In terms of health and safety however we are more concerned with a condition known as hyponatraemia. This is where there is a marked reduction in the levels of sodium in the blood. We need sodium for our muscles (including our heart) to function effectively. The way the body tries to correct this is by changing the amount of water in the bloodstream and allowing it to enter the cells of the body, including within the brain, which can lead to brain swelling and sometimes coma and death.
It’s difficult to ingest the quantities of water required to make you hyponatraemic during a sporting event. The events that are most likely to be at risk are endurance events where the intensity is not high but the drink breaks are frequent. An example might be the slow marathon runner who stops and guzzles loads of water at every drinks station, in an attempt to not become dehydrated. In effect, they consume too much water.
It’s normal to lose some weight due to perspiration during athletic activity. It’s not normal to put on weight. Not only are you not doing yourself any good, you may in fact be doing yourself some harm by dropping your sodium levels to dangerously low levels. I think it’s good practice to weigh yourself before and after training / competition on a number of occasions to get a feel for how fluid you lose and so you have an idea of how much you need to consume during exercise and afterwards.
‘Til next week,
Stay robust, amigos!
Monday, July 4, 2011
Are you drinking too much fluid?
Monday, July 4, 2011 11:12 AM
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