Document Detail

Hyponatremia in distance runners: fluid and sodium balance during exercise.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12831696     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Since its first description in 1985, two opposing theories have evolved to explain the etiology of symptomatic hyponatremia of exercise. The first holds that the condition occurs only in athletes who lose both water and sodium during exercise, and fail to fully replace their sodium losses. The second theory holds that the symptomatic form of this condition occurs in athletes who generate a whole body fluid overload as a result of an excessive fluid intake during prolonged exercise. It is argued that the promotion of the idea that athletes should drink as much as possible during exercise has produced, rather than prevented, the recent increase in the incidence of this condition. A series of case reports and laboratory studies reported in the past 2 years have established that it is a whole body fluid overload, resulting from sustained high rates of fluid intake, that causes the symptomatic hyponatremia of exercise. There is no evidence that, in the absence of fluid overload, the usual sodium deficits generated during exercise can cause this condition. These findings confirm that the potentially fatal condition of symptomatic hyponatremia would be eliminated from sport immediately if all athletes were advised of the dangers of ingesting as much fluid as possible during any exercise that lasts more than 4 hours.
Tim Noakes
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Current sports medicine reports     Volume:  1     ISSN:  1537-890X     ISO Abbreviation:  Curr Sports Med Rep     Publication Date:  2002 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2003-06-30     Completed Date:  2003-08-07     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101134380     Medline TA:  Curr Sports Med Rep     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  197-207     Citation Subset:  IM    
UCT/MRC Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, Department of Human Biology, University of Cape Town, Sports Science Institute of South Africa, Boundary Road, Newlands, 7700, South Africa.
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MeSH Terms
Fluid Shifts
Hyponatremia / epidemiology,  etiology*,  metabolism*
Physical Endurance
Risk Factors
United States / epidemiology
Water Intoxication / complications*,  metabolism
Water-Electrolyte Balance*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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