Environmental Influences

External factors such as temperature and your own actions can affect the body. Not looking after your body appropriately, particularly in challenging conditions, can cause symptoms such as headaches, lethargy and and nausea. Dehydration, hyponatremia and overtraining are some of the conditions we look at, and we discuss how to identify, treat and prevent them.

Heat Injuries

There are several forms of heat injury which are usually caused by exercise participation in extreme heat or a lack of fluid intake (dehydration).

Hyponatremia is also known as fluid overload. This occurs in hot climates when the athlete consumes too much plain water. 'Drink as much water as possible' is a common piece of bad advice given to athletes.

Overtraining is excessive high-intensity training and diminished rest periods which may result in feelings of constant tiredness, reduced performance, neural and hormonal changes, mood swings and frequently poor health.


Dehydration is an 'excessive loss of water from the body'. This can happen for numerous reasons, such as illness (through vomiting and diarrhea), diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, excessive sweating, and failure to take on a sufficient volume of fluid to replace that which is lost.