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jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
over hydration on 01/08/2013 11:00:39 MST Print View

I don't know why, but they email me every week or something

Interesting article:

http://www.outsideonline.com/fitness/The-Top-Sports-Science-Stories-of-2012-A-Bible-on-Overhydration.html

“The science of hydration is utterly bogus,” he said in a 2012 TEDx Talk. “There is no science to it. It was dreamed up by marketers to sell product.”

They discussed whether you should just drink when you're thirsty or when you lose, like 2% of body weight

spelt the enigmatic
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Re: over hydration on 01/08/2013 11:31:55 MST Print View

>> Since 1981, he’s documented roughly 1,600 cases, 12 of them deaths, from hyponatremia in the medical literature.

Did he also collect evidence for that time period of cases of dehydration and associated deaths?

David K
(aviddk) - F

Locale: SW Oregon
Waterlogged: The Serious Problem of Overhydration in Endurance Sports on 01/08/2013 13:30:21 MST Print View

I posted a link to this book several months ago.

Waterlogged: The Serious Problem of Overhydration in Endurance Sports

http://www.amazon.com/Waterlogged-Serious-Problem-Overhydration-Endurance/dp/145042497X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1357676533&sr=8-1&keywords=overhydration

It will change your mind about how much you need to drink. The book is so well researched and documented your heard will hurt from digesting the facts. One main point is that the body's mechanism for demanding water is so strong that if your body needs water you will think of nothing else.

And yes, he goes back researching historical Marathon records and finds no deaths from under hydration. Marathoners from the inception of the sport were taught not to drink as it was believed to hurt performance.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Waterlogged: The Serious Problem of Overhydration in Endurance Sports on 01/08/2013 15:02:51 MST Print View

Obviously, you want to drink enough to avoid dieing from dehydration

I think that if my urine is very yellow, I should drink more water. If it's pale yellow I'm okay. If it's warm and I'm sweating a lot, I try to get ahead of this a little and drink more even if it's fairly pale yellow at the moment.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: over hydration on 01/08/2013 15:25:55 MST Print View

A test was carried out with soldiers (poor beggars). They were marched in the desert till they dropped, with no water supplies. Then they were given water. Time to full recovery was measured.
Result: about 15 minutes was needed, to full recovery. Just 15 minutes!
But over-hydration can kill.
Great marketing spin by the bottle and drink vendors.

Cheers

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: over hydration on 01/08/2013 17:08:49 MST Print View

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/xdpy/forum_thread/65531

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: over hydration on 01/08/2013 17:26:05 MST Print View

"But over-hydration can kill."

+1

But so can under-hydration. I can think of 3 cases off the top of my head , one of which was me, where dehydration was very nearly fatal. All occurred in hot weather race conditions. One was a world class runner, Alberto Salazar, at the Falmouth 12K race back in the early 80's; one was a national class cyclo-cross competitor, Joe Ryan, who was also an awesome hill runner, at the 1981 Dipsea Race in Marin County, CA; then there was me at a trail marathon outside Lone Pine, CA in 1993. I was in pretty fair shape at the time, but race temps were in the 90's during the last 1/3 of the race. The folks at the emergency ward put 2 liters of electrolyte solution in me, and told me I was lucky I had strong kidneys. I'm sure these cases are not unique. My point is to not wait until you are thirsty to drink, especially in hot weather, nor to overdo it, especially if you are not adding electrolytes to your water.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Water not the problem on 01/08/2013 18:21:10 MST Print View

Lack of electrolytes is. It is the water without the electrolytes that is deadly. This was a problem at a marathon I ran where they ran out of sports drink and only had water. I think this also happened at the Chicago marathon some years back.

David K
(aviddk) - F

Locale: SW Oregon
Read the book on 01/08/2013 19:34:53 MST Print View

The author shoots down the electrolyte myth as well. Any distance athlete should read the book. He starts out by hypothesizing that man's inability to go without water (due to hairlessness, upright posture and incredible control of electrolyte levels) were some of the evolutionary traits that led to the development of a large brain. The author contends that the Gatorade Sports Science Foundation invented the whole myth of under-hydration and electrolyte shortage.

BTW, the problem with assuming that people are dehydrated after athletic performance is the reason that people die during rehydration. He explains in great detail how not to be confused.

