Overhydration in athletes can lead to death

It was recently revealed that drinking too much water and sports drinks could be fatal for athletes.

ANI| Last Updated: Sep 07, 2014, 13:10 PM IST

Washington: It was recently revealed that drinking too much water and sports drinks could be fatal for athletes.

According to Loyola University Medical Center sports medicine physician Dr. James Winger, the recent deaths of two high school football players illustrated the dangers of Overhydration, which was rare but deadly.

Over-hydration by athletes was called exercise-associated hyponatremia. It occurs when athletes drink even when they are not thirsty. Drinking too much during exercise could overwhelm the body's ability to remove water. The sodium content of blood would be diluted to abnormally low levels. Cells absorb excess water, which can cause swelling, most dangerously in the brain.

Hyponatremia could cause muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, seizures, unconsciousness, and, in rare cases, death.

Georgia football player Zyrees Oliver reportedly drank 2 gallons of water and 2 gallons of a sports drink. He collapsed at home after football practice, and died later at a hospital. In Mississippi, Walker Wilbank was taken to the hospital during the second half of a game after vomiting and complaining of a leg cramp. He had a seizure in the emergency room and later died. A doctor confirmed he had exercise-associated hyponatremia.