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Thread: How Much Should Athletes Drink?

  1. #1

    How Much Should Athletes Drink?

    Reported July 21, 2003

    How Much Should Athletes Drink?

    (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- If you're going to exercise today, be careful how much fluid you drink. Too much fluid before, during or after exercise can have a potentially fatal outcome.

    The warning follows reports of several deaths from a severe lack of salt in the blood due to excessive drinking known as hyponatremic encephalopathy. Since the cause of the condition is now known, Timothy Noakes, from the Sports Science Institute of South Africa, says it is preventable.

    Noakes says there is no evidence athletes must drink the maximum amount of fluids tolerable to optimize performance and prevent medical consequences. He adds there is also a misconception that a feeling of thirst underestimates fluid requirements.

    Drinking according to the personal dictates of thirst seems to be safe and effective, he says.

    Such fluid intake typically ranges between 400 milliliters and 800 milliliters per hour in most forms of recreational and competitive exercise.

    Noakes concludes, "The recent adoption of these guidelines by USA Track and Field provides the hope that this sad aberration has finally run its tragic course."

    SOURCE: British Medical Journal, 2003;327:113-114

  2. #2
    I drink a lot of water and other fluids throughout the day, and I am wondering how much do others drink? In the morning I drink about sixteen ounces of coffee, eight ounces of water, and ten ounces of fruit juice. In the afternoon I drink about fourteen ounces of water with my lunch, and then ten ounces of apple juice. About 40 minutes later I drink eight ounces of diet cranberry juice. About 30 minutes later I drink another eight ounces of fresh fruit juice, followed by sixteen to eighteen ounces of water. About 40 minutes later I drink another fourteen ounces of water. By the way, I am doing my physical therapy while taking in these fluids. For dinner, I drink twenty ounces of fresh vegetable juice which takes place between 6 PM and 6:30 PM. At 7 PM I drink four more ounces of diet cranberry juice. At around 7:30 PM I drink about five ounces of liquid yoghurt, and about another sixteen ounces of water.

    I don't seem to have any problems handling this much fluid, but I can not really drink that much more, and of course my bladder gets pretty full.

    Just wondering what others drink, and how much.


  3. #3
    PN, as long as what you drink contains sodium and probably potassium too, the amount you drink won't be a problem. Drinking huge amounts of plain water a day is what can cause can too much sodium to be flushed from the system. Sports drinks are probably best, especially during exercise.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Rick1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Carlsbad, CA
    Keep in mind that these new hydration guidelines originated with the USATF and are primarily directed at distance runners.

    Hyponatremia occurs most often in exercise lasting four hours or longer. Distance runners are at risk because they lose not only water, but significant amounts of sodium and other minerals while sweating during the course of...say, a marathon.

  5. #5
    Senior Member KLD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Also keep in mind that most people with SCI do not sweat as much below their injury as those who are AB, and can loose much less sodium and water with exercise.

    Some people with SCI who drink a lot of water can get hyponatremia, which can be dangerous. I have seen this in some of our AZ clients when they come to the coast where the weather is much cooler and they keep drinking their usual 4-5 liters of water daily.

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