Read the book, at the very least I think anyone with an inquisitive, scientific mind will find it interesting. Don't purchase the E version as the charts and footnotes are not formatted properly.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Read the book on 01/08/2013 20:08:15 MST Print View

Hyponatremia (low blood sodium) is a real clinical condition that kills some marathoners and others. When Noakes mentions electrolyte myths, he is likely talking about the sports drink market. But, Noakes' evolution hypothesis is nutty.

Edited by jshann on 01/08/2013 20:11:43 MST.

David K
(aviddk) - F

Locale: SW Oregon
This is the MO of the whole book on 01/08/2013 20:44:18 MST Print View

"Hyponatremia (low blood sodium) is a real clinical condition that kills some marathoners and others. "

Basically that is what drove him to write the book in the first place. The woman who he knew that died running her first marathon because she had the hormone that makes one much more susceptible to hyponatremia.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Current state of the research on 01/09/2013 20:42:25 MST Print View

This is one of the biggest areas of research right now in the ultra endurance world. Our current knowledge base is hampered by limited studies, very small sample sizes, no good pre-race measures of the athletes' blood and kidney function, and a focus entirely on sodium levels and no other metabolites or electrolytes.

The problem really developed with the broadening of endurance events to include very slow participants. If it takes you 6 hours to complete a marathon, and you are told to drink 8 oz of water every 20 minutes...goodness gracious that's a lot of water!! Then more people started doing ironmans, and ultra marathons...and were told to drink all this liquid every 10-20 minutes...it's crazy actually.

Anyway, the current best practice guideline is to drink when you are thirsty and not to worry otherwise. This is a highly relevant abstract from a piece in the journal Wilderness Environmental Medicine:

Wilderness Environ Med, 2009 vol. 20(2) pp. 139-43

Exercise-associated hyponatremia: overzealous fluid consumption.

Rogers, IR; Hew-Butler, T

Exercise-associated hyponatremia is hyponatremia occurring during or up to 24 hours after prolonged exertion. In its more severe form, it manifests as cerebral and pulmonary edema. There have now been multiple reports of its occurring in a wilderness setting. It can now be considered the most important medical problem of endurance exercise. The Second International Exercise-Associated Hyponatremia Consensus Conference gives an up-to-date account of the nature and management of this disease. This article reviews key information from this conference and its statement. There is clear evidence that the primary cause of exercise-associated hyponatremia is fluid consumption in excess of that required to replace insensible losses. This is usually further complicated by the presence of inappropriate arginine vasopressin secretion, which decreases the ability to renally excrete the excess fluid consumed. Women, those of low body weight, and those taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are particularly at risk. When able to be biochemically diagnosed, severe exercise-associated hyponatremia is treated with hypertonic saline. In a wilderness setting, the key preventative intervention is moderate fluid consumption based on perceived need ("ad libitum") and not on a rigid rule. (Editor's Note: This paper was written at my request in an effort to increase awareness of this important clinical entity among members of the wilderness community, many of whom are involved in activities that place them at risk of its development. I thank the authors for their diligent efforts.)

PMID: 19594207
URL - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19594207?dopt=Citation

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Current state of the research on 01/09/2013 20:47:46 MST Print View

They mainly talk about long distance running

What about backpacking and hiking?

A lot of people have packs with hydration bladders and hoses coming out that allows them to hydrate any time they want

Is there any reason to do this or are you just as well off drinking once an hour (or whatever) when you stop for a rest and take your pack off?

Ian Destroyer of Forums
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
hyponatremia/kalemia on 01/09/2013 21:06:06 MST Print View

I've seen numerous heat casualties and other calamities related to dehydration; mostly heat exhaustion but a couple were heat stroke. None of them died but water resupply was easy and we had the luxury of calling a medevac if it got too bad (never had to).

I know of two fatalities from over hydration(both from SFAS). It was originally diagnosed as hydro toxicity but many feel that it was more along the lines of hyponatremia/kalemia.

Best heat casualty/hydration lecture I was ever given was from a Grand Canyon SAR. A common myth that she busted: Most people are taught that if you are still sweating then you are not in heat stroke yet. She assured us that this was bogus and that she medevac’d countless people who were in heat stroke who were blue and sweating.

