In a hot summer period, you may find yourself very warm in your armour. In this article, we will see how the body produces heat and why armor is an additional stress in heat. The major risk is hyperthermia, which is a serious problem, sometimes fatal for the most vulnerable people.
A story of energy
75% of the produced energy during a physical activity is released as heat. Only 25% of this energy is used to activate the skeletal muscles that move the body, and to cover the increased needs of the heart and the respiratory muscles that supply the skeletal ones.
It is easy to understand that the temperature rises quickly in an armor. You sweat fast.
The purpose of sweating is to cover the body with a thin film of liquid which, by evaporating, can dissipate up to 23% of body heat. 13% more can be dissipated by air movement around the body (convection).
More than half (60%) of body heat is dissipated by radiation. The body emits heat like a radiator.
Gambison acts as an insulating layer that prevents both radiation and convection. What’s more the gambeson acts like a sponge and doesn’t permit the sweat to evaporate. Thus, just with a gambeson, we already lose 96% of our ability to dissipate the heat produced by physical effort.
All these mechanisms can lead to hyperthermia (which appears as a fever) which, like hypothermia, is harmful to the body.
So the question is: HOW TO AVOID HYPERTHERMIA IN THE ARMOR?
There is no magic formula. No medication that can artificially lower the body temperature. The classic paracetamol or ibuprofen have no effect (they are only effective on fever or hyperthermia of inflammatory origin).
YOU MUST IN ANY CASE:
1- Hydrate properly. To know more about the hydration of the fighter you can read this little article which could be very useful to you: HERE
2- Drink water at will
3- Avoid alcohol, even beer, cider etc.
4- Remove the gambeson as soon as possible
5- Let the perspiration evaporate do not wipe it (except the one that stings your eyes when you remove your helmet).