Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Marathon Runners: Beware Of Drinking Too Much Water

Date:
January 11, 2008
Source:
Methodist Hospital, Houston
Summary:
Many runners know it's important to drink plenty of water during a marathon to keep their bodies hydrated. However, drinking too much water during the course of a 26-mile race can actually kill them. The abundance of water will cause the cells to swell. Most cells can adapt to change, however, the brain cannot. When this occurs in less than 48 hours, it can be fatal if not treated immediately.

Many runners know it’s important to drink plenty of water during a marathon to keep their bodies hydrated. However, drinking too much water during the course of a 26-mile race can actually kill them.

Related Articles


“This condition, hyponatremia, occurs when you have low sodium in your body,” said Dr. James Muntz, internal medicine service chief with The Methodist Hospital in Houston. “When sodium levels drop in the fluids outside the cells, water will get in there and attempt to balance the concentration of salt outside the cells.”

The abundance of water will cause the cells to swell. Most cells can adapt to change, however, the brain cannot. When this occurs in less than 48 hours, it can be fatal if not treated immediately.

Symptoms of hyponatremia include:

  • Vomiting.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Headache.
  • Restlessness/fatigue.
  • Abnormal mental status (hallucinations, confusion, change in personality, etc.)
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Convulsions.

A few days before the race you can take steps to try and prevent hyponatremia by using sports drinks during training and increasing your salt intake, as long as you don’t have high blood pressure.

“During the marathon a good rule of thumb is to drink about one cup of fluid every 20 minutes,” Muntz said. “Drinking any more than that over the course of the race can get you into trouble.”

A recent study of runners in the 2002 Boston Marathon found that 13 percent of those who finished the race developed hyponatremia. The majority of these runners reported feeling “fine” after the race. However, if someone who feels “fine” continues to drink water because they believe the nausea and weakness they are feeling is due to dehydration, they could easily end up having a seizure and falling into a coma.

“You don’t want to drink too much during the race, but if you do, sports drinks like Gatorade that contain salt, would be better than a lot of water,” Muntz said. “If you experience any symptoms, see a physician immediately.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Methodist Hospital, Houston. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Methodist Hospital, Houston. "Marathon Runners: Beware Of Drinking Too Much Water." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 January 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080109195002.htm>.
Methodist Hospital, Houston. (2008, January 11). Marathon Runners: Beware Of Drinking Too Much Water. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080109195002.htm
Methodist Hospital, Houston. "Marathon Runners: Beware Of Drinking Too Much Water." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080109195002.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins