Water of Death?

When I worked as a case manager in mental health, I had a few clients on whom I had to keep a close eye, because they were in danger of water intoxication; drinking too much liquid can cause an imbalance of electrolytes that may result in death. However, for years people thought that only applied to ordinary actvitity, and that if you exercised heavily you should consume more water or sports drinks. Not so.

A study published today in The New England Journal of Medicine should give weekend warriors reason to rethink the wisdom of quaffing vast amounts of water or sports drinks while exercising vigorously – at least if they are engaging in such endurance tests as a marathon. The study found that a marathon runner could dangerously dilute the blood with an overdose of liquids, risking a coma and even death. The problem has also been detected during long military maneuvers, extended bike rides and blistering hikes through the desert.

Brain-Dead From Sports Drinks

[via The New York Times]

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