Link to

Running Injuries

Achilles Tendonitis
Ankle Sprain
Athlete's Foot
Avoid Injuries
Dealing with Injuries
Foot Blisters
Foot pain
Plantar Fasciitis
Patellar Tendonitis
Reduce Injuries
Runner's Knee
Side Stitches
Shin Splints
Stress Fractures


Promote your product

Nutrition for Athletes

Fitness Accessories


What it is Hyponatremia?

Hyponatremia is a condition characterized by an abnormally low concentration of sodium in the blood.

Hyponatremia usually occurs during marathons and long triathlons, when athletes are exercising longer and drinking more than they do in training.

Hyponatremia is also called water intoxication. Severe cases can lead to seizure, coma, and even death.

What is Sodium?

Sodium is an electrolyte that helps the body distribute water. Sodium is essential for water balance and for your muscles and organs to function effectively. Electrolytes are lost through sweat. When exercising, our body temperature rises and we sweat to keep cool. The more we sweat, the more sodium lost. Sweat loss varies from as little as 16 ounces to over three quarts during each hour of exercise.

It is important to replace lost body fluids during and after exercise. To completely replace these fluids, you must not only replace water, but also sodium and chloride. If you consume excessive amounts of water after exercise, you can further deplete sodium and chloride levels, leading to electrolyte depletion and possibly over-hydration.

What Causes Hyponatremia?

Hyponatremia is caused by prolonged sweating combined with excessive fluid consumption.

Symptoms of Hyponatremia?

Some of the most common symptoms of hyponatremia include:

  • dizziness
  • muscle cramping
  • confusion
  • stomach bloating

Who is at risk for developing Hyponatremia?

Anyone who consumes excessive amounts of water is at risk of developing hyponatremia. However, non-competitive runners who require more than four hours to complete a marathon are more susceptible to hyponatremia than faster athletes. Smaller women may be most susceptible.

Tips on How to Avoid Hyponatremia

  • Drink sports drinks only during prolonged running.
    • Sports drinks contain sodium and therefore have a smaller diluting effect on the blood than water, which has no sodium.
    • Sports drinks also provide energy in the form of easily absorbed carbohydrates and, in some cases, protein.
  • Don't force yourself to drink more than you're thirsting for.
    • Drink at a comfortable, natural rate, which is between 4 and 6 ounces every 12 to 15 minutes for most runners engaging in vigorous exercise.
  • Learn your sweat rate.
    • Sweat rate can be used to help you determine how much fluid to replace during and after vigorous exercise.

Can Hyponatremia be Treated?

Yes. If you or someone you knows has hyponatremia, they should see a doctor immediately. Treatment options depend on the severity of the condition.

We'll teach you how to #LiveTo100!

Join our newsletter!

Accessibility Policy| Terms Of Use| Privacy Policy| Advertise with Us| Contact Us| Newsletter

RSS| Sitemap| Careers

Mamas Health Inc. does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and use of this website constitutes acceptance of the Terms of Use.

©2000 - 2017 MamasHealth, Inc.™. All rights reserved