Hydration is important!
We know the effects of not getting enough water while riding in hot temperatures. What would happen if you drank too much water? Believe it or not hydration can actually be harmful. There is always the case of too much of a good thing. In rare cases, people have been known to die from over-hydration-induced water intoxication. Here's how you know that you've gone past your limit.
Mild Symptoms of Over-hydration:
* Nausea and vomiting
* Changes in mental state (confusion or disorientation)
* Bloating (you're retaining water!)
Severe Symptoms of Over-hydration:
If things progress (and you don't scale back or get treatment), over-hydration can lead to dangerously low levels of sodium in the blood (doctors call it hyponatremia). This can cause super-severe symptoms such as:
* Muscle weakness, spasms, or cramps
How Can Overhydration Be Prevented?
Weigh yourself. Endurance athletes weigh themselves before and after a race to determine how much water they have lost and how much they need to replenish. Know your limits... One liter per hour is the maximum!
Pace your hydration. Hydrate properly before and during your exercise to avoid over- hydration post-event. Sip, don't chug! For everyday water drinking, sip slowly, and often, to make sure your body feels hydrated and quenched.
Balance with sports drinks. Again, don't overdo it. Mixing in a sports drink to your hydration will help you replace electrolytes, sodium, and potassium-these things are lost in sweat, but not replaced with water. A low-sugar option, with about five grams per eight-ounce serving.
Talk to your doctor. Above anything, your doctor knows best. "If you experience excessive thirst or an overly strong urge to drink water, contact your doctor before you develop symptoms-it could indicate a medical problem that requires treatment."
Till next month, happy pedaling!