What is hyponatremia?

Hyponatremia is a condition in which the blood has lower sodium in it. A substantial portion of runners have abnormally low serum sodium concentrations after completing a marathon. Excessive consumption of fluids, as evidenced by substantial weight gain while running, is the single most important factor associated with hyponatremia. Hyponatremia is a condition in which the blood has too little sodium (salt). The condition can cause symptoms such as headache, confusion, weakness, and fatigue. It can also cause changes in behavior and mood. It is more common in older people and in people who have certain medical conditions or take certain medications, but it can also affect athletes during practices or races!

Hyponatremia refers to an abnormally low level of sodium in the blood. A person with hyponatremia is unable to maintain proper fluid balance, which can lead to a wide variety of symptoms, such as fatigue, headache, and confusion. In some cases, hyponatremia is caused by the overconsumption of water or juice, but it is most often caused by the administration of certain medications. Unlike a person with a high blood sodium level, a person with hyponatremia will exhibit symptoms even when the sodium level in their blood is normal.

There is a specific condition that usually affects marathoners and high endurance athletes called “transient hyponatremia”. This is a condition in which the blood sodium levels are normal at the beginning of a race, but fall below a safe level during the race. The cause of transient hyponatremia is a decrease in fluid intake or an increase in fluid loss during the race.

Wondering how you could avoid these during your races? Start by tracking your sweat rate and your practice performance. You could do that with hDrop, a hydration fitness tracker able to track sweat analytics for you to develop your own hydration plan.

Ready, set, go!

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