When it comes to water, we are always told to make sure we stay hydrated, especially if we live in areas with hot or tropical climates. We are also told if we feel tired in the afternoon, down a glass of H2O. Looking to loose some weight naturally, try drinking 16 oz. before a meal. Sometimes thirst can masquerade as hunger so if you feel hungry try a glass of water before you eat. Be careful though because it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Over hydrating can lead to some serious problems and can be very dangerous.
The clinical term for overhydration is hyponatremia and according to the Mayo Clinic it is defined as “a condition that occurs when the level of sodium in your blood is abnormally low. Sodium is an electrolyte, and it helps regulate the amount of water that is in and around your cells. “
“In hyponatremia, one or more factors – ranging from an underlying medical condition to drinking too much water during endurance sports – causes the sodium in your body to become diluted. When this happens, your body’s water levels rise, and your cells being to swell. This swelling can cause many health problems, from mild to life threatening.”
In the last few years hyponatremia has been in the news a good bit after a study in the New England Journal of Medicine listed overhydration as a serious health issue of some runners at the Boston Marathon.
With summer coming to a close and temperature starting to come down it isn’t going to be something we need to watch out for as much. In areas of high humidity and high heat it is very important to be aware of the symptoms and how if effects the body.
-Nausea and vomiting
-Restlessness and irritability
-Muscle weakness, spasms or cramps
– Decreased consciousness or coma
Ways to Avoid Overhydration:
-Drink small amounts of fluids at regular intervals. You shouldn’t ever feel “full” of water.
-Eat half of a banana a half hour before working out to give your body the potassium it needs.
-When working out in hot conditions or for more than an hour, be sure to drink a sports drink that has sodium and potassium.
-Try to eat snack foods with salt, like pretzels or chips before or after long, hot workouts.
-Avoid taking aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen during any race or long workout, as it may interfere with kidney function.
It is very important to stay hydrated but it is also important that you add in other things to help with your hydration and nutrition consumption while working out or participating in sports. Keep drinking water and add in a sports drink from time to time!