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Hot Temperatures Mean Extra Hydration for Athletes

By Joe Sullivan
By jsullivan@wbbjtv.com

JACKSON, Tenn.-- South Side High School senior Mason Taylor is busy getting ready to take on Crockett County tonight.

His preparation to avoid cramps may seem unusual to some.

"We eat a lot of mustard," Taylor said. "The vinegar in mustard puts back the acids that you can lose when your playing and pickle juice does the same thing. Some people drink vinegar."

Health officials say to avoid becoming dehydrated and getting sick football players need to stay hydrated.

Drink even if they're not thirsty and be aware of the symptoms of heat stroke, like headache, dizziness or confusion. Brian Vaughn, a local physical therapist, offers advice for athletes.

"We begin hydrating players on the mornings of game days," Vaughn said. "We have them drink several ounces of Gatorade and water at breakfast, lunch and we have them hydrating all afternoon before games."

According to the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research, at least 10 children die every year from sports related heat stroke.

Football players are more likely to fall victims, because the sport has the most participants.

For decades if a High School football player came out of a game for water it was a sign of weakness.

Times have changed and through education coaches are well aware of the importance of staying hydrated.

Jason Driggers South Side Head Coach said, "The science of it has really taken over. We are learning more things about it. They used to give them salt tablets probably in the 1970's which even made them more dehydrated, so it's come a long way."