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Heat Illness and its effect on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu athletes

04-27-2011 01:44 PM CET | Sports

Press release from: Top Flight MMA

/ PR Agency: Top flight mma
Our bodies have a natural mechanism of regulating the body temperature through sweat and emitting heat through skin. This mechanism helps our body temperature to stay normal. However, this mechanism may fail if our body is exposed to extreme conditions like high temperature or humidity level. In such cases, the body fails to cool down and its temperature builds up to unnatural and harmful levels. This condition is called heat illness and can lead to problems like heat cramps, heat rash, heat exhaustion and heat strokes. In some cases, heat illness can also be a result of dehydration.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu athletes are more vulnerable to these problems due to their rigorous practice and exercise schedules. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu athletes usually practice for long hours and lose substantial amount of fluid through sweat. They also tend to spit frequently. Usually, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practice sessions and fights are organized in closed areas. This leads to rise in the temperature of the surroundings, due to which the athlete’s body fails to emit heat and his body temperature keeps rising. The body fails to release heat through sweat as the surroundings are very humid too. If the athlete’s body is dehydrated, body fails to sweat and release heat.

In such condition an athlete’s body temperature rises to unnatural level. Due to this Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu athletes can experience cramps in legs, arms or abdominal muscles. This is a result of low sodium and fluid level in the body. It impairs an athlete’s performance and he may also feel exhausted due to lack of fluids in the body. In severe cases, the athlete can also suffer from heat strokes. This is a life threatening condition and the body temperature can soar up to 106 degrees Fahrenheit. It requires prompt medical attention.

Medical assistance should be available for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu athletes when they are practicing or in a tournament. Trainers should have basic knowledge on how to handle heat illness. This will ensure that an athlete’s condition does not deteriorate any further.

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