5

votes

Why did my hands swell while running in high temps/humidity?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created July 11, 2011 at 2:11 AM

I went for a short (1.65 mile) run at 4 pm when it was 104 degrees with high humidity and about halfway through my hands got uncomfortably fat, I mean really huge. There was no other swelling in any other body parts, and it felt so weird that I kept clenching my hands in cadence with my steps. I am decently fit, I usually do two short runs (in the cooler morning temps 85 degrees) per week and CrossFit 4x per week also in the morning (I don't Rx). Is this just a heat issue as I have never run outside when it has been this hot? Too much salt? Not enough salt? Big project going on at work and have spent 18 hours sitting at a desk in the last two days, I felt really sluggish/inflexible from being still so that is why I was so antsy to run during the hottest part of the day.

Once I was home and cooled down, the swelling went away quickly. I then devoured a very rare steak and craved triple the amount of salt I usually use for seasoning.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 12, 2011
at 04:11 PM

Yesterday I bit the bullet and tried the baking soda mix - 1/4 tsp b soda, 1/4 tsp celtic salt, 1/4 tsp potassium salt substitute. A bit saline but nice. I stood in the heat for two hours during my kds' swim lessons and ran around the park. My feet stayed nicely un-fat for once - oh no pooping either - horray!

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4111)

on July 12, 2011
at 04:02 PM

keep us posted ...

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on July 12, 2011
at 03:22 PM

Update: Tried the lemon juice recipe, probably 87degrees at CF this morning, nothing different with hydration outside of just tasting nice. I *did* add some large crystal Kosher salt to my few bites of banana/almond butter/coconut flake before heading out the door. Will continue tho.. you never know.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on July 11, 2011
at 08:30 PM

Egads, can you imagine doing heavy squats and suddenly having to poo? No. NO! I will try the lemon and just a simple salty one like my friend suggested. My hood has some good juicers mebbe I go in and get a celery lemon tomorrow post WOD - can't hurt and its going to be a hot one.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 11, 2011
at 04:26 PM

I think celery juice may be good here - high natural sodium, potassium and many other nutrients. hmmmm.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4111)

on July 11, 2011
at 03:46 PM

especially not worth it on a run in the country ha ha!

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on July 11, 2011
at 02:39 PM

Thanks Meredith! It makes me over the moon happy if my food makes people happy so it's definitely a win for all. I love getting requests :) If you're ever in the vicinity give a shout, a pint of tastiness will be delivered post haste!

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 11, 2011
at 02:17 PM

Harry - how much did you add? I don't think the poo is worth it!

Ffc7e0ecad8e8831b528c5d4921377cc

(942)

on July 11, 2011
at 01:56 PM

I tried adding baking soda to my water bottle. The result was EXPLOSIVE diarrhea.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on July 11, 2011
at 01:51 PM

this is awesome! i'm going to try the lemon juice recipe tomorrow and a sodium version on wednesday as both days are to be insanely hot here in ny. see how they both work. it was effing over the top toasty early this morn during cf and i definitely needed something extra. oof.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 11, 2011
at 01:50 PM

Dang JJ - you're a good friend, too bad I live too far away :( I would steal your frozen delights!

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on July 11, 2011
at 01:46 PM

@meredith - imma making her: lemon goat milk, philly style, with lemon zest and then i fold strawberries in, that have been mascerating with the zest and some coconut crystals, as i pack the treat into a container. that way no pink ice cream and the flavours stay separate yet together. it's a tasty one.. :)

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on July 11, 2011
at 01:45 PM

thanks @mem! with your background and agreeing with what she gave me, my friend might have to get two ice creams now... :)

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on July 11, 2011
at 01:40 PM

Yeah! That's it! Seriously though, I don't understand why you constantly write "answers" like this... unless of course you're just trying to sound smart. Is this something we're supposed to Google real fast and understand what you mean, or what?

1bbf5b9ed5202debe9a4c5b9f65e233b

(160)

on July 11, 2011
at 12:08 PM

Me too...I am very interested in the answers to this q!

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 11, 2011
at 03:04 AM

I know you're a busy guy, but could you elaborate on what this is? I've had this happen too and just chalked it up to hot weather equals swollen hands.

A089b683ee0498f2b21b7edfa300e405

(3895)

on July 11, 2011
at 03:02 AM

what would that mean in layman's language? is it something that could be tackled by an individual themselves or does this warning flare require immediate attention of a physician?

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 11, 2011
at 03:02 AM

does that mean sea salt would be of benefit?

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 11, 2011
at 03:01 AM

What's the ice cream recipe????????????

