolerance of players.
Football players have extra strain on them when playing in the heat for two main reasons. First, in Texas, high school football practice begins the first Monday in August. This timing puts players outside in the hottest part of the year in Texas. Football padding and uniforms contribute to the heat players feel.
When it comes to playing football in Texas, the University Interscholastic League (UIL) in the state reports the greatest danger comes from heat-related illnesses. In the five-year span from 1995 to 2000, the UIL in Texas reported 17 school athletes dying from heat stroke. While Texas’s UIL-participating schools have not reported any more heat-related deaths since 2004, the state still does not have adequate recommendations for heat safety.
On average, Texas does a poor job of keeping athletes protected from heat illnesses, ranking third from last in a listing of 49 states’ heat safety scores. The good news is that coaches and players can be proactive in preventing heat illnesses, muscle cramps and dehydration. Adequate hydration is key to avoiding heat-related illnesses.
Since a dehydrated athlete continues in that state until they rehydrate, their condition can continue and worsen with subsequent practices if they do not get proper fluids into their body. Signs of dehydration include dark urine or a loss of more than 3% body weight after practice or a game. These are indications that the athlete might need IV hydration to recover fluids and minerals lost from sweating during one or more practices.
Providing IV fluids can help high school, college and NFL players avoid this compounding dehydration problem by rehydrating them fully following workouts in high heat. By choosing Mobile IV Medics, you don’t have to leave the field. We come to you to help you and your teammates receive IV hydration to feel restored and to recover from dehydration.
IV Therapy for Athletic Performance
Treating dehydration in athletes could impact their performance. For example, in a study of competitive cyclists, having a fluid loss of greater than 2% of body mass correlated to slower cycling speeds and higher body temperatures. In the study, cyclists did not know their hydration levels, though low hydration severely affected performance. Therefore, those who experienced hypohydration may not be aware they need to drink enough water or sports drinks to correct the issue to improve performance.
Another issue with athletes, especially in the summer, is drinking enough fluids to compensate for mineral and water loss through sweat. Using thirst as a metric for drinking to prevent dehydration does not work for intense activity. It only is an effective way to determine when to drink during rest or low-intensity workouts. Consequently, athletes may not get enough fluids if they rely solely on thirst.
In hot weather, the body works hard to cool itself. When the temperature rises, blood flow to the skin increases to cool the blood off through evaporative cooling from sweat. This process draws blood from the muscles. However, when the body does not have enough fluids to produce sweat, the blood cannot cool, which leads to an increase in body temperature and a decrease in athletic performance.
Left untreated, a rise in core temperature could reach dangerous levels and result in heat stroke. Proper hydration can prevent a drop in athletic performance and reduce chances of heat illness. To help yourself or your teammates recover quickly from a tough workout or after a game, trust the IV services from Mobile IV Medics to come to your practice field or game location. We can deliver a saline-based hydration solution with any add-ins you request to help correct fluid and mineral balances.
IV Therapy for Muscle Recovery in Texas
Working out in the heat, especially the extreme heat of Texas summers and early falls, can result in muscle cramps. The heat and exercise can lead to a mineral imbalance that produces bilateral cramps over multiple areas of the body. A study shows that restoring mineral balance in recovery through an IV solution with electrolytes can be effective at easing the discomfort. IV solutions of hypertonic or standard sodium levels may help in cases of severe sodium loss, called hyponatremia or when muscle cramps are exceptionally severe.
Muscle cramps commonly happen in the heat, and also go by the term heat cramps. A loss of water and salts from the body often leads to these heat cramps. Proper hydration can prevent heat cramps or ease these cramps and slow the progression of heat stress. Heat cramps, if not treated, could continue to heat exhaustion or heat stroke as the body struggles to stay cool in a dehydrated state.
Let the professionals at Mobile IV Medics come to you with hydration solutions. We serve the Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin and San Antonio areas in Texas. Because we work in the state, we know how important hydration is to athletes of all ages and abilities. Contact us to book our mobile unit to bring IV services for help recovering from muscle cramps and to restore physical balance following practices or games.
Book On-Site IV Therapy for Yourself and Your Teammates
Stay safe and hydrated throughout the season with IV therapy for you and your team by booking a visit from us at Mobile IV Medics. We can help athletes of all skill levels, from high school through pro teams, to feel more hydrated after a hard practice or tough game. See the difference that quality hydration can make in your game by setting up an appointment with us today.
About the author
Brad Wenderoth, Pharm.D.
Brad Wenderoth, Pharm.D. is a licensed pharmacist and co-owner of Mobile IV Medics. With over 16 years of healthcare experience, Brad is bringing his expertise and passion for patient care to the Mobile IV Medics patient population. Prior to Mobile IV Medics, Brad worked in varying areas including both direct patient care and hospital leadership at Keck Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles, nationwide health system pharmacy consulting for Comprehensive Pharmacy Services (CPS), and professor of pharmacy at the USC School of Pharmacy. He holds a doctorate in pharmacy from the University of Arizona, a pharmacy practice residency from USC, and a lean six sigma green belt from Johns Hopkins.