The myth began in the OR of all places. Apparently there are some anesthetic drugs with thermo genic properties. The patient's temperature would rise as a reaction to the medication and would go into heat stroke. The physicians observed the patient profusely sweat and then transition to pink dry skin when they reached heat stroke. An assumption was made that this would be the case in all cases.

She placed an emphasis on pushing electrolytes. They would find people laid out on the Grand Canyon trails, rehydrate them, and then see them drop a mile later. They learned that while they were replacing the fluids, they weren’t replacing the electrolytes. Once they started feeding the hikers Wal-Mart special nuclear orange peanut butter crackers, they found a much better recovery rate of the hikers.

I don't have a peer reviewed article to back up her thesis but her credentials were sufficient to convince me. I've found that eating balanced meals is normally sufficient (which can be difficult in the back 40) and I'll take electrolyte supplements when I'm in a really hot/humid environment or a balanced diet is not assured. The two guys who died during SFAS were drinking obscene amounts of water. One report said upwards of five gallons per day.

** added note: I'm not implying that heat casualties are not serious. Just that I haven't experienced one which resulted in a fatality.

Edited by IDBLOOM on 01/10/2013 07:21:48 MST.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Current state of the research on 01/09/2013 21:07:19 MST Print View

http://www.wemjournal.org/article/S1080-6032(09)70110-3/fulltext

http://www.wemjournal.org/article/S1080-6032(12)00087-7/abstract

http://www.wemjournal.org/article/S1080-6032(08)70148-0/fulltext

http://www.overhydration.org/downloads/EAH_Statement_2008.pdf

Edited by jshann on 01/09/2013 21:25:20 MST.

Ian Destroyer of Forums
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
To Jerry on 01/09/2013 21:10:40 MST Print View

My experience is from the Infantry (hiking basically but in a sucky way) and later EMS/WFR; all of my water was from canteens. My experience has been that it's better to sip than chug. It's also better to chug than not drink enough. I use a platy but I'm thinking of ditching it for something lighter. I'm looking at the ULA Ohm 2.0; I like how the side pockets are laid out and that I have an option to carry the bottles on my shoulder straps. I figure will be able to drink nearly as often as I do with the platy.

Edited by IDBLOOM on 01/09/2013 22:41:09 MST.

David K
(aviddk) - F

Locale: SW Oregon
Read the book on 01/09/2013 21:12:04 MST Print View

I know I am starting to sound like a broken record but the book is only $15 at Amazon. Jennifer I'll bet that after you read the book you will change your mind about the "state of the research" The Doctor that wrote the book is no flake looking for easy money. He spent his entire career trying to get the truth out. He has faced seemingly insurmountable odds trying to overcome goliath while watching athletes die from being administered fluids that were actually killing them. There are studies for over half a century that spell out the facts. The book started out to be over 1200 pages and the editor made Noakes cut it down to 400+ pages.

By the way, I don't think his take on human evolution is any more crazy than anyone else's theory. It makes and interesting lead in to his book.


My take is that high mileage backpackers are indeed endurance athletes. My wife and I stopped electrolyte supplementation and drink so little water during a hike we carry most of it home. If your body is thirsty Noakes said you will be able to think of nothing else. For instance, he said if a Marathoner was on the way to an Olympic Gold medal and his or her body was in need of water they would ver off course and not care about the gold medal. Their only thought would be about the nearest water spigot.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: To Jerry on 01/09/2013 23:05:03 MST Print View

Bottles on shoulder strap will balance some of the load forward which could be good

But carrying lots of water is unnecesary. One pint is plenty unless it's really warm and you sweat a lot and might get heat stroke or whatever. And assuming you know there's a water source every 5 hours or so. Most people feel more comfortable carrying a quart which is only one extra pound.

But REI sells hydration reservoirs that are 100 ounces - that's 6 pints = 6 pounds. That seems unnecesary. Product of the hydration myth that Dave and Jennifer are talking about.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Current state of the research on 01/09/2013 23:41:51 MST Print View

Hi Jenifer

> This is one of the biggest areas of research right now in the ultra endurance world.
Well, then the 'ultra endurance world' is a wee bit behind the times. Go and read Noakes, and take him very seriously.

A bit too much not-invented-here I suspect.

Cheers

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: over hydration on 01/10/2013 00:07:43 MST Print View

Almost everything in life should be done in moderation. Too much or too little is generally bad.

Since I have been hiking in deserts for 35 years, I have learned a few things -- as it relates to my body.

