A large portion of the NASCAR season takes place during the hottest months of the year. Couple that with many NASCAR tracks being located in the southern United States and you have a recipe for heat-related illnesses. In order to have the best time at a NASCAR event, it’s important to stay safe when the sun is beating down. Here are some of the best ways to stay cool at NASCAR races, and how to recognize the signs of heat-induced illness.
How to Stay Cool at NASCAR Events
- Stay hydrated. The most crucial part of warding off heat-induced illnesses is to stay properly hydrated. Aim for at least 8 oz of water per hour. You’ll need more water if you’re sweating profusely or consuming diuretics like coffee and alcohol.
- Bring some sports drinks. Water is great but it can’t put back lost electrolytes lost in sweat and urine like sodium, potassium, and magnesium. Supplement your hydration with a sports drink such as Gatorade or Powerade to restore these crucial components.
- Watch your time in the sun. When the mercury is rising and the sun is shining, give yourself some reprieve. Find a shady spot or indoor air-conditioned area to relax for a few minutes and cool off. Even if you’re not feeling hot.
- Watch your alcohol intake. Alcohol can both cause dehydration and impair judgement. Watch your alcohol intake to keep yourself safe this summer.
Knowing the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke is very important during the hot summer months, here is what you should look out for:
Signs of Heat Exhaustion
- Profuse sweating
- Muscle cramps
- Weak, rapid pulse
- Pale, clammy skin
- Dizziness, faintness, loss of energy
What to Do
- Have person drink water (not too fast!)
- Get them inside an air conditioned area or shady spot
- Use a cool shower or cold compresses
- Monitor their condition until symptoms dissapate
Signs of Heat Stroke
- Hot, dry, skin
- Rapid pulse
- Nausea / vomiting
- Loss of consciousness
What to Do
- Call 911 / Contact emergency track personnel immediately
- Take action to cool the person such as getting them in the shade or putting on cold compresses.
Keeping cool and knowing the signs of heat-related illnesses will protect both you and those around you. So stay hydrated, cool, and watch out for the signs and symptoms.