Heat sickness problems

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by TonLars, Jul 30, 2007.

  1. TonLars

    TonLars Professional

    Nov 23, 2006
    Minnesota, USA
    First of all I will say im at a loss on this because I play tennis basically everyday year round, and I also throughout the years have done alot of strength and fitness training and so I consider myself to be in excellent physical shape. But, I have what I consider to be a serious problem with my tennis concerning playing in the heat. I rarely have issues with cramping like some, but rather I will very often not feel very good or feel sick when it is very hot and/or humid out. I believe it is only heat related as well because when Im playing inside or in normal temperatures Ive really never had a problem like this as when theres alot of heat. I do sweat a ton and people that know me would say I sweat more than anyone else. I consider myself to be exceptionally strong, fast and usually more so than anyone I play, but I suffer in the heat. I often am feeling sick to my stomach, light headed, and my legs feel extremely fatigued in the quads and cavs. I will sometimes feel like im going to throw up, but I never have actually. Over the last few years Ive tried to do alot of things to help it, namely wearing all white and using sunscreen, drinking alot of water/gatorade/accelerade/hydromax and eating energy bars and gel packs, wearing a hat, but I still have had trouble playing in this so much that Im literally suffering out there often which makes it extremely difficult to play my best and win against very good players. Im not able to move as fast and intensely like I would if I was feeling better.

    Ive lost a number of important matches that at least some would have been victories due to getting what Id call heat sick/fatigued. If I could figure out what the exact problem is and how to combat it, Id be able to get so much further. I dont know if I simply need to do better and more of what Im already doing, or if I need to do more stamina and endurance training, or if im not getting enough sleep or taking enough days off, or if I have some sort of physical disability I dont know about, or if there is one specific thing I am missing or dont know about that I could eat, drink, take or do or whatever to fix it? Help is greatly appreciated and Id be forever in debt to the answers.
  2. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

    Feb 19, 2004
    Parts unknown
    Some peoples' bodies just dont work very well in the heat. I too have never handled heat very well...worse than many. To be precise, i am ok in heat and humidity, but throw in bright sun and my endurance goes way down in spite of taking the precautions

    Hydration is key I think you know? Not just the kind where you drink fluids during play, but also the kind where you replenish before and afterwards..the water you drink the day befor you play is as impt as the water you drink during play. I like Cytomax as far as making my energy a little more long lasting during play, and also in recovery for the next day. It will upset some peoples' stomachs

    In the area of natural rehydration, you cant beat watermelon and lately I have discovered Coconut water..it's all natural and loaded with Potassium and other electrolytes and is light and refreshing (not coconut milk)

    Former open level player, TP part time, and still playing solidly in the 5.0's
  3. Geezer Guy

    Geezer Guy Hall of Fame

    Feb 17, 2005
    Big Canoe, GA
    When playing in the heat you may need to change your game plan a bit. Play shorter points, go for winners more often, maybe go for aces or at least unreturnable serves more than usual, be selective on the balls you run down. In general, conserve your energy for the crucial times in the match.
  4. Supernatural_Serve

    Supernatural_Serve Professional

    Jul 10, 2006
    Just brainstorming, but maybe it has something to do with growing up or living in a cold climate, Minnesota.

    Your body isn't used to heat/humidity, especially when its being pushed, since its a very cold to cold (not hot) / dry (not humid) place most of the year.
  5. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

    Jun 22, 2007
    The human body does seem to be able to do some acclimatizing to hot weather. I read an article linked on another thread that says that Federer is currently training in Dubai. 125 fahrenheit in the day is not unusual (I think he's mostly training at night). He feels that it helps him easily withstand the heat on hard courts during the summer.

    I'm not sure my advice is that helpful, but try to practice in the heat, hydrate fully before the match, definitely eat salty food during the match, wear a hat, and definitely use a towel to improve your cooling from evaporation. Wipe as much sweat as possible off your body between games.
  6. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

    Jun 2, 2006
    The Great NW
    The human body can keep it's internal temperature within a degree or two over an incredible range of external temps if and only if, there is enough water and electrolytes to maintain those equilibria.

