The July 2003 issue of Runners World has an important article called Drink to Your Health that discusses hyponatremia (low blood sodium) caused over-hydrating when running. It warns that women, particularly women marathoners, are in the HIGHEST risk group because we do not sweat as much (smaller, less muscular) and those completing marathons in 5 hrs or more are likely to drink lots of (too much) water because thats what theyve heard theyre supposed to do.
Other noteworthy points mentioned in the article:
- Old rule of drinking 8 glasses of water is unfounded. Instead, general guideline for women is water ounces needed = body weight x 0.31 + water weight lost by sweating
- Research has shown that caffeinated beverages are diuretics to the same degree as plain water and SHOULD be counted towards ones daily fluid intake.
- Modest dehydration is normal and temporary for most marathoners (though studies have shown that 2% dehydration will worsen performance), but excessive fluid consumption can be DEADLY.
Please take the time to read the full article.
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