the hydration fad

You know people who don’t go anywhere without their water bottle. They’ve become habituated.


It’s a fad. You should drink when thirsty. Benefits of hydration have been grossly exaggerated. That’s my opinion.

 Leave a comment if you feel differently.

Hyperhydration, rather than dehydration, may pose a greater health risk to athletes, according to two articles in a British medical journal. …

Misperceptions about dehydration have been driven in large part by marketing of sports drinks, according to Noakes, author of Waterlogged: The Serious Problem of Overhydration in Endurance Sports.

“Over the past 40 years humans have been misled … to believe that they need to drink to stay ‘ahead of thirst’ to be optimally hydrated,” he wrote. …

Too Much Water Bigger Threat Than Too Little


The most recent (1996) drinking guidelines of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) propose that athletes should drink “as much as tolerable” during exercise.

Since some individuals can tolerate rates of free water ingestion that exceed their rates of free water loss during exercise, this advice has caused some to overdrink leading to water retention, weight gain and, in a few, death from exercise-associated hyponatraemic encephalopathy.

The new drinking guidelines of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), recently re-published in this Journal, continue to argue that athletes must drink enough to replace all their weight lost during exercise and to ingest sodium chloride since sodium is “the electrolyte most critical to performance and health”.

In this rebuttal to that Consensus Document, I argue that these new guidelines, like their predecessors, lack an adequate, scientifically proven evidence base. Nor have they been properly evaluated in appropriately controlled, randomized, prospective clinical trials.

Abstract – Drinking guidelines for exercise: What evidence is there that athletes should drink “as much as tolerable”, “to replace the weight lost during exercise” or “ad libitum”?

Published by

Rick Mc

Career gymnastics coach who loves the outdoors, and the internet.

One thought on “the hydration fad”

  1. As a Registered Dietitian- it is very common to see contraindicating information regarding topics of nutrition/hydration. Nutrition is a relatively new science. What we know about a nutrition topic now may be wrong in five years, and another five years down the road, researchers might find new evidence that negates the most current information.

    Personally, I believe one has to take hydration to an extreme level to pose a life threatening risk. The amount of fluids that need to be consumed are based on your type of exercise (endurance vs strength), duration of exercise, as well as your physical environment conditions (humid/indoors/outdoors/excessive heat/etc.) It is never a bad idea to hydrate appropriately prior to exercise/training, because as most know, the feeling of thirst is already a sign of dehydration. It may not be a life-threatening sign of dehydration, but it can affect how well a training session goes.

    I feel that we do not need to have a container of water glued to our hip all day long, but we should never underestimate adequate hydration pre and post workout to help maximize our training sessions.


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