Click Here to go to the Home Page of


Kip Patterson - 08/2013

Back to Medical Minute

3DPT Interviews Shawnee High School Head Athletic
Trainer Kip Patterson, MS, ATC about Heat and Hydration

3DPT Kip Patterson


3DPT: Where did you go to school for your athletic training degree?

Mr. Patterson: I studied Athletic Training at Rowan University

3DPT: Why did you choose to become an athletic trainer?

Mr. Patterson: I enjoy helping people. I enjoy helping athletes return to participation so they can, once again, perform to the best of their ability!

3DPT: With the hot days of summer comes summer sports and training for the fall sports season. What are your recommendations on hydration and training on hot days?

Mr. Patterson: According to the National Athletic Trainers Association: The key is to load up the day prior to the exercise bout. Then 2-3 hours prior to the exercise drink 17-20 fluid oz. and 20-30 min before drink 10 fluid oz.

Monitor the temperature, wind, humidity and heat index. These are all important factors to consider while exercising outdoors. There are charts online to help judge when the combination of elements, including temperature, humidity, and heat index, are unsafe to practice.

Based on sweat and urine loss, there are formulas for body weight pre and post exercise to calculate fluid loss. Based on that, the athlete should consume 7-10 oz every 10 to 20 minutes during exercise.

Post exercise rehydration should be properly replaced within 2 hours. This would be the best scenario for the body to attempt to recover from exercise in extreme conditions.

3DPT: What are the typical signs of dehydration? If dehydration is suspected, what are your suggestions on what to do next?

Mr. Patterson: By definition, according to Wikipedia: Typical signs of dehydration (but not limited to) are:

  • Dry mouth
  • Decreased and/or dark urine
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Palpitations
  • Confusion
  • Sluggishness/Fainting
  • Inability to sweat

Any of, or combination of the symptoms above are cause for concern. It is at this point that the athlete should be removed from participation and evaluated. If the symptoms indicate treatment or a doctor's evaluation they should be sent immediately.

3DPT: Besides dehyrdration, what are other heat related illnesses to be aware of while training in the sun? Is there a way to differentially diagnose more serious conditions on the field?

Mr. Patterson: By definition, according to Wikipedia:  Other heat related illnesses

  • Heat Cramps: muscle spasms that occur as a result of large amount of salt and water through exercise.
  • Heat Syncope: Fainting as a result of overheating
  • Heat Exhaustion: can be the precursor of Heat Stroke. The symptoms may include heavy sweating, rapid breathing and a fast, weak pulse.
  • Heat Stroke: the body temperature is greater than 105.1 degrees F due to environmental heat exposure with lack of thermoregulation. Symptoms include: dry skin, rapid, strong pulse and dizziness.

Once again, when dealing with athletes... Dry mouth is an indicator of thirst. Dark urine is a stronger indicator of dehydration. Symptoms such as weakness, confusion, dizziness, sluggishness and heart/pulse related are not to be ignored or dismissed. Immediate medical attention should be administered to the athlete and if symptoms indicate, 911 should be activated and the athlete should be sent to the hospital for treatment and observation.

3DPT: Who is more prone to heat related illness?

Mr. Patterson:

  • a person with blood pressures issues
  • an uncontrolled diabetic
  • an overweight individual
  • an elderly or younger individual
  • someone wearing excessive clothing or gear
  • an individual taking medication with a diuretic
  • someone who consumed of alcohol

Best Of

meet our staff

New patients click here!

Join Our Email List

3DPT on Facebook3DPT on Twitter3DPT on YouTube3DPT on Linkedin

"The team at 3DPT is made up of dedicated and caring Physical Therapists whose expertise and hands-on approach are what I seek for my patients. It is their fundamental philosophy that has made my professional experiences with them nothing short of exemplary."

     -      Dr. Kathryn Gollotto, DO - Orthopedic Reconstruction Specialists