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Top 7 Tips To Beat The Summer Heat - #2 Will Shock You

Top 7 Tips To Beat The Summer Heat - #2 Will Shock You

Every year nearly 70,000 people go to the ER due to heat related ailments. On average, there are over 700 heat related deaths annually. As the temperatures rise with each passing week, staying cooler while outside becomes increasingly important. This is especially important to those of us who work outdoors.

I worked outside in the elements every day for 13 years. During that time I witnessed multiple co-workers battle heat related illnesses. As a Police Officer wearing body armor and a polyester uniform 12 hours a day, my chances of overheating and dehydration were far greater than the average person working out in the heat. Because of this I was obligated to discover uncommon ways to stay cooler, drier and hydrated during long days out in the summer heat.

As someone who studied Bio-Chemistry in university and graduated Pre-Med, I had a deeper understanding of human physiology than most other Police Officers I worked with. So I utilized this knowledge to learn ways to stay cooler and hydrated while working outside all day in beneath the scorching sun.

Believe me, working outside every summer while wearing heavy, suffocating body armor, I know how you feel. I felt hot, sweaty, lightheaded, weak and miserable many days during my first summer on patrol. But then I started doing a little research and found some things out that completely my life. 

During my research (I'm a nerd and a lab geek so research is actually fun for me) I discovered many interesting statistics. I'll share some of them below as I outline how I managed to go 13 years working outside in the extreme heat and beating some of the most common heat related illnesses. 

#1 - Ditch The Ice Cold Drinks

I'm not going to geek out and bore you with the science behind this. But here's the gist of it; room temperature water is easier on your body. Research has found that drinking room temperature water is better to quench your thirst. That's right. Chugging that ice cold water might feel great while you're parched. But the reality is, if you're truly trying to knock out that thirst, room temperature water (or beverage of your choosing) is the way to go. 

#2 - Sip, Don't Chug

Many times when we are in the heat for an extended period of time, the second we get the chance to have a drink, we run and CHUG a ton of fluids. And more often than not, it's ice cold fluids (see #1). However, research has shown that frequently sipping smaller amounts of water over long periods of time actually helps keep you cooler and more hydrated than chugging large amounts of water sporadically. So next time you're out in the heat, try keeping a bottle of fluids (not ice cold) close by and take a sip every few minutes. Fact: More endurance athletes (like marathon runners) have fallen ill and/or died from Hyponatremia (drinking too much water) than Dehydration. I'll explain why next...

#3 - Get Salty

Hyponatremia occurs when individuals who are sweating drink copious amounts of water in an effort to replace the fluids they are losing. However, if you've ever looked at ball cap of Major League Baseball players or the shorts of long distance runners, or, for all the Police Officers out there, your body armor vest after a long shift, you've surely noticed those crystal while stains. And yes, these are salt stains which are a result of sweating. 

Surely at some point in your life you've tasted your own sweat. And for those of us who do Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (like myself), you've surely tasted the sweat of one of your training partners. So of course you know that sweat tastes salty. This means that when you sweat, you're losing water AND salt. Therefore, if all you do is replace the water and not the salt, the end result could be Hyponatremia. And yes, this can be deadly.

How do you prevent this? Simple; add salt to your water. Thankfully there are a ton of companies out there that now offer this in convenient little packets that actually taste great. You've probably seen an ad or two for "electrolytes" while scrolling on social media. That's what you need. Personally, I use a product called LMNT. It's sugar free, comes in a bunch of awesome flavors and comes in these nice little, single serve packets that are super easy to take with you on the go. Simply tear one open and pour it into your (room temperature) water and sip (don't chug) away throughout the day.

On days of intensive training, I easily drink a gallon of water and probably go through 2-3 packets of LMNT a day. I get it direct from their website but I'm pretty sure it's sold on Amazon too. And no, I'm not paid to promote them and don't get anything if you buy their stuff. There are plenty of companies out there selling similar products. I just found theirs to be the best so I'm sharing it with you. Feel free to do your own research (like I did) and pick the one that's right for you. 

#4 - Eat Smaller Meals

Ok, once again, I'm not gonna get into the physiology of this. However, research has found that eating large meals before work or outdoor activities in the heat can raise your body temperature, making you feel hotter and more uncomfortable. It has to do with your body having to work in overdrive to digest that footlong sandwich, chips, cookie and ice cold diet soda (see #5).

