We know how important it is to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. However, it is possible to take it too far — and that's not as well-known.
In fact, new research claims that overhydration could actually be more dangerous than dehydration.
A panel of experts — sports medicine doctors, physiologists and trainers — issued new guidelines in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine saying that "aggressive drinking to prevent dehydration [during physical activity] is unnecessary and carries with it greater risk."
So, when should you take a swig from your water bottle? Only when you're thirsty.
According to the researchers, drinking too much fluid can lead to confusion, nausea, lightheadedness, and in rare cases, a condition called exercise-associated hyponatremia (EAH), which occurs when the body has too much water relative to its salt level, potentially leading to significant neurological problems or even death. EAH is believed to have caused the death of more than 14 athletes since 1981.
The bottom line? Keep replenishing the liquids in your body when you sweat them out, but don't just drink to drink. Drink when your body tells you to.