Fluid Replacement in Athletes: How Much Is Too Much?
WebMD News Archive
With an eye on prevention, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
says that adequate fluid replacement helps maintain hydration and, therefore,
promotes the health, safety, and optimal physical performance of individuals
participating in regular physical activity. The ACSM's general recommendations
detail the amount and composition of fluid that should be ingested in
preparation for, during, and after exercise or athletic competition.
A 1998 study published in the British Journal Sports Medicine
concludes that "athletes should take their fluids orally, not intravenously
-- if, that is, they are truly dehydrated and in need of rehydration."
Stoddard believes one of the best ways for athletes to get replenished is
with one of the newer sports drinks that are formulated with higher
electrolytes than the drinks developed back in the 1970s. "There's a new
generation of drinks coming out soon," he says. As eastern medical director
for the Iron Man Canada and medical director for the Subaru Triathlon Series,
Stoddard is preparing to launch one of the new sports drinks.
- Hyponatremia occurs when the body becomes over-hydrated, causing a
depletion of sodium in the body.
- The incidence of hyponatremia has risen with the advent of ultradistance
triathlons and Iron Man competitions.
- Athletes can eat potassium-rich foods and drink sports drinks that contain
enough sodium and potassium to replace what has been lost in sweat.