August 26, 2016
My topic for today is not that glorious piece of 70’s bubble gum pop from Nick Gilder — no, it is a topic much more directly related to sports medicine.
It’s August and it is hot indeed, with a day here in Ohio set to be one of those classic 90/90 days (>90 F and > 90% humidity). And it’s the first day of high school Friday night football, with middle school and Pop Warner following this weekend. These are days we need to do all we can to prevent exertional heat illness (EHI), most especially in our children and adolescents.
In our zeal to prevent EHI, we must be careful not to overhydrate. A year ago CJSM published the Third International Consensus Statement on Exercise Associated Hyponatremia and followed this up with a blog post and a podcast where we discussed the risks of overhydration with lead author, Tamara Hew-Butler.
The hashtag that came out of those discussions — #Drink2Thirst — spread over social media last year. The concept is an important one, and one which remains controversial. There are still many proponents of mandatory water breaks, or of drinking to a certain color of urine. Others argue that while both are potentially life-threatening, the risk of EHI outweighs the risks of the much rarer condition of EAH — better to err on the side of overhydration they say. On the other side, some note that hydration is pushed on athletes as something of a panacea, touted as helping to prevent exercise associated muscle cramping (EAMC) when the science argues against that concept.
Now, Adam Ruins Everything, on TruTV, has weighed in on the issue of overhydration in sports, with hilarious effect. And I see Adam has recruited Dr. Hew-Butler herself to debunk some of the hydration mythology and spread the mantra of #Drink2Thirst
Watch the video, and laugh. Then check out some of the links in this post that will take you to the consensus statement and podcast and you’ll get more of the hard science from Dr. Hew-Butler. It might change your thinking, and you may start translating some of this science to how you approach the athletes you manage.
Stay cool out there and #Drink2Thirst!