Water is the source of life. It makes our bodies stronger, clears our minds, keeps us from fainting during impossibly hot summer days and provides all the necessary hydration to sustain life. But new study suggests that it may come with some highly unpleasant side effects, namely hyponatremia. The new research revealed that football players, hikers, endurance athletes and elite recreational exercisers can avoid water intoxication by drinking only when thirsty, especially during work out.
Who would have thought that the translucent and tasteless liquid that makes up for more than 60% of our total body mass comes with such unpleasant side effects?
Health experts declare that we must be very careful when choosing to hydrate ourselves, as too much water could be lethal for those of us who have a very active lifestyle. Drinking water when we don’t necessarily feel thirsty while jogging, playing football or generally speaking, exercising can come with extremely negative consequences.
A new surprising study was conducted by a team of 17 experts who concluded that exercise associated hyponatremia happens when high quantities of water are ingested while making sustained efforts, as the body fails to eliminate the excess liquid through sweat or urine, causing dilution of sodium in our blood cells. This can further conduct to cells swelling, which can prove to be lethal.
Symptoms of hyponatremia include dizziness, nausea, disorientation, vomiting, headache, a feeling of puffiness and a state of confusion. Severe cases are confronted with seizure and coma.
Two cases of hypoantremic encephalopathy were already reported a year ago and the analysis conducted by doctors revealed that the main cause of the condition that proved to be fatal was excessive intake of fluids.
Athletes are advised to avoid drinking sports drinks during training, as they fail to prevent fatigue and heart stroke and increase the risk to develop hypoantremic encephalopathy.
Lead author of the study, Tamara Hew-Butler of Oakland University, stated that the public must be re-educated on the hazards of drinking water beyond thirst during exercise. Hydration must benefit from a balanced approach especially during summer months, when heat increases the risk of developing very low blood sodium levels associated with overdrinking. Drink only when thirsty, as any excess is set to cause serious imbalance and lead to very bad consequences for the health of our body and minds.
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