Drinking too much water when exercising may pose serious health problems and in severe cases may prove deadly. That’s what researchers said during the International Exercise-Associated Hyponatremia Consensus Development Conference.
They also recommend that drinking the precious liquid when training should be only done when thirst kicks in.
And academics have even a name for the condition that affects us when we consume too much water while exercising – Exercise-associated hyponatremia (EAH).
The EAH means that the body becomes supersaturated with water. So if you cannot get rid of excess water through urine or sweat, sodium begins to dilute. And sodium is vital to many of the body functions.
There are also symptoms associated with severe EAH including seizures, headache and vomiting. But these symptoms only occur when sodium levels are extremely low and they signal that the brain is affected by swelling and the body cannot cope with the physical changes.
In some cases EAH can be fatal. A couple of high school football players suddenly died of EAH in 2014. Their deaths inspired researchers to conduct a study on the phenomenon.
“Our major goal was to re-educate the public on the hazards of drinking beyond thirst during exercise,”
noted Dr. Tamara Hew-Butler, the lead researcher of the study.
And people need to be extra-cautious especially during summer when they are prone to drink even more water when they exercise. The research team recommended people should drink “palatable drinks” just in case of thirst.
But professional athletes may be stunned by the results. The common belief is that drinking more water is the best strategy to remain healthy. But the latest study suggests that a proper hydration could prevent other cases of EAH from occurring.
The researchers also caution doctors on how they should treat a patient with EAH symptoms. Since every person have a different optimal sodium level, health care providers should focus on a personalized treatment course.
Dr. Hew-Butler and her team also hope that the new study will provide precious guidelines on how to hydrate properly for both coaches and athletes. But fitness-addicts and other people may benefit from it, as well.
Researchers said that it was saddening to learn of a EAH death since the condition can be easily prevented. Dr. Hew-Butler said we should listen more to our bodies instead of consuming excess water hoping that more of a healthy product should be better.
The final results of the study were published this month in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine.
Image Source: Life Hacker
Latest posts by Anne-Marie Jackson (see all)
- SF Hospital Slaps New Parents with $19K Bill for Baby Treatment - Jun 29, 2018
- Furious Trump Blasts Harley-Davidson for Moving Production Overseas - Jun 28, 2018
- Warning! MRI Machines Could Poison You - Jun 27, 2018