Are We Drinking Ourselves into Over-hydration?

The British Medical Journal has released new findings on getting and staying hydrated during these summer months. Among their new findings:

  • Prehydrate: While it may sound like a good idea, but there is little evidence to show that it does much more than give you an uncomfortable stomach full of water splashing around. It could also lead to over-hydration, which can be just as serious as being under-hydrated.
  • Listen to Your Body: Don't worry about drinking "ahead" of thirst - it can lead to reduced performance in endurance exercises and also carries a risk of over-hydration.
  • Increased Performance: While many makers of sports drinks try and sell you on the benefits of performance-boosting ingredients like caffeine, taurine or guarana, there is little evidence that indicates they are any better than caffeine alone.

These findings in the July issue of the British Medical Journal correspond quite well to the findings by Dr. Timothy Noakes, a physician, researcher, and founding member of the International Olympic Committee’s Olympic Science Academy. His new book "Waterlogged: The Serious Problem of Overhydration in Endurance Sports” suggests that our bodies tell us when we need to drink, and the dehydration is "a nondisease created in order to sell a product”.

You can learn more about over-hydration by reading the article at the British Medical Journal online and don't forget to check out Dr. Noakes book.

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