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Keeping Hydrated in the Heat in the SCA

admin on June 16th, 2008

Warm weather is upon us and summer is fast approaching. Depending on where you live, it can get very hot and miserable just being outside, let alone in heavy weapons or fencing gear. Practicing and fighting in the summer can be brutal if you are not careful and you can dehydrate yourself if you do not get enough fluids or electrolytes. So here’s what to do to stay in the fighting.

Dress in cotton layers if possible. Cotton will help get the sweat away from your body faster so you can cool off. You can also wear clothes made to pull the sweat away from your body. The most famous of this type of clothing is UnderArmor but Nike and Adidas also make clothes like this. Wear light colored clothes if possible. It will keep the sun from glaring down on your and making you even hotter as you just stand there.

Drink plenty of fluids in more frequency than normal. Water, gatorade, sqwincher, etc. If you don’t drink something with electrolytes in it like the gatorade or sqwincher, make sure you take electrolyte tablets or something with salt in it to help you out. Also I would recommend drinking a mixture as any one thing can make you sick in heat. Avoid milk, pop, or anything else carbonated. These can dehydrate you quickly and then you will not be able to fight anymore.

Take breaks often! Fighting too much or for extended periods of time can hurt you so that you may not be able to keep fighting. During a practice get there early and gear up quickly. Find someone to fight with and then take a break for ten or fifteen minutes to rest and get your strength back. Then fight again. Try and fight in shade if possible, this will help keep the sun off you as much as you can. No matter what kind of armor you wear, it is all hot once you have in on. The sun will just make it feel worse.

Wear cool clothes to and from practice. This will help cool your off faster when you get out of your fighting gear. Don’t overexert yourself just because you want to seem like you can fight all the time. You can make yourself sick and then you will not be able to fight at all. Above all remember that fighting in the heat is practice for those attending the Pennsic War in August.