Drinking too much water during intense exercise can severely damage your health, U.S. doctors have warned. AP reported one case:
The last thing Jethro Defensor remembers from the 2000 Walt Disney World Marathon was pointing at his runner's bib and asking the paramedics in the ambulance to call his wife. When he regained consciousness 20 hours later, the explanation for his collapse seemed ridiculous.
Too much water? Impossible.
"I thought I was dehydrating. I kept thinking, 'Drink water, drink water,' " said Defensor, 48, of Silver Spring. "Who ever thought of water poisoning?"
A study of participants in the Boston marathon found that 13 percent drank so much during the race they developed hyponatremia, or abnormally low blood sodium levels.
Three runners had levels so low they were in danger of dying, according to the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
One female runner died of hyponatremia. The research involved 488 runners in the 2002 marathon.
Athletes Warned Water Can Be Deadly [Sci-Tech Today, Apr. 14, 2005]
Hyponatremia Can Sometimes Lead to Death for Marathoners [AP/Dallas News, Apr. 14, 2005]