There first thing I learned, during my first year was that you sweat a lot of salts in the heat (or whatever every scientific name you wish to give salt). Anyway the first summer I got very sick and dizzy one afternoon. I had been drinking enough water. So I sat down and rested and ate a bunch of Fritos. Quickly I felt much, much better. I later started taking salt tablets when hiking or working in the summer heat of the desert, but they upset my stomach. So I eat salty snacks when hiking in the heat. Don't force down a lot -- my body seems to know when enough is enough. Just a handful of salted nuts, chips, etc.

I drink water only when I feel thirsty, and not a lot. Just enough that I quench my thirst. Never try to over hydrate. Usually I stop about once an hour and drink then. And in the heat; I stop. If the temps are above 100F, I may drink a little every 30 minutes if I am thirsty.

Also different people need different amounts of water. When Craig Wisner and I hike in the desert he needs almost twice as much water. I guess it is an acclimation thing for me, since I have lived in the desert for the past 35 years.

Also, every year people die from heat stroke when hiking in my part of the world. Usually it is on a day hike and death occurs in 6-8 hours after the start of the hike. The hikers always run out of water. Doesn't take long. So unless you are 100% sure of a desert water source -- carry extra!!

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
electrolyte "myth" on 01/10/2013 07:58:33 MST Print View

can you elaborate on the electrolyte "myth"?- I fully agree that over hydration is a problem in long distance events, just as under hydration can be

my personal experience is that ingesting electrolytes has aided me in long distance endeavors-I don't think the source of Na and K (and others) has to be in any particular form, it just happens that pills are lighter and smaller- so that's what I use

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Agree on 01/10/2013 08:11:53 MST Print View

Please give the highlights of the electrolyte myth. I completely eliminated all post hiking/running cramping using electrolytes. It was not a myth that I would lay down at night, jump up with a foot cramp, lay back down, jump up with leg cramp. On my thru hike I we'd electrolyte capsules and in my Malto mix all but two days. (resupply issue). Guess what, I cramped both days. May not be statistally valid for the universe but valid enough for me to keep doing what works unless there is an unknown downside that should make me reconsider.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
State of the research on 01/10/2013 08:19:44 MST Print View

I think you misunderstand a bit...I am not disagreeing that there is quite a bit of profit-centered misinformation out there. What I AM saying is that, regardless of the work of a single scientist working desperately to counteract the goliaths of the energy drink world, there is a glut of real randomized, controlled data out there. And as a scientist, that's really the only evidence that should be considered for altering best practices in medicine. That is not at all saying that other types of scientific evidence (case studies, etc) should be wholly discounted...of course not. But that type of work should be considered a starting point for further research and for pondering various theories. One of the biggest problems in medicine is the clinician who relies solely on anecdotal evidence (I've seen it! I know it!) and does not have true randomized, controlled data to back that up. Remember, we "knew" bleeding people worked, and we "saw" that leeches healed!! It made perfect sense that we should give all menopausal women hormone replacement therapy!

And not to be a science snob, but it is well known that books do not even remotely register as contributing to the scientific body of evidence. They take too long to publish (thus not terribly timely), they are not peer reviewed and anyone can publish anything...it does not have to be true. I am saying this having not read the book, but my first response is that if he has such great, profound evidence, then he should publish in a high impact journal and put his ideas out there for public discussion and argument.

I did a rather exhaustive literature search of hyponatremia and exercise-associated collapse (EAC) and found rather consistent incidences throughout the literature...usually around 2% of participants. There seem to be risk factors, including low body weight, being female and taking NSAIDs (which can alter kidney function). And yes, I absolutely include hikers in these categories; the point is that anyone who exerts himself over prolonged periods of time is at risk and needs to pay attention to hydration status. Dehydration can kill, over hydration can kill. And, as current best practice (which honestly is based on the most solidly available data right now) says, drink when you are thirsty and replace salts and potassium if you are sweating a lot. That can be in your drink, or in your snacks. Just ingest it...

I may have to get the book just to see why some of you are so, um, enthusiastic about this.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
State of MY Research on 01/10/2013 08:40:44 MST Print View

The State of Craig Wisner's Research (which is the only research I tend to worry about on certain subjects) is as follows:

I started running marathon distances back in 2008. Prior to that was a few years of distance cycling, primarily 100 and 200 mile races (with most in Death Valley and the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts). I carried tons of water and electrolytes everywhere I went, very concerned about dehydration. But when I started realizing over time that I was finishing my long runs and rides with tons of water left, I started scaling back.

