Too much of a good thing?

I’m a big podcast nerd with a taste for podcasts that are about the outdoors, running, and science. Even before I started running I got hooked on URP because my husband would listen to it in the car, and I got hooked on all the stories of athletes who set out to accomplish unimaginable goals.

Podcasts I listen to regularly include:

Sometimes I get a little behind on my podcast listening, especially now that I’m working from home and don’t have a daily commute. For example, I just listened to the Outside Podcast that came out two weeks ago on May 30th, called Drinking Yourself to Death. Outside Magazine has been experimenting with their format, and this is my favorite kind of episode- a Science of Survival episode. The episode explores what happens when you drink TOO much water.

I think we’re all familiar with the dangers of dehydration. This episode examines what happens when you err on the side of drinking too much water, a condition called hyponatremia. When you drink too many fluids, your sodium levels can dip dangerously low and cause symptoms like:

  • Nausea
  • Puking
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches and confusion
  • Cramps and spasms
  • Seizures

You may notice that many of these symptoms are the same ones you’ll experience if you’re dehydrated, which can get confusing when you’re out on a run.

What caught my attention and made me think about posting about hyponatremia on this blog, was that Outside’s podcasters said that slow, endurance athletes, like runners who finish a marathon in 5+ hours, are more likely to over-hydrate and suffer the consequences.

Continue reading “Too much of a good thing?”