    You don't need to "train" your sweat glands to pump out sweat, they are pretty good at it without training. You probably can train your psyche to deal with the grueling nature of dealing with the discomfort of the heat though.
  7. Punisha

    Punisha Professional

    Dec 22, 2005
    ice vest?

    at your level i would really goto all stops to keep winning...
  8. Gram Parsons

    Gram Parsons New User

    Jul 7, 2007
    I used to get sick playing football (soccer if you're from the US). It happened most in the heat, but not exclusively. I actually did throw up on occassions too.

    As none of my mates had it, I got myself a proper ECG heart scan to see if there was any issue. Thankfully there wasn't, so I would be surprised if you had any particular physical deficiency, or defect, or whatever.

    David Beckham was sick on the side of the pitch at the 2006 world cup match, and they don't come much fitter than him.

    I would say it is normal. Nerves can exacerbate the problem, especially if you get wound up that you might feel sick on top of match nerves. The best approach I think would be to stay relaxed and calm, and keep building up the experience of playing in those conditions and hopefully you will see improvements.
  9. richw76

    richw76 Rookie

    May 10, 2007
    That sounds about right. I grew up in Miami and did soccer/tennis/crosscountry. During our summer practice(wasn't really "practice" just everyone on the varsity team would show up and the coach was there-110 degrees ++ and 99.99 humidity).

    Anyway we were like you. All fit, but when you get hot enough your brain kinda starts to shutdown, almost feels like a dream/fog/body detachment. Anyway, our coach would basically give us heat stroke on purpose. We would do a 2pm track workout. Sprint the straights, and jog the curve... until the 2nd or 3rd guy throws up. The older guys on the team would really push the younger guys to keep going.

    Long story short it's all mental you learn that even though you feel crazy you can still concentrate and perform. After that you can push much harder, for longer. You'll never "get used to it" but you learn to push through it.

    I don't recommend causing yourself to go into heatstroke, and I would never do it again but it worked. Since your in Minnesota it may not be possible, in miami if you jog between 11-4pm you're always in some stage of heat stroke :)
  10. pinetree47

    pinetree47 New User

    Feb 18, 2007
    I agree with the others, much of it is mental / nerves. Just a few other suggestions:

    Breathing: Maybe it sounds crazy to some, but my Dr. rec. breathing classes which of course improved breathing, but also the nerves.

    Diet / Hydration: By now you should know what you need to do to prepare and recover for a match. But the correct diet and hydration should be a lifestyle, not just while training and/or playing.
  11. FiveO

    FiveO Hall of Fame

    Feb 18, 2005
    Diet and hydration are big factors. Make sure you are getting enough potassium in your diet. Bananas, peaches, etc. are great sources.

    Also, I had a similar experience when playing tournaments in the heat one particularly hot and humid summer, though I had been in the best shape of my life. It was an acclimation problem for me. I was also teaching at an indoor camp that same summer and doing much of my practice indoors. The easy access to good players, court time in A/C comfort was great, but did little to acclimate me to the effects of sun and heat.

    Also in hot conditions take active steps to remain as cool as possible. A wet handkerchief or gel cool wrap around the neck, or under your hat can lower your body temp that tic or two to put you back in your optimal function range. Use shade and ice packs on your neck or anyplace on your body you can easily find an arterial pulse to more quickly lower your body temp on changeovers.

    Get a read on your blood chemistry with a good sports med MD. For peace of mind and it could help you identify an issue and point to a simple dietary adjustment that would help. You probably could avail yourself of some analysis through your school as well. The training department or biological sciences would probably be eager to help a student or alum, if for no other reason, the "hands on" it will give them.

    Good luck,

  12. johnny ballgame

    johnny ballgame Professional

    Jan 5, 2007
    This is the key right here. I put small towels in a cooler filled with ice water. On every changeover, wrap ice in the towels and place on the back of your neck and on both wirsts. That should help in a big way.

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