Health Tips

Search by health tip group
Search by keyword

Health Tips / Athletes Fluid Requirements

Too much fluid bad for athletes
How much fluids such athletes consume?


Athletes who overdrink water may be at risk of fatal hyponatraemic encephalopathy according to Professor Timothy Noakes, professor of exercise and sports science at the University of Cape Town, in South Africa has warned in an article published in the British Medical Journal. 

This comes after a report of a number of deaths of athletes associated with excessive fluid intake. In particular the death of a female runner due to hyponatraemic encephalopathy of a female marathon runner in the 2002 Boston marathon because she ingested excessive volumes of a sports drink before and during the race. Hyponatraemic encephalopathy, is a condition in which the blood becomes so diluted that the salt level falls and fluid is drawn into the brain under osmotic pressure, causing it to swell. According to Professor Noakes, there have been seven recorded deaths and 250 cases of hyponatraemic encephalopathy associated with athletes overdrinking.

Professor Noakes concludes that the personal dictates of thirst seems to be safe and effective and that "such fluid intake typically ranges between 400 ml and 800 ml per hour in most forms of recreational and competitive exercise; less for slower, smaller athletes exercising in mild environmental conditions, more for superior athletes competing at higher intensities in warmer environments.

To read the full article

Related health tips:
Last update: 16/05/2013 12:38 • Previous update: 30/11/-0001 00:00