Excess water is harmful
You hear all the time: Drink plenty of water, and definitely no less than two liters a day. And if you exercise, you need to stay more hydrated. Meanwhile, drinking too much water can kill you…
Recently, tragic news spread in the sports community: two players of student football clubs in the United States died from overwatering. This is evidence that drinking a lot of water or sports drinks can kill.
Too much water is professionally called hyponatremia and consists of a lack of sodium in the body. This condition appears, inter alia, when the athlete drinks water or drinks sports drinks, even when he does not feel the urge to drink at all. Drinking a lot of fluids during exercise makes it difficult for your body to get rid of water. The level of sodium in the blood drops, and cells in the body absorb water, causing edema, including swelling of the brain. The first symptoms of hyponatremia are muscle cramps (known as convulsions), nausea, vomiting, and confusion. It can also lead to unconsciousness and, in extreme cases, death.
How much do you have to drink to kill yourself?
One of the deceased athletes drank more than 7 liters of water and more than 7 liters of sports drinks on a training day. After training, he returned home, lost consciousness and died after being taken to the hospital.
Nor was an individual death from hyponatremia – more than a dozen such events have been recorded in the United States in recent years.
Why does this happen? Many trainers encourage their men to drink water even when they don’t feel like drinking at all. In the meantime, you should not drink in advance.
So what about the drought that threatens us?
Drinking water or sports drinks only when you are thirsty may cause you to become slightly dehydrated, but there is no risk of harming yourself by doing so. No deaths from dehydration have been reported among athletes, and the effects of even a slight deficiency of water in the body have not yet been determined. Meanwhile, there are fatal accidents caused by excess water in the body. It gives food for thought!
Mild dehydration only begins when at least 2% of a person’s body weight has evaporated. If we assume that we are dealing with a woman weighing 60 kg, this means a loss of 1200 grams (1.2 liters) of water. So in order to get dehydrated, you need to sweat a lot of water. Do you train hard to sweat?
In 2011, the results of a study clearly showed that more than a third of Chicagoans drink a lot of fluids while running, and nearly 10% of them drink as much as they can pour themselves.
So it seems that many aficionados of physical activity may be exaggerating the amount of fluid they drink. Are you one of them?