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 11, 2011
at 02:49 AM

+1 - Good basic advice and good on you for sharing it. :)

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on July 11, 2011
at 02:45 AM

i did the 20 mile walk for hunger in boston and for the last five miles everyone walked with their hands up over their heads trying to drain.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on July 11, 2011
at 02:44 AM

i did the 20 mile walk for hunger in boston, and for the last five miles everyone was waling with their hands up over their head trying to drain that shizz.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4111)

on July 11, 2011
at 02:25 AM

And also usually after running my appetite is suppressed for a few hours. Not today.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 11, 2011
at 02:21 AM

Here here. No science or anything but I get it, too. Puffy sausages.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 11, 2011
at 02:20 AM

I cannot provide any science, but this happens to me all the time. I hope a smartypants pipes in!

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8 Answers

8
Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on July 11, 2011
at 02:45 AM

A gf of mine is a nurse and I asked her about this last week - I had done some heavy lifting with a new grip and wondered if I just stressed the hell out of my hands. I'm just going to keep it simple and give it to you exactly as she sent it to me, sans swears: "You're probably not taking in enough electrolytes. The imbalance in salt levels between cells, blood stream, and your extracellular spaces essentially results in trapping water in the tissues as the sodium is lost in sweat. The same thing can happen if you are taking in too much salt. The force from swinging your arms totally added to your Disney character hands." She said that anyone exercising or doing any activities in the heat needs up to 2.07 g of sodium per litre for proper recovery but that drinking it would be like drinking the ocean. So just to add some to my water and up the levels in my food the days I'm working out. Shazam! Food for thought for anyone who is interested. Now I have to make her ice cream.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 11, 2011
at 01:50 PM

Dang JJ - you're a good friend, too bad I live too far away :( I would steal your frozen delights!

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 11, 2011
at 02:49 AM

+1 - Good basic advice and good on you for sharing it. :)

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 11, 2011
at 03:01 AM

What's the ice cream recipe????????????

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on July 11, 2011
at 01:45 PM

thanks @mem! with your background and agreeing with what she gave me, my friend might have to get two ice creams now... :)

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on July 11, 2011
at 02:39 PM

Thanks Meredith! It makes me over the moon happy if my food makes people happy so it's definitely a win for all. I love getting requests :) If you're ever in the vicinity give a shout, a pint of tastiness will be delivered post haste!

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on July 11, 2011
at 01:46 PM

@meredith - imma making her: lemon goat milk, philly style, with lemon zest and then i fold strawberries in, that have been mascerating with the zest and some coconut crystals, as i pack the treat into a container. that way no pink ice cream and the flavours stay separate yet together. it's a tasty one.. :)

1
0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 11, 2011
at 01:20 PM

Just a little cutting and pasting based on Quilt's answer. This is all stolen from the interwebs - but I guess I better understand the need for sports drinks - sugar free of course.

Effect of exercise in the heat on plasma renin and aldosterone with either water or a potassium-rich electrolyte solution. Francis KT, MacGregor R 3rd. Abstract Information concerning the renin-angiotension-aldosterone system during physical exercise in the heat with adequate fluid and/or electrolyte supplement is lacking. The present study was intended to describe the changes in renin activity and serum aldosterone, serum sodium, and serum potassium in subjects receiving water or a potassium-rich electrolyte solution while exercising (50% VO2 max) for 120 min in a warm environment (32 degrees C, 50% relative humidity). This study shows that, in subjects receiving the electrolyte supplement, serum potassium is elevated slightly during the exercise period whereas serum sodium is unchanged from preexercise levels without the electrolyte supplement. Plasma renin and aldosterone levels were significantly reduced in the subjects receiving the electrolyte supplement compared to subjects receiving only water. The ingestion of the electrolyte supplement replaced 42% of the sodium and 100% of the potassium lost by way of sweat and urine while exercising in the heat.

Electrolyte recipe:

2 quarts of water 1 teaspoon of salt 1 teaspoon of baking soda ?? teaspoon of salt substitute (potassium salt

OR

1 cup (8 oz) water (not carbonated) 2 Tablespoons lemon juice small pinch of salt

Ffc7e0ecad8e8831b528c5d4921377cc

(942)

on July 11, 2011
at 01:56 PM

I tried adding baking soda to my water bottle. The result was EXPLOSIVE diarrhea.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4111)

on July 11, 2011
at 03:46 PM

especially not worth it on a run in the country ha ha!

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 11, 2011
at 04:26 PM

I think celery juice may be good here - high natural sodium, potassium and many other nutrients. hmmmm.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on July 11, 2011
at 01:51 PM

this is awesome! i'm going to try the lemon juice recipe tomorrow and a sodium version on wednesday as both days are to be insanely hot here in ny. see how they both work. it was effing over the top toasty early this morn during cf and i definitely needed something extra. oof.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on July 11, 2011
at 08:30 PM

Egads, can you imagine doing heavy squats and suddenly having to poo? No. NO! I will try the lemon and just a simple salty one like my friend suggested. My hood has some good juicers mebbe I go in and get a celery lemon tomorrow post WOD - can't hurt and its going to be a hot one.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 11, 2011
at 02:17 PM

Harry - how much did you add? I don't think the poo is worth it!

