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Hyponatremia (it’s bad) January 10, 2008

Posted by Joe in hydration.
Tags: , , , , , ,

I knew it was possible to die from drinking too much water. I once read about it happening to a student who was pledging a frat. But I hadn’t thought about it happening during a marathon.

Doctors have warned marathon runners that drinking too much water during a race can cause hyponatremia, a condition caused by low sodium and high fluid levels in the body. It causes cells to swell which can prove fatal if not treated promptly.

According to Dr. James Muntz, from The Methodist Hospital in Houston, 1 cup every 20 minutes is a good amount. He warned that if athletes experience vomiting, headache, change in mental status, convulsions, or muscle weakness they should seek help.

“You don’t want to drink too much during the race, but if you do, sports drinks that contain salt, would be better than a lot of water. If you experience any symptoms, see a physician immediately,” he said.

Taken from ShortNews.com, and original piece at AHN.

I am still over a year away from my first marathon (planning on a half this year), but with all the drama at the Chicago Marathon in ’07 I wonder if some will overdo it with the water this year.



1. Thad - January 10, 2008

By Dr. Muntz’s warning, I’m afraid I may be getting hyponatremia every time I run.

Seriously, best wishes to you with your upcoming 1/2 marathon and beyond.

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