Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Nearly half of runners may be drinking too much during races

Date:
September 4, 2011
Source:
Loyola University Health System
Summary:
Nearly half of recreational runners may be drinking too much fluid during races, according to a new survey of runners.

Nearly half of recreational runners may be drinking too much fluid during races, according to a survey of runners by Loyola University Health System researchers.

Related Articles


Expert guidelines recommend runners drink only when thirsty. But the Loyola survey found that 36.5 percent of runners drink according to a preset schedule or to maintain a certain body weight and 8.9 percent drink as much as possible.

Nearly a third of runners (29.6 percent) incorrectly believe they need to ingest extra salt while running. And more than half (57.6 percent) say they drink sports drinks because the drinks have electrolytes that prevent low blood sodium. In fact, the main cause of low sodium in runners is drinking too much water or sports drinks. "Many athletes hold unscientific views regarding the benefits of different hydration practices," researchers concluded. The study was published in the June, 2011, issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Drinking too much fluid while running can cause a potentially fatal condition called exercise-associated hyponatremia. It occurs when runners drink even when they are not thirsty. Drinking too much during exercise can dilute the sodium content of blood to abnormally low levels.

Drinking only when thirsty will prevent overconsumption of fluids. "It's the safest known way to hydrate during endurance exercise," said Loyola sports medicine physician Dr. James Winger, first author of the study. Symptoms of hyponatremia can include nausea, vomiting, headache, confusion, loss of energy, muscle weakness, spasms or cramps. In extreme cases, the condition can lead to seizures, unconsciousness and coma.

In recent years, there have been 12 documented and 8 suspected runners' deaths from hyponatremia, said Loyola exercise physiologist Lara Dugas, PhD, a co-author of the study.

The International Marathon Medical Directors Association recommends that runners drink only when thirsty. The Loyola researchers surveyed 197 runners who competed in the 2009 Westchester, Il. Veterans Day 10K and 5K runs and two other runs on Chicago's lakefront.

The 91 male runners, on average, had been running for 13 years and had run an average of 1.9 10K races and 0.9 marathons. The 106 women, on average, had been running 8.3 years and had run an average of 1.3 10K races and 0.7 marathons.

In the survey, the runners generally said advertising by sports drink manufacturers had little or no influence on their beliefs. But the behaviors of many of the runners indicate otherwise.

During the 1980s and 1990s, sports drinks ads warned about the supposed dangers of dehydration, and recommend that runners drink as much as 1.2 liters (five cups) per hour. Sports drink manufacturers generally have stopped promoting overdrinking. But the unscientific beliefs persist that runners should drink as much as they can or according to a preset schedule.

"We have been trained to believe that dehydration is a complication of endurance exercise," Dugas said. "But in fact, the normal physiological response to exercise is to lose a small amount of fluid. Runners should expect to lose several pounds during runs, and not be alarmed."

Winger is an assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Dugas is a research assistant professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. The third co-author is Jonathan Dugas, PhD, director of clinical development at The Vitality Group.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Loyola University Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Loyola University Health System. "Nearly half of runners may be drinking too much during races." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110903133240.htm>.
Loyola University Health System. (2011, September 4). Nearly half of runners may be drinking too much during races. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110903133240.htm
Loyola University Health System. "Nearly half of runners may be drinking too much during races." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110903133240.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) — Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) — Fears of Ebola are keeping doctors and patients alike away from hospitals in the West African nation of Guinea. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) — The family of a Dallas nurse infected with Ebola in the US says doctors can no longer detect the virus in her. Despite the mounting death toll in West Africa, there are survivors there too. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) — Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
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