Posted: Tuesday, August 12th 2014 at 7:07pm
Over-hydration can dilute sodium in your bloodstream
By Derreck Booth Editor
Relatives of the Douglas County High School football player who died Monday say he drank two gallons of water and more than two gallons of Gatorade.
Doctor Amy Borrow, an orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist at the Longstreet Clinic in Gainesville, said over-hydration deals with the amount of sodium in your blood.
"The lack of sodium in those drinks, compared to what your body needs, will actually dilute the amount of sodium in your bloodstream if you drink too much," Borrow said.
Relatives said doctors told them 17-year-old Zyrees Oliver suffered massive swelling around the brain from over-hydration. He had complained of cramping at practice last Tuesday. Family members took Oliver off of life support Monday at a hospital in Marietta.
Borrow said the treatment would be getting the sodium back into the bloodstream at a slow rate. It involves IV fluid, according to Barrow.
"There's a little more sodium in our IV fluids than what we actually have a need for in our bodies," Borrow said.
Borrow said the opposite problem, dehydration, is usually what physicians see among student athletes. In turn, today's athletes are told repeatedly to hydrate, especially in Georgia's heat.
"Some of them (student athletes) think more means better, but there is a limit to how much you can do, so it's usually not that they're that thirsty, it's that they're trying to overdo what they've been recommended to do," Borrow said.
Borrow said there is a balance, and it involves weighing yourself before and after practice.
"For example, a gallon of water is 8.32 pounds...if you go out and start practicing at 165 pounds, and you come home at 159, then you know you need to drink three-quarters of a gallon of fluid afterward."
Barrow also said it's generally better to drink an electrolyte solution like a sports drink following a workout.
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