I then started taking a minimal approach, drinking a good amount in the hour prior to a run and carrying very little, if any, water. This was for runs up to 15 miles. Runs of 20 miles required only a single 20 oz. bottle if temps were under 80F.

I then decided it would be wise to see where my dehydration threshold was, at least to see how I felt...Went out and ran 13 miles in 104F with zero water before, during, or after. Felt like a wreck at about 9 miles, consumed with overwhelming thirst and some weakness. Fried my brain pretty good. When I hobbled home, I was slurring a bit, definitely in early stages of heatstroke/serious dehydration (I'm an EMT, I've been trained in the signs...), my wife thought I was stupid and/or insane. Apparently my thoughts were a bit disorganized. Dangerous/dumb? Probably. I've had similar experiences since then. But I've learned my body's response and got a good sense of the physical feelings associated with dehydration and where the threshold was between simply being very thirsty and approaching a medical issue.

I found that I can push farther without water than I originally thought I could.

I still don't run with anything but water and I still don't carry or take specific electrolyte replacements for anything under 20-25 miles. Beyond that, it's just a few salty foods. Last 50K I ran I ate nothing but pretzels/salty chips at a few aid stations and drank nothing but water. Everything, including recovery, was fine. I believe I store enough salts to get by for a pretty long time without replacements (or the fear of hyponatremia).

Point is, I think one should trust one's own experiences, push it a little every now and then to see where you stand, and adjust accordingly. To pick up another person's book or follow someone else's hydration/electrolyte prescription may be a decent starting point, but ultimately, we are individuals and I believe personal experience trumps anyone else's research.

Edited by xnomanx on 01/10/2013 08:44:16 MST.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Waterlogged on 01/10/2013 08:56:09 MST Print View

Waterlogged Part 1

Waterlogged Part 2
http://www.irunfar.com/2012/08/waterlogged-part-ii-trials-questions-and-suggestions-regarding-hydration-and-ultramarathons.html

Edited by asandh on 01/10/2013 09:07:42 MST.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
over hydration on 01/10/2013 09:03:57 MST Print View

I live in a state of perpetual over hydration, even when not exercising.
I'm well aware of this, I know it's not good, but I'm powerless to stop it.
I drink too much water,
I carry too much when I run,
perhaps it's the constant state of intoxicated grogginess that I crave.
a much cheaper high than booze or drugs.

Edited by asandh on 01/10/2013 09:33:45 MST.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Thanks Art... on 01/10/2013 09:31:36 MST Print View

So really we are all saying the same thing. The author is describing (at least according to this blog post that boils it down quite nicely) exactly what the current best practices are.

You don't need to overload on fluids, you do need to replace glucose (which your brain cannot store) and for PROLONGED exertion it is a good idea to think about replacing potassium and sodium. No need to drink a gallon of Gatorade if you are slowly jogging 3 miles.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Thanks Art... on 01/10/2013 09:50:20 MST Print View

Yeah, good article

But color of urine is inconsistent with my experience

Sometimes when I haven't drunk a lot I notice my urine is dark colored. I'll drink a couple pints of water over an hour and then it's light colored.

Maybe I'm talking about moderate exercise and de-hydration and the article is talking about a higher level.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Great discussion on 01/10/2013 11:03:37 MST Print View

I found a perfect discussion of this whole topic here http://www.sportsscientists.com/2007/11/sports-drinks-sweat-and-electrolytes.html?m=1
I think this gets so hotly debated because we are all talking different distances, exertion levels etc. Craig actually summarized my experience perfectly. The web article I linked starts with the research that Roger referenced. It gets real interesting when you hit the blog section at the bottom. You will see that the validity of the main article goes away as you start hitting higher duration and more extreme conditions. I actually think high mileage backpackers have more in common in this area with ultra marathon runners than they do with the more typical 10 mile/day hikers. I discovered how much I let my personal bias influence what I was reading. I made a conscious effort to those aside and focus on the superficial points being made. One key one was "drink when you are thirty and eat salty foods when you get the craving. ". Sounds like Nicks approach. It gets much more interesting as the duration gets pushed out. A little more deliberate approach may be warranted.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Drink When Thirsty ?? on 01/10/2013 11:29:24 MST Print View

for me personally I find the drink when thirsty rule is a very bad one.
once I'm at that point I find it very hard to turn off the thirst feeling in my brain.

