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Beware Overhydration (Read 1182 times)

      I'm always a bit confused by this.  It's not just simply drinking too much, but more specifically drinking too much water to replenish what you lost through sweat, but not replenishing the sodium you lost, thus creating an imbalance.  

       

      What if you were to drink too much water, but also took electrolyte supplements.  Wouldn't you be OK? 

      2014 Goal: Run faster than 3:37:07 in the NYC Marathon

        What if you were to drink too much water, but also took electrolyte supplements.  Wouldn't you be OK?

        Then it wouldn't be "too much" water, would it?  (Serious question.)

         

        I'd guess if the intake was isotonic, hyponatremia wouldn't be a huge concern.  Pissing yourself, though ...

        “Everything you need is already inside.” -- Bill Bowerman

          But it's much simpler and more easily understood to tell a marathoner, "don't over-hydrate, drink to thirst" than it is to tell them, "make sure you maintain hydration and balance your sodium and potassium levels with adequate water and electrolyte supplementation."

           

          Don't drink too much, drink to thirst. Drinking when you aren't thirsty is stupid. Plus, you'll pee a lot, possibly affecting your time. That's easily understood advice. 

           

          DoppleBock


            I am never thirsty - I like to keep my muscles properly hydrated - This does not involve drinking crap loads of liquid the 48 hours before an event.  But drinking adequately every day.

             

            It takes at least 7 days to properly hydrate muscles

             

            If you cram loads of fluids in the last 48 hours you are mostly just stripping your electrolytes.

             

            If you are peeing 10x a day you are drinking too much.

            http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

            2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

             

            DoppleBock


              I am a big guy 200+ with a very high sweat rate.  The more I run / sweat the more likely I cannot keep hydrated drinking to thirst.  If I am running about 100 miles per week - I can get by with 120-150 ouces of water a day.  When I start hitting 150+ it is 180-200 ounces per day.  I also take s-caps and potasium when I am drinking a lot.

               

              Most skinny ass runners with normal sweat rates would not be drinking a gallon of water a day.

              http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

              2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

               

              DoppleBock


                My point was - If you want to make sure you are hydrated for a marathon - The way not to do it is to drink a bunch more the day or 2 before.  It is to drink adequately - maybe an extra 6-12 ounces of liquid each day the whole week before ... not a gallon the day before. 

                 

                In my case - Since I am tapering and have a much lower need to replace sweat - I may actually drink the same or less the 7 days before.

                http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

                2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

                 


                I'm back!

                  This is an area that still puzzles me a bit. Of course, hyponatremia is a real problem, and it can happen even when drinking Gatorade instead of water -- in fact, the electrolytes in every "electrolyte drink" don't make a whole lot of difference. Drinking any of them still reduces your blood electrolyte concentration. This is very worthwhile reading:

                   

                  http://www.sportsscientists.com/2007/11/sports-drinks-sweat-and-electrolytes.html

                   

                  But. For marathoners, there are other considerations. One, dehydration reduces blood volume, impacting performance. Two, marathoners need fuel during the race, and absorbing the fuel requires water -- whether it's pre-mixed in the form of Gatorade, or in gels that require an equivalent amount of water to absorb.

                   

                  So it seems to me that there is a fundamental tension here. If you only drink when thirsty, your performance must inevitably suffer. But this tension isn't something I ever see addressed anywhere.

                   

                  Take that link above. Part of the conclusion reads:

                   

                  "So bottom line - drink to thirst, don't worry too much about what you drink, but just make sure you are getting enough ENERGY in - the one thing that the sports drinks provide that is required is glucose, and so plain water is unlikely to be sufficient for longer than about 2 hours of exercise." (I really, really wish every marathon RD would read this -- there is way too much Ultima or Nuun on marathon courses.)

                   

                  If you drink to thirst, you are just not going to be getting enough energy in! When I run Boston, I drink Gatorade at roughly 2/3 of the aid stations -- which are spaced every mile. That's a lot of fluid. Is it too much? Maybe. But I tell myself I need those carbs.

                   

                  It takes at least 7 days to properly hydrate muscles

                   

                  If you cram loads of fluids in the last 48 hours you are mostly just stripping your electrolytes. 

                   

                  What does that mean, exactly? I normally do a one-day marathon carb load ("Western Australia method"). As muscles absorb glycogen, they necessarily absorb extra water. (Which, incidentally, is why it's stupid to try to avoid losing any water weight on long runs -- you burn glycogen; water leaves your muscles. You can't put it back without more glycogen.)

                    I submit that adequate hydration is pretty far down the list of thing that would affect a relatively new marathoner from achieving his or her potential.


                    I'm back!

                      Well fair enough. And so yes, the "don't overhydrate" message is important for new marathoners.

                       

                      But are we only talking about new marathoners here? What about the rest of us?

                        Well fair enough. And so yes, the "don't overhydrate" message is important for new marathoners.

                         

                        But are we only talking about new marathoners here? What about the rest of us?

                         

                        I guess for the rest of us, it's like everything else in the marathon, a matter of tweaking and adjusting to find what works best. It sounds to me like you could get away with drinking less, but I think I have erred on the side of drinking too little.

                         

                        I think that a guy like DB is a better resource than me because training for ultras (and even attempting the type of training that he undertakes) requires much more attention to nutrition and hydration. My basic hydration plan going into a marathon has been to try to drink a cup of liquid every 4 miles or so until mile 18. I don't know if this is an intelligent plan, but I have run okay (if never great.)

                        Scout7


                        CPT Curmudgeon

                          I would also submit that most people take in more calories than they realistically need to perform during a marathon as it is.

                          C-R


                             

                             

                            Don't drink too much, drink to thirst. Drinking when you aren't thirsty is stupid. Plus, you'll pee a lot, possibly affecting your time. That's easily understood advice. 

                             

                            So me having to stop 6 times during my last marathon might be an issue impeding my BQ? BTW - I didn't over drink in the days preceding and actually skipped the first several water stations. Nervous bladder I guess. Heh.

                             

                            Bhearn has a good point about fueling and the need to liquids to go with it.

                             

                            Also, race day temps might have an impact on the possibility of trouble. The hottest weather used to make me drink more until I learned I was just hot and instead was dumping water on me to cool the surface. Not sure if this is something others find or if it's an outlier.


                            "He conquers who endures" - Persius
                            "Every workout should have a purpose. Every purpose should link back to achieving a training objective." - Spaniel

                              Interesting article, and to make this topic more inflammatory, we could conclude that Sports Drinks are BunkSalt Tablets are Bunk.

                               

                              We haven't addressed the sugar part of it, but Kool-Aid or fruit juice would be as good as Gatorade for that.  Candy might be better, if overhydration is a concern.

                              Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.

                                So me having to stop 6 times during my last marathon might be an issue impeding my BQ? BTW - I didn't over drink in the days preceding and actually skipped the first several water stations. Nervous bladder I guess. Heh.

                                 

                                 

                                Or you have BPH. 

                                 

                                And Nobby has made the same point that dumping water on yourself will cool you down. I pour it on my back, though. On the front? Ooh, the chafing. 

                                 

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