I’ve lived in North Texas all of my life but I still don’t like the heat. Today is May 26th and at 5:03 p.m. it is 96 degrees outside. Weathermen are predicting that we will hit triple digits by Thursday. That is way too hot, way too early in the year!
Even for us Texans who are used to that kind of heat in the summer, it takes our bodies time to adjust. When competing in sporting competitions, experts suggest letting your body get acclimated to hot or cold conditions over a period of 7 to 14 days.
Our school had Field Day on Thursday. We all had a great time, but the last hour was tough. It was an ozone alert day. Though the temperature was only around 88 degrees, the condition of the atmosphere made it seem much hotter. Around 2:00 I began to really feel the effects of the heat. My head began to hurt and I felt my body temperature rising. At one point I stood up from picking up a softball and felt light-headed. Another teacher noticed me sitting in my lawn chair and asked if I was okay. Even though I did a pretty good job of hydrating, I knew I needed to replace the electrolytes (sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium) in my body and I needed to cool off.
The teacher called the office. A parent brought me some juice from the nurse. I made my way into the building. While I sat in the nurse’s office, another one of my colleagues brought me a pickle they had left over from the concession stand. I’ve never known pickles to taste so good.
Sitting there I remembered a football game played at the old Texas Stadium when the pickle-juice-drinking Eagles pounced the Cowboys 41-14. It was later dubbed the “Pickle Bowl.”
You can read about the science behind the “Pickle Bowl” here.
I’ve had experiences with getting overheated that did not go as well as Thursday. I often just push through even though I don’t feel well. As a result, I’ve gotten horrible headaches from near heat exhaustion that have taken me out for at least 24 hours. But this time I recognized what was happening, stopped and I got what I needed before it got worse.
I don’t eat or drink anything with food coloring, so the sports drinks are out for me. But I will always make sure I have pickles in my refrigerator on days when the temperatures rise.