Oakland University
Thursday, February 12, 2015

Research refutes current hydration guidelines for exercise

In the Prevention Research Center, psychology major Katherine Toering volunteers to participate in a study with Dr. Tamara Hew on the effects of hypernatremia. 
Death caused by over-hydration has created concern for athletes across the nation. This winter, Oakland University’s Tamara Hew-Butler will address the issue with fellow researchers from across the globe.

“Although clinically significant hyponatremia is rare, the evidence is firm that every single death from exercise-associated hyponatremia is avoidable,” said Dr. Hew-Butler, an associate professor of exercise science.

Exercise-associated hyponatremia is a preventable condition that occurs during or following exercise as a result of ingesting too much water. According to Dr. Hew-Butler, most of the current hydration guidelines, such as drinking 8 oz. of fluids every 20 minutes while exercising, are not only unnecessary but can be life-threatening. She suggests that instead athletes should drink only when thirsty.

“We can consciously control the amount of fluid that enters our body and must reconsider, re-educate and reinforce appropriate fluid intake and intravenous fluid guidelines,” Dr. Hew-Butler said.

On February 20, