Hyponatremia: How To Recognize, Treat And Prevent It

Summer is here and it

The key is prevention. Determine your fluid and sodium requirements and follow them. Remember

  • A bloated athlete is overhydrated, the exact opposite of dehydrated.
  • Bloating is a red flag for hyponatremia.
  • Mental changes plus bloating in an athlete indicate hyponatremia with brain swelling, and represent a dire medical emergency.
  • Don't be fooled by a bloated athlete who is not urinating: he/she is overhydrated and on the way to hyponatremia if not already there.
  • Don't be fooled into thinking that an athlete who is throwing up is becoming dehydrated. Vomiting is frequently a symptom of hyponatremia.
  • Do not give a bloated athlete any fluid (except as a vehicle for salt).
  • Give a bloated athlete salt.
  • When it is hot and an athlete is distressed, do not automatically conclude that the cause is dehydration and the remedy is fluid ingestion.
  • Sweat typically has 1000 mg sodium/quart; a typical sports drink has 440 mg sodium/quart. If during a sufficiently long ride, you ingest nothing but sports drinks, you will become hyponatremic at some point.

by B' Spokes

Like most people I live a hectic life and who has the time for much exercise? Thanks to xtracycle now I do. By using my bike for daily activities I can get things done and get an hour plus work out in 15 minutes extra of my time, not a bad deal and beats taking the extra time going to the gym. In case you are still having trouble being motivated; the National Center of Disease Control says that inactivity is the #2 killer in the United States just behind smoking. ( http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/bb_nutrition/ ) Get out there and start living life! I can carry home a full shopping cart of groceries, car pool two kids or just get lost in the great outdoors camping for a week. Well I got go, another outing this weekend.
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This advise comes off the Bike Washington DC list:

I've been biking throughout the heat. However, I do take some precautions:

1. I make sure to allow plenty of time for my rides, since trying to rush in the heat is the fastest way to end up dehydrated.

2. I carry a CamelBak, and also stow various bottles of water in my paniers.

3. I carry envelopes filled with a rehydration mixture consisting of 3 tablespoons of sugar and a teaspoon of salt, and a bottle of 595 mg. potassium tablets. If I start to feel dizzy, I mix an envelope of the rehydration mixture into a liter of water, and drink it down with 3 of the potassium tablets. A doctor friend tells me that Gatorade alone can be bad, because people's sweat changes salt content as they acclimate to the heat, and they may end up taking in too much salt if they drink nothing but Gatorade when their sweat has developed a lower salt content. My method allows me to drink plain water most of the time, but switch to a Gatorade equivalent when I start to feel dizzy, without having to carry separate heavy bottles of water and Gatorade.

4. When I see a water source, I stop and refill my CamelBak and bottles. Often, I'll also put my whole head under the tap, which helps cool down quickly.