Dehydration Named Minor Role Player During NBA Finals

A forceful opponent has demanded courtside attention at the NBA Finals 2015. From pregame warm-ups to post-game interviews, the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers have faced a serious common enemy: dehydration.

During the highly competitive series, cramps, dizziness and other symptoms of dehydration have hit key players on both teams. For example, Warriors point guard Stephen Curry — the league’s 2015 Most Valuable Player — had to be treated for dehydration in the team’s locker room after Game 5, according to team reports.

“After his postgame news conference, the league MVP appeared to be in discomfort as his father, Dell Curry, and Warriors security guard Ralph Walker ushered him to the locker room. Once there, Curry received drinking fluids to relieve the dehydration.” –ESPN

Likewise, Matthew Dellavedova, the scrappy guard for the Cavaliers, was rushed to the hospital after experiencing severe cramping and other symptoms of dehydration following Game 4.

Both players recovered promptly, but the recent dehydration reports were echoes of the 2014 NBA finals, in which superstar player Lebron James—a Miami Heat player at that time — left the game after suffering severe leg cramps and dehydration during Game 1 of that series.

Whether you are a professional athlete or a weekend warrior, proper hydration is important, says Agueda Hernandez, M.D., a Baptist Health Medical Group physician with Baptist Health Primary Care.

“Sweat is our body’s way of keeping cool, but when we perspire we lose body fluids and that can lead to dehydration,” she said. “Drinking water or other fluids is a must before you head outdoors to exercise.”

Dehydration can become a serious health threat. She added: “Severe dehydration requires immediate medical attention, to avoid progression to heat stroke, which can result in death or cause damage to the brain and other internal organs.”

Dr. Hernandez offers these tips on beating the heat:

  • Try to drink at least every 15 to 20 minutes, or as needed.
  • Use a sports drink if you will be exercising for longer than one hour.
  • Do not drink coffee, colas, or other drinks that contain caffeine. They increase urine output and make you dehydrate faster.
  • If you are on a high-protein diet, make sure that you drink at least eight to 12 glasses of water each day.
  • Avoid alcohol, including beer and wine. They increase dehydration and make it hard to make good decisions.
  • If possible, exercise very early in the day or very late to avoid the hottest parts of the day.

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