We all know the dangers of dehydration, but there is danger of hyperhydration, too. When you have too much fluid intake this is called hyponatremia, and can be a life threatening condition.
The challenge is that when you are hydrating you are diluting the sodium in the blood vital for cell function. As the water content grows, the body starts to shut down. Drinking a sports drink can help mitigate this for longer term activities, but the sodium content is still not enough to offset the water content.
The general recommendation is to prehydrate, drink water for activities less than 60 minutes in duration and sports drinks for longer than 60 minutes of duration. It may also be a good idea to increase the sodium in your diet if you are going to be very active through adding salt to foods or consuming chips, pretzels or popcorn.
You can tell if you are drinking too much during activity if your weight is more at the end than it was at the beginning. Some mild weight loss is normal for activity, but overweighing with activity is a sign that you may be drinking too much. Cut back, drink when you’re thirsty and check out the new guidelines.
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*This site is for educational purposes only, it is not meant to diagnose, treat or replace medical advice. Before starting an exercise program always make sure that you are healthy and able to do so safely.*