On multi hour runs I drink small amounts (one or two sips) every 15 minutes or so.
I find I actually drink less overall using this approach.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Drink When Thirsty ?? on 01/10/2013 13:07:27 MST Print View

+1 Art.

On longer endurance events (faster activities like running or cycling, not hiking) the drink when thirsty/eat when hungry thing goes out the window because my stomach will often start rejecting food/drink. This happened a lot in my cycling days when I was hitting the 10-12+ hour mark in an event.

Eating/drinking had to become a forced, timed activity. Left to my instincts and feelings, I wouldn't keep up with it because it would make me sick. But stupid-long endurance events already are so going against natural instincts/processes I suppose they're sort of an anamoly.

Brian UL
(MAYNARD76)

Locale: New England
Re: Drink When Thirsty ?? on 01/10/2013 14:51:31 MST Print View

What I learned from his articles was that I ,like a lot of people would confuse hydration with overheating. In other words if you are overheating drinking does very little to cool you down. You need slow down/stop rest get in the shade and pour water over your neck. Better yet take a swim in cool water. This article may be familiar to ultra runners but its good to get the message out to hikers who are not familiar with the trends in those circles and may still subscribe to the discredited advice.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Re: Drink When Thirsty ?? on 01/10/2013 14:52:00 MST Print View

Analysis paralysis...

Not Buster Martin.

"I don't drink water...no I don't drink any water in a marathon."

"Even before I done the marathon, I had to have a fag and a pint..."

Buster Martin- \"How to Live Forever\"

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Re: Re: Drink When Thirsty ?? on 01/10/2013 16:40:34 MST Print View

^ there you go :)

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Agree on 01/10/2013 17:40:12 MST Print View

"Please give the highlights of the electrolyte myth. I completely eliminated all post hiking/running cramping using electrolytes."

I, too, would like to know more about the myth, for the same reason that Mike and Greg have stated. Nick, as well. Since I started using ~1/4 teaspoon of Mortons Lite Salt Replacement/liter and drinking moderately as I move, I have almost completely eliminated cramping. I say almost because even then, if I do not drink enough on really strenuous hikes, I will still cramp up after I stop. Also, when it comes to backpacking, as opposed to faster endurance events where people tend to be reluctant to stop, monitoring the color of your urine is a pretty reliable indicator of your hydration status. I would also like to reemphasize what I said in my first post, based on personal experience: When engaged in an endurance event in hot weather, it is absolutely critical to drink. I learned the hard way, and it came close to costing me my life.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
marathon on 01/10/2013 18:32:18 MST Print View

I wonder if all this disagreement, at least partially, stems from looking at a marathon vs looking at 8+ hour endeavors?

a 2.5 (I wish! :))-5 hour marathon I think would elicit a different electrolyte deficit than, for example, 12 hours of running the Grand Canyon

clearly there is danger of consuming too much water, I think everyone agrees w/ that; what dangers are there is you took a few too many salt/electrolyte pills?

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Re: marathon on 01/10/2013 19:06:28 MST Print View

"I wonder if all this disagreement, at least partially, stems from looking at a marathon vs looking at 8+ hour endeavors?"

Ding ding ding..... I think we have a winner. It is not all that different than the hiker going ten miles in 12 hours declaring that protein is a good fuel. Now do it for it 30 or 40 miles in the same time. How would that turn out?

William Segraves
(sbill9000) - F - M
Re: Drink When Thirsty ?? on 01/10/2013 20:50:03 MST Print View

While I do not disagree with the cautions against over-hydration, "drink when thirsty" works better for some people than it does for others. I know at least two people who routinely fail to drink for long periods of time when they're focusing on work or recreational activities. (Meaning no fluids or high water content food for well over 12 hours of routine activity, or none during over 6-8 hours of backpacking or other athletic activities.) It's hard to say whether they don't get thirsty or whether they just don't notice it, but the predictable result is dehydration (by standard clinical criteria), usually mild, but real.

