Is marathon running good for you? part 2

Posted: October 12, 2007 in marathon, marathon training

In my part one of “Is marathon running good for you?” we saw how drinking too much water during a race can decrease the concentration of sodium in the blood (a condition called hyponatremia), which may result in vomiting, seizures, coma and even death.The International Marathon Medical Directors Association issued a warning in 2001 that that urges runners only to drink when they are thirsty, rather than our motto “drink ahead of your thirst.”

A recent research published by New England Journal of medicine proves too much water is dangerous. While we already know too much water is dangerous, the death of a runner at 2007 Chicago Marathon reminds us dehydration is also equally dangerous.

Our bodies are made 0f 75% water. Water is everywhere in your body, sort of like a river flowing through your arteries, veins, and capillaries carrying nutrients to your cells and transporting waste out of the body.

Water and Muscles

In order to move muscle, you need water. Muscle is considered an active tissue and water is found in the highest concentrations in active tissue.

If your body is dehydrated, chances are you’re not going to be able to move your muscles during running. Muscles are controlled by nerves.

The electrical stimulation of nerves and contraction of muscles are the result of the exchange of electrolyte minerals dissolved in water.

Water and Your Joints

I have been nursing an ankle joint and is not surprising that the ankle injury has coincided at a period when I had reduced my water intake.

Water also helps out with the lubrication of your joints. Water is an ingredient in the makeup of the synovial fluid, which is the lubricating fluid between your joints.

As runners we are in dilemma, how much is enough? My advice is you should only drink when you get thirsty. During a marathon a lot goes through your bodies, the more you understand your body the better runner you will be. For information about what happens to your body during the 42K marathon read the article here.

Part three we will look at running in hot weather and how to tell you are getting dehydrated


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