Volunteers handing out water at half marathon in Gulf Shores, AL

3 Tips for Athletes Competing on Alabama’s Beaches

Want to compete on the Gulf Coast? Here are some tips to help you be your best!

It's no secret the beach can bring high temperatures and lots of sun. Athletes need to be fully prepared to take care of their bodies and bring their 'A' game all year round.

Sunscreen can be found at most shops in Gulf Shores, AL

1. Hydrate, hydrate, and don’t forget to hydrate!

  • Start hydrating in the days BEFORE your event. Carry a gallon jug of water with you in the days before competing to get your body primed. The key is to start before you’re thirsty. 
  • Not a fan of plain water? Add lemon juice or other fruit juices to add a bit of flavor.
  • Once the competition begins, consider adding some electrolytes to your intake by alternating with sports drinks.
  • Look for fruits and vegetables (hello, watermelon!) to help supplement hydration and sodium. Watermelon, citrus and celery are great choices.
  • Did we mention hydrate? 

2. Protect yourself from the sun.

  • Always use sun protection for outdoor sports, no matter the time of year and even if it’s overcast.
  • Don’t wait until you’re outside to apply sunscreen. Apply a layer of sunscreen UNDER your clothes – most clothing does not have SPF protection.
  • Re-apply! Apply every two hours, and especially after getting wet or sweating.
  • Use a broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB) sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher that is waterproof.
  • Out with the old – sunscreen does expire and can become less effective. Toss out any sunscreen from last year because it’s not worth the risk.
  • Be thorough! Ears, back of neck, hairline and tops of feet are places that are easy to miss.
  • Look for sun-protective clothing and hats. A regular T-shirt has an average UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) of about five. Sun protective clothing can offer UPF Protection of 30 or more.
Staying Cool at Sports Events around Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama

3. Beat the heat

  • If possible, try to acclimate to the heat before the competition. Short practices with cool-down time in between may help athletes prepare for the heat.
  • Using iced-down towels and evaporative cooling towels can help decrease body temperature and offer some respite.
  • Between competitions, stay in the shade as much as possible. Don’t forget your tents (if approved by the facilities) or umbrellas.
  • Monitor your athletes for overheating and heat exhaustion. Faintness, dizziness, goosebumps on the skin when in heat, headache and nausea are symptoms of heat exhaustion.


Share This