Bill S.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: marathon on 01/10/2013 21:04:13 MST Print View

"I wonder if all this disagreement, at least partially, stems from looking at a marathon vs looking at 8+ hour endeavors?

a 2.5 (I wish! :))-5 hour marathon I think would elicit a different electrolyte deficit than, for example, 12 hours of running the Grand Canyon"

Good point. The other variable I would consider is temperature. The combination of time on feet and temperature makes proper hydration and electrolyte intake crucial, IME. Adding intensity to the mix makes it even more crucial.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: marathon on 01/10/2013 21:23:41 MST Print View

I remember reading that Alberto Salizar lost something like almost 4 liters of water per hour during the 84 Olympics.

Also I think military tests show that a human at rest in the desert with temps at 120F will lose 5 liters per hour -- that is without using any muscles.

My experience is that the athlete will need to replenish body salts or whatever you want to call them. Same for hiking or working hard in the desert. The soldier at rest probably won't need any salts.

And of course, it is variable for each individual.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
temperature on 01/10/2013 21:39:41 MST Print View

Tom- I've really been paying attention to how much I drink on my runs the last year or so, in the summer (temps 60-80) I can get by a little over an hour on a single 20 oz bottle, now (temps from 10-30F) that same bottle last over two hours- definitely makes a difference

Mike

David K
(aviddk) - F

Locale: SW Oregon
Noakes book covers longer time spans on 01/10/2013 21:53:08 MST Print View

Many of the studies that Noakes uses to illustrate his point are from soldiers put on forced marches in desert heat over multiple days. In some instances purposely put on low salt diets beforehand to see if that would cause issues.

Noakes not only uses studies that he designed but also studies from researchers on the "other side." He explains why the data doesn't show what they claim it did. He worked with this data for decades. He seem fearless to look at anything that might prove he is wrong. He was so saddened by the deaths he saw after distance races due to overhydration he felt compelled to act. IIRC he said that in reviewing the records for marathons over the decades he found no record of anyone dying until the hydration recommendations started. One of the most interesting things he found was that discovering the most dehydrated person was easy because it was always the winner of the race. His point was that it obviously didn't affect their performance.

All the comments I have seen in this thread are addressed in the book. Some that have been mentioned such as salty sweating, muscle cramping, need for salt pills or electrolytes.

I know distance backpackers are incredible athletes but I have had the privilege of having a friend, the late Rick Sayre, who was an world class marathon runner. He is the only person to qualify for the US Olympic Marathon trials five times. in my opinion it is highly unlikely that there is any distance backpacker whose fitness could come close to world class marathoners. The demands they put on their system day after day year round makes us look like pretenders.

The two part summary is somewhat useful but it would be like trying to outline "War and Piece" in four pages and saying you read the book. It has been six months since I read "Waterlogged" but I am considering reading it again because there is so much interest.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: temperature on 01/11/2013 17:13:09 MST Print View

"Tom- I've really been paying attention to how much I drink on my runs the last year or so, in the summer (temps 60-80) I can get by a little over an hour on a single 20 oz bottle, now (temps from 10-30F) that same bottle last over two hours- definitely makes a difference"

That pretty much mirrors my experience when I was still running, Mike. There is a big difference between hydration and over hydration, and 20 oz is definitely in the zone, IMO. Do you use electrolytes in hot weather, or are you one of those fortunate souls who can do without?

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: marathon on 01/11/2013 17:17:23 MST Print View

"My experience is that the athlete will need to replenish body salts or whatever you want to call them. Same for hiking or working hard in the desert."

+1 To which I would add that you don't have to be in a life threatening situation to make it worthwhile. Just a good old fashioned bout of leg cramps will teach you that it is well worth while to keep your electrolyte levels up to snuff. They can really ruin your whole day.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
electrolytes on 01/11/2013 17:21:52 MST Print View

I use them- usually an Endurolyte and a Saltstick- every hour or two; I read up on stomach distress at ultras and lot of fingers pointed at lack of Na. I experienced it headed up the South Rim on our R2R2R and my hope is not to experience it again :)

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: electrolytes on 01/11/2013 17:24:34 MST Print View

If you suspect a sodium deficiency, which works better: sodium chloride or sodium bicarbonate?

I find the latter to be more helpful.

--B.G.--

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Re: Re: electrolytes on 01/11/2013 17:33:06 MST Print View

no clue? I have taken a glass of water/bicarbonate for acid relief and it does seem to work