If you're going to be out in the heat, keep the meals small and light. Save the big, heavy meals for when you get home, if you so choose. At least you'll have AC to keep you cool. 

#5 - Skip the Sugar, Booze and Caffeine

Listen, don't shoot the messenger. Not gonna bore you with the science here so I'll just tell you this; all of these things put your body into a state where it has to work harder to process this stuff. This raises your core body temperature. That's about it in a nutshell. Look, we all know that sugar is bad for you. And most of us know that alcohol is essentially sugar that gets you drunk. And caffeine elevates your heart rate. So if you're serious about staying cooler while out in the heat, it's in your best interest to avoid these three as much as humanly possible. Fact: Research has repeatedly proven that limiting or eliminating sugars and alcohol from your diet can has massive benefits to you health. Additionally, not consuming caffeine after 12 noon has proven to have numerous benefits to your sleep, metabolism and overall health. 

#6 - Stop Soaking In Your Own Sweat

At some point in your life you've tried "moisture wicking" something. More than likely it's been a moisture wicking shirt. And, like billions of other people, you probably quickly realized that you were still soaked in sweat after doing whatever it is you do while wearing a moisture wicking shirt. And there's a reason for this.

As a Police Officer, I purchased these cool new, form fitting, "moisture wicking" shirts by a popular athletic company in the hopes of staying drier, and subsequently, cooler while on patrol. Sadly, I soon found out that the wicking of moisture doesn't do much if the shirt doesn't have direct exposure to ambient air. Otherwise, the moisture is just wicked into the material worn over the shirt. And in my case, this was my bulletproof vest.

This, therefore, lead to not only my fancy moisture wicking shirt to be soaked in sweat but also my body armor. At the end of my shift I would take off my vest and it was SOAKED in sweat. I would then have to peel my moisture wicking shirt off my body, which was also soaked in sweat. And I stunk to high heaven. Clearly it was at this point that I realized I had been hoodwinked. 

On top of all this, my skin was clammy and irritated from soaking in my own sweat all shift long. This lead to break-outs on my chest, back and abdomen which eventually turned into infections. Painful and unsightly infections. 

Anyhow, to make a long story kinda short, I realized the base layer I needed had to actually be breathable, I needed to have a layer between my shirt and body armor which allowed air flow and I needed my base layer to help prevent those horrible skin infections. And that's what lead me to invent my first products; The Maxx-Dri Vest and The Maxx-Dri Silver Elite Shirt

Listen, if you want to be more comfortable while working out in the heat, you have to stay dry. I used by background in Bio-Chemistry to develop a material that offers 50% more air flow than traditional moisture wicking shirts while infusing it with Silver (Ag) which has natural anti-bacterial properties. The result was nothing short of amazing; The Maxx-Dri Silver Elite Material.

If you're a Police Officer or anyone that wears body armor, The Maxx-Dri Vest is an absolute game changer and life saver. If you're someone who just works outside in the summer heat, The Maxx-Dri Silver Elite Shirts (and new Maxx-Dri Sliver Elite Boxer Briefs) will change your life. Don't believe me? Click here to read the Five Star Reviews.

#7 - Be Shady

This one may sound a bit obvious but it's often overlooked. Although at times it may not feel like it, grabbing a bit of shade periodically or whenever possible is huge when it comes to staying cooler in the summer heat. There were so many times I found myself having conversations while on patrol, baking in the sun for no reason, while there was shade just a few feet away. Eventually I got to the point where I would stop people mid-sentence and say, "hey, let's move over there to the shade and continue this conversation." This small action taken throughout the day (whenever possible) made an incredible difference in how I felt at the end of my twelve hour shift. 

For those of you in other professions, erecting a tent or canopy or setting up your tools, etc. under tress or in the shade can and will make a world of a difference in how you feel at the end of your day. Do not underestimate the benefits of time in the shade throughout your day.

In conclusion, nothing is more important than your health. Without it, you have nothing and nothing else matters. So anything you can possibly do to help maintain it on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis should be done without question or hesitation. You will never regret investing in your health and wellness. 

I hope my real-world experience, trials, tribulations and solutions can help you stay cooler, drier, healthier and more comfortable this summer and for many summers to come. 




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