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Water, Water, Everywhere!

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Water, water, everywhere ... don't drink too much!

Are you a runner? Do you run road races? Then, you are bombarded with notices and advertisements about the dangers of dehydration and to stay hydrated with water or sports drinks. Sweat will wash out vital nutrients! Drink liquids before, during, and after races to replenish these nutrients!

Don't believe all the hype!

Dr. James Glazer is a sports medicine physician for Coastal Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Freeport, ME. He writes a column in the Portland Press Herald called "Sports Medicine." In a recent column he exposed the truth about dehydration and the need for rehydration.

Sporting activities for all ages, genders, and athletic abilities have been a growth pastime over the 100 years. Dr. Glazer claims that no one has ever died from dehydration. And, in fact, overhydration is a much more dangerous problem. A condition called hyponatremia is caused by drinking too many fluids so that the body's salt stores become overly diluted. Hyponatremia can cause confusion, coma, and seizures. Several athletes even die each year from hyponatremia.

Glazer claims, "In fact, studies show that there is no performance or health benefit to drinking in endurance events lasting less than about an hour. According to this, most runners would not need to rehydrate at all during a 5K road race. The same is true during training runs and other athletic situations."

It is important to drink when you are thirsty either during your race or afterward, and you will then rehydrate and replenish all lost fluids. If it a hot day and you are not thirsty, pour the cup of water from the water station on your head.