(Times Gazette) – A new statement released recently urges people to “drink when thirsty” while performing physical exercises. Although it is essential to stay hydrated while exercising, the question is how much water one should consume during the course of these exercises. The new statement has come from the International conference for consensus development on Hyponatremia associated with exercise. However, the statement goes against the common belief that the safest way to keep well hydrated during exercise is to drink plenty of water.
Researches now say that drinking excessive water while exercising can be fraught with significant danger and one should drink water only when thirsty.
Exercise Associated Hyponatremia (EAH) is caused when people consume excessive water while exercising. When the body cannot remove the extra fluids through urine and sweat, it leads to dilution of sodium levels in the body. Maintaining optimal levels of sodium is important because they are responsible for regulating several internal systems of the body.
EAH symptoms include vomiting, headache, seizures, and confusion. These are caused by a swelling in the brain and the body is not able to handle physical changes. Often times, the symptoms may also not appear until the sodium levels have gone pretty low and in severe and isolated cases, the condition can even be fatal. Last summer EAH caused the death of two football players from the high school level. These deaths were also the driving force for reconvening the consensus panel.