There are numerous articles squandered all over the web regarding keeping yourself hydrated and the benefits of drinking plenty of fluids to aid weight loss, better yet avoid water retention. With all of the information online it has become somewhat difficult to understand the effects of water intoxication.
Water intoxication is also known as water poisoning or dilutional hyponatremia. In the last quarter century, there have been an increased number of reported illnesses and deaths amongst athletes such as marathon runners that has been related to this very condition. Hyponatremia is a condition where body ingredients that are required for normal function are imbalanced due to various underlying causes such that the normal balance of electrolytes in the body are pushed outside the normal safe limits by over-hydration. Now I personally have not been one to read that, over-hydration can be dangerous for your health, on a regular basis.
The main imbalance that is directly related to hyponatremia is sodium, where the levels are abnormally low in the blood. Previously it was believed that the main cause of hyponatremia was due to excessive fluid intake however it has been somewhat hard to determine this link due to the lack of studies performed. With saying this, there have been various ideas put forward that are believed to be a cause of this condition. In 2002 a study conducted determined if there is a link between excessive intake of fluids and the interaction with the cells of the body hence causing an abnormal decrease in sodium in the blood amongst marathon runners. In April 2002, one or two days before the Boston Marathon, registered marathon runners were approached at random and asked to participate in the study. All the volunteers were asked to complete a questionnaire before and after the marathon regarding training for the marathon, medical history, fluid intake and urine output. Upon completion of the marathon, blood samples were taken for analysis. The blood samples and questionnaires enabled scientific research into possible causes of hyponatremia. Results showed that it was not the type of drink consumed e.g. sports drinks (containing sodium) or even water, but more relevant to the volume of fluid intake that had direct link to the condition. The study has shown that the increase in people suffering from the condition hyponatremia was directly related to weight gain during a race, assumed to be due to the large volumes of fluid intake. The study shows that hyponatremia could be avoided by athletes undergoing high endurance exercises, by simply consuming far less fluid during the period of endurance.
So with this study in mind you should ask yourself, is your fluid intake adequate or better yet is your fluid intake healthy? The body consists of a beautiful design whereby control centers in the brain, known as the hypothalamus, enable the detection of bodily functions such as body temperature and fluids, which may or may not be at an adequate level. Although the body is able to tell you in its own way such as thirst or the lack of urination when one is dehydrated. In conclusion, my advice would be to listen to your body and drink as and when you feel thirsty. The body is extremely good at regulating its own water and will tell you when it needs hydration. Your best option is to ensure that fluid intake is optimal with the use of amino acids during a workout and electrolyte supplementation prior.
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on behalf of Bodybuilding Warehouse