Athletes who drink water during long distance running events may be putting their health in jeopardy. Drinking too much water is almost as bad for health as drinking too little water during strenuous sports activity, says the study researchers of UT Southwestern Medical Center, US.
Drinking too much water during a long race may lead to a condition called hyponatremia.
Hyponatremia is a condition of loss of body's sodium content that may led to physical exhaustion, lethargy, disorientation, seizure and respiratory distress.
The authors of the study say that people who are running to win may not have the time to drink frequently and so may not be affected by this condition, but people who are not running competitively may be at a risk from this condition, as they will be drinking water at almost all the water stations.
This condition may also develop in athletes who do not take water, but consume energy drinks during the race. The energy drinks available in the market do not have the same concentration of salts as required by the human body. Drinking more of them may also lead to salt loss in the body. Researchers are of the opinion that individuals need to have personalized fluid replacement schedules to avoid the condition of hyponatremia during long distance racing.
Reference: New England Journal of Medicine, April issue.