New hydration guidelines from USATF


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New hydration guidelines from USATF

Postby BillVol » Fri May 02, 2003 5:49 am

http://www.usatf.org/news/showRelease.a ... 4-19-2.xml

What does everybody make of the above new USATF hydration guidelines? It sure flies in the face of everything I've been doing for a long time. Back when I first ran Peachtree Road Race, I noticed in the info packet the instructions to "drink water even when you're not thirsty." I didn't like doing this, because for some reason I have to go "number 1" a lot. I can drink a cup of water and have to go to the bathroom ten times.

Anyhow, I decided to try it once. I just hung around the port-a-potties and drank water -- and went to the starting area at the last possible minute. That was the best race I ever had (the only time I ever broke 40 mins.) and I never had to stop for water. I am only a casual runner, but since then I've always loaded up on water -- even when not thirsty -- and this has always been great for me.

My wife ran the Country Music 1/2 Marathon in Nashville last weekend and she read me the hydration info. The leaflet said to not over drink and to maybe bring a small packet of salt to knock down in the later stages of the race. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I thought salt tablets went out in the '70s. This lady has it all wrong, I thought. Then the above USATF press release above comes out. Go figure.

What do people think about this "drink only when thirsty" recommendation in the new hydration guidelines. And that it is supposedly dangerous to drink too much water b/f a race?
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Re: New hydration guidelines from USATF

Postby bubba » Fri May 02, 2003 6:03 am

With the rise of recreational runners attempting and completing marathons hyponaetremia (low salts) has become a more common (or is being treated that way) occurance. Below is a link to American College of Sports Medicine's position stand on fluid replacement. It is one of the best, though more scientific, resources on the web.

http://ipsapp002.lwwonline.com/content/ ... lltext.htm

USATF is, in its own odd way, getting more in line with ACSM.
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Re: New hydration guidelines from USATF

Postby jsquire » Fri May 02, 2003 6:20 am

When I was at a triathlon last summer and heard about hyponatremia as a concern, I just thought it was Gatorade trying to drum up business. But apparently it's become more of a problem recently.

The people most likely to have problems are those who are out for a long time -- i.e., good ultramarathoners and bad marathoners. (A lot more slow people do marathons nowadays, thus the increase in problems.) Sweating for five or six hours loses not only large amounts of water but large amounts of sodium. Replacing with only water results in a severe imbalance, the hyponatremia they're talking about.

So the hyponatremia issue is only a problem if you're running for five hours or more. Incidentally, my wife had problems after her first triathlon--we thought it was dehydration. She kept on drinking and didn't feel any better for a day or two. We now suspect that her sodium levels were low, and now after any long race she is sure to take in something salty, and she's never had the problem again.
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Re: New hydration guidelines from USATF

Postby dl » Fri May 02, 2003 8:44 am

My cynical self would guess that this announcement by USATF is a means of legal protection should anyone suffer from hyponatremia during a USATF sponsored marathon.

I've never seen a press release on any other sports science topic by USATF before this one.
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Re: New hydration guidelines from USATF

Postby jsquire » Fri May 02, 2003 8:47 am

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. USATF is forever trying to cover its butt.
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Re: New hydration guidelines from USATF

Postby luv2run » Fri May 02, 2003 9:12 am

Tim Noakes, one of the authors, has been crusading against the ACSM guidelines for several years now. He thinks the ACSM guidelines are over the top and the participants out there for many, many hours are risking their health.

Each person really needs to figure out the proper fluid balance for him/her. Start with the guidelines and adjust.

For the record, sodium in a sports drink is there for 3 main reasons: 1 ) taste, it makes the drink more palatable for a large number of people 2) sodium actually increases the desire to drink (think about why bars have pretzels and popcorn that are heavily salted) and 3) sodium increases retention of the fluid taken in.
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Re: New hydration guidelines from USATF

Postby bubba » Fri May 02, 2003 9:55 am

I'd agree that the guidelines are a baseline and then each individual should adjust. The problem is the only people I know who adjust, or pay the guidelines any attention at all, are folks like me who were/are competitive athletes. The average "Raise Money For This Cause" just keeps slogging back water and never even thinks about salt.
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