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dehydration
hunger pangs
weekend warriors
exercise habits
water consumption
exertion
Worried About Dehydration: Why Hyperhydration Might Be A More Troubling Condition
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Worried About Dehydration: Why Hyperhydration Might Be A More Troubling Condition

People are often misled when it comes to how much water they should be drinking, especially when they start or increase their exercise habits. Weekend warriors, endurance athletes and others are usually told they are at highest risk for dehydration if they do not guzzle down gallons of water, especially while they are exercising. But, hyperhydration, the reverse condition may be a much bigger risk to those athletes. Citing some of the athletes who have collapsed in the heat of certain events, researchers looked at water consumption, rate of exertion and other factors to determine whether those events did occur because of dehydration or not.

Tim Noakes, MD, and a team from the University of Cape Town in South Africa found that most cases of so called "heat induced dehydration collapse" was in fact a condition called postural hypotension instead. That condition, related to an abnormal drop in blood pressure, can lead to lightheadedness and feeling dizzy and is often mistaken for dehydration during athletic events. According to Noakes, the commonly prescribed treatment is to allow the person to recover in a head down position but they should not be given fluids at all.

Noakes warns that most people have been told to stay ahead of thirst, that feeling the sensation of thirst is a serious problem and indicates that you are already mildly dehydrated. Others have heard that if they drink enough water, they can flush fat out of their body or that if they flood themselves with enough water they will lose weight by killing off hunger pangs. Cold water supposedly burns calories because it must be warmed before it is used by the body. But, in all of that advice, no one mentions that not only do you get water from other sources, but you do not have a set amount of water that you need- instead if varies from day to day depending on a number of factors.

Just having two percent more water than the body needs can lead to total body edema and may also cause problems that may hamper physical and mental performance. Too much water can also cause a brain condition called hyponatremic encephalopathy which leads to symptoms including confusion and seizures and may also cause more serious problems, including death.

The average, healthy athlete is not at risk for dehydration even in long, extreme events held in high temps because they are used to sipping water when they feel they need it. It is key to drink water when it is needed but not to over do it, whether you are an athlete or not.


Street Talk

Listen to the body has always been my gauge, good article!

Reply
  about 7 years ago

That was always my thinking too. I have a friend who read an article about how much water she should be drinking and she was chugging the stuff all of the time. She was bloating. She was miserable and she could not have gotten up and ran if we lit the couch she was sitting on on fire. She woke up with a really odd headache one day and then got blurry vision. We finally convinced her to go to the emergency room. Water intoxication is what they called it.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Another great one Amie! Seems I always learn something from your articles.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Didn't know that water could be so harmful! I may be one of those that drinks too much! I have water sitting there beside me all the time. Great advice. Thanks!

Reply
  about 7 years ago
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