Polo Players Edition

AUG 2018

Polo Players' Edition is the official publication of the U.S. Polo Association. Dedicated to the sport of polo, it features player profiles, game strategy, horse care, playing tips, polo club news and tournament results.

Issue link: https://polo.epubxp.com/i/1005812

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Page 15 of 67

14 POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N U S E F U L S BY GWEN RIZZO DRINK UP! W orking out in the summer heat can leave you feeling like you've been zapped of all your energy. Galloping around, trying to maneuvering a half-ton horse while chasing a small, white ball, all while your opponents are bumping you and hooking your mallet in the heat is enough to make the fittest athlete feel fatigued. One of the keys to maintaining your energy is staying hydrated. Even mild dehydration can make you feel tired. More than half your body weight is water, and any fluid lost needs to be replenished. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most of your fluid needs are met through water and beverages you drink. However, you can get some fluids through the foods you eat. For example, broth soups and foods with high-water content such as celery, tomatoes or melons can contribute to fluid intake. You have likely heard the average person should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. This may be a good rule of thumb for some, however if you sweat, you need to drink more. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine indicate very active individuals continually exposed to hot weather often have daily total water needs of six liters or more. Loss of water through urination and sweating must be replenished. The more you sweat, the more water is needed to replenish your body. This is especially true during the summer when it is hot. According to the CDC, water helps keep your body temperature normal, lubricate and cushion joints, protect your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues and get rid of wastes through urination, perspiration and bowel movements. Signs of dehydration include lightheadedness, dark-colored urine or little or no urine, headache, fatigue, dry mouth and confusion. But water isn't all that is lost through sweating. Electrolytes, which include sodium and potassium among other minerals, are also lost through sweating. Electrolytes regulate nerve and muscle function and also need to be replenished. "Hotter temperatures call for increased hydration and electrolyte needs, such as potassium. Failing to replace potassium during and after workouts can lead to muscular aches, cramps, fatigue or even spasms, heart palpitations, constipation or nausea," says Angie Asche, MS, RD sports dietitian and owner of Eleat Sports Nutrition. "Adults should be taking in 4.7 grams of potassium per day. Some potassium-rich foods include baked potatoes, sweet potatoes, milk, yogurt, melon, bananas, avocado, spinach, broccoli and coconut water." Sports drinks—not to be confused with energy drinks—contain electrolytes, which help your body absorb water. However, not all sports drinks are the same. Some can be high in calories from added sugar or contain high levels of salt or caffeine. Stick to water, drinking sports drinks only when you are exercising intensely for more than an hour. Stay away from energy drinks, which won't replace electrolytes and generally contain high-levels of caffeine and sugar. For most U.S. states, heat peaks in August. Some athletes can exercise in the comfort of a gym, while polo players play almost exclusively outdoors. Some days, it may be too hot for humans or horses to exercise safely outdoors. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends dialing back intensity of exercise when weather is hotter and more humid. The ACSM says an athlete can lose more than 5 percent of body weight in water when exercising in the heat. That much dehydration undermines sweat production and blood flow to the skin, making it harder for the body to dissipate heat. According to Asche, a 1 percent loss in body weight during exercise (1.5 pounds in a 150-pound person) makes the heart beat 3 to 5 times faster per minute. A 2 percent loss (3 pounds in 150-pound person) is defined as dehydration and a 3 percent loss (4.5 pounds in a 150-pound person) significantly impairs performance. "Common sweat rates ranges from about 1 to 4 pounds per hour. This number can vary so much depending on the person, their body weight, temperature, etc. Due to this variation, I highly recommend calculating your own sweat rate," Asche says. This can be done by weighing yourself immediately before playing and immediately after—while keeping track of how many ounces of water you drink. "Knowing this information can Keep hydrated when playing in the heat SHELLEY HEATLEY

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