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4111)

on July 12, 2011
at 04:02 PM

keep us posted ...

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 12, 2011
at 04:11 PM

Yesterday I bit the bullet and tried the baking soda mix - 1/4 tsp b soda, 1/4 tsp celtic salt, 1/4 tsp potassium salt substitute. A bit saline but nice. I stood in the heat for two hours during my kds' swim lessons and ran around the park. My feet stayed nicely un-fat for once - oh no pooping either - horray!

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on July 12, 2011
at 03:22 PM

Update: Tried the lemon juice recipe, probably 87degrees at CF this morning, nothing different with hydration outside of just tasting nice. I *did* add some large crystal Kosher salt to my few bites of banana/almond butter/coconut flake before heading out the door. Will continue tho.. you never know.

1
5fec13676975a654bd3008a13e8f2144

on July 11, 2011
at 02:40 AM

Happens to me too. Just found this article [http://health.msn.com/health-topics/heart-and-cardiovascular/why-do-my-hands-swell-up-when-i-walk][1]

0
C121fd1f1730a23cd04cc37a3c448499

on May 28, 2012
at 08:23 PM

here's the deal:

when it's hot, your body tries to cool you off by dilating the blood vessels in your skin. dilated blood vessels simultaneously make your skin look redder. (it does the opposite when you're cold, conserving your bodies heat by constricting the blood vessels.)

the thing about dilated blood vessels, however, is that more fluid and squeeze out of them into the tissue of your fingers and they get fat.

this happens to me all the time, too!

0
B360cb02c025e9e4813ea2285c930739

(0)

on July 12, 2011
at 09:35 PM

Here's what the Harvard Doctor had to say in the link that Mary posted above.

What you are describing is common. It’s likely related to vasodilation, which means that blood vessels are opening up, leading to increased blood flow near the surface of the skin. Increased blood flow just under the skin makes the face pink or red and it may cause puffiness of the hands.

Contrary to popular belief, getting red in the face during exercise does not mean you are out of shape.

Vasodilation may occur as one of the body’s ways of regulating temperature. Releasing heat generated by exercise is important, as it allows the body to maintain normal temperature.

Even before working up a sweat (another means of releasing heat), the blood vessels near the skin tend to dilate. This allows more heat to be released from the blood as body temperature rises during exercise.

There may be other explanations for puffy hands during or after exercise:

An exaggerated, normal reflex. During exercise, blood flow to exercising muscles increases. In an effort to maintain circulation to other parts of the body (including the hands), blood vessels may dilate. In some people this reflex is more pronounced than others. Trapped fluid. During exercise, there is increased circulation throughout the body. While the legs have large muscles that work hard during many exercises and that help “pump” this added blood flow through the veins, the arms have smaller muscles and they may not be working as hard during a workout (for example, while jogging). If the hands are held below the level of the heart, the added fluid must travel against gravity. Together, these factors make it harder for the fluid to return to the heart. The extra fluid that is “trapped” in the hands can cause puffiness. Once you cool down and the circulation and blood vessels return to normal, your hands and the color of your face should return to normal. If your rings are tight after exercise, it’s probably a good idea to take them off before you start working out.

Your hand swelling and facial redness may be annoying but they are unlikely to be due to anything serious. Think of them as small prices to pay to stay in shape and avoid overheating.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 12, 2011
at 08:02 AM

Notice any swelling in your ankles?

If so, probably a mild allergic reaction. Heat and exercise exacerbate them.

I stopped eating vegetables and the allergies went away. Dunno what might be the cause with you.

Also, I do better getting my electrolytes from scallops. Can't tolerate oysters for some reason.

0
7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on July 11, 2011
at 02:19 AM

I always thought that was a pretty normal reaction to high heat and humidity. Happens to me as well. I'd love to know why it happens also, though.

-1
Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on July 11, 2011
at 02:44 AM

sounds a lot like the adrenal renin aldosterone system sending up a warning flare to me.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 11, 2011
at 03:02 AM

does that mean sea salt would be of benefit?

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 11, 2011
at 03:04 AM

I know you're a busy guy, but could you elaborate on what this is? I've had this happen too and just chalked it up to hot weather equals swollen hands.

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on July 11, 2011
at 01:40 PM

Yeah! That's it! Seriously though, I don't understand why you constantly write "answers" like this... unless of course you're just trying to sound smart. Is this something we're supposed to Google real fast and understand what you mean, or what?

A089b683ee0498f2b21b7edfa300e405

(3895)

on July 11, 2011
at 03:02 AM

what would that mean in layman's language? is it something that could be tackled by an individual themselves or does this warning flare require immediate attention of a physician?

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