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What's the Deal With: Hyponatremia

What's the Deal With: Hyponatremia

While it seems like most of us have a hard time staying hydrated, there are serious, even fatal, side affects to drinking too much water. The condition is called hyponatremia

Also known as water intoxication, hyponatremia occurs when the sodium in your blood is diluted by excess water. The body's balance of electrolytes is pushed outside of safe limits, disrupting normal brain function. If water enters the body more quickly than it can be removed after intense sweating and sodium loss, body fluids are diluted and this can be a problem for marathoners. Because endurance runners lose sodium through sweat, drinking too much water during endurance activities, such as marathons and triathlons, can dilute the sodium content of your blood.

Some things to note:

  • Hyponatremia also occurs more often in women than in men.
  • Not being acclimated to hot weather can increase the amount of sodium you lose through sweating during exercise.
  • The symptoms of hyponatremia can mimic the symptoms of dehydration. Pay attention to a headache that won’t go away, vomiting and confusion. Seek help from a doctor.

  • To confirm low blood sodium, laboratory tests — including blood tests and possibly urine tests — are necessary.

Be safe when you run in the heat!!! Experiment with all those different sports drinks out there to find one that suits your needs.


KiwiLu KiwiLu 10 years
*sigh* we can never win. Not enough water is bad too much water is bad.
sugababee sugababee 10 years
i'll do some research and post the links.
sugababee sugababee 10 years
this is very interesting
sugababee sugababee 10 years
how much water is too much depending on your body? is there a website that tells you?
mizz_jennii mizz_jennii 10 years
Exactly how much water do you have to drink in order to get to the point of hyponatremia?? Other than that, good facts too know.
ktacce ktacce 10 years
yesterday i ran for about 20 minutes and when i was done i felt really gross to my stomach, i wonder if that ties in to this?
Feesje Feesje 10 years
Don't you have to drink at least 4 or 5 liters of water before you get intoxicated?
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