QT: Can Drinking Too Much Water Be a Problem? (Best Of-ish)

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This post was originally part of Episode 158 released in September of 2015 and is more or less copy and pasted from that post. The audio, however, is a new take on the topic.

A couple of weeks ago, there was a story in the New York Times about the risks associated with drinking too much water.

As runners, especially in the summer months, we are encouraged to make sure that we are adequately hydrated, and that we drink regularly during our runs, in an attempt to prevent heat illness and muscle cramping.

But is there such a thing as drinking too much water?

There is, and drinking too much water can actually be more dangerous than not drinking enough.

Is There Such a Thing as Drinking Too Much Water While Running?

Why Is Drinking Too Much Water Dangerous?

The reason that drinking too much water can be dangerous is a bit technical, and I don’t pretend to understand the cellular complexities enough to explain it clearly and succinctly.

But it has to do with actually having too much water in your blood and how that impacts the sodium levels within your body.

Long story short, drinking too much water can actually kill you.

That’s how serious it can be.


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How Much is Too Much?

There is no magic number, but the key to consuming the appropriate amount of fluids is pretty simple: drink when you’re thirsty.

Our bodies do an amazing job of telling us what we need and when we need it, the problem is that we do a terrible job of paying attention to what our bodies are telling us.

If we can pay more attention to the subtle clues we are getting from the feedback loops inside of our bodies, and react by drinking accordingly, we will do a pretty good job of keeping ourselves hydrated without the risk of overdoing it.

On today’s audio portion of the quick tip, I’m going to go into a little more detail about hyponatremia plus talk a lot more about how much we should be drinking both on a daily basis and also during a race. For that information, just press play up above!


Don't make the mistake of drinking too much water on your runs this summer! #runchat Share on X

How Much Do You Tend to Drink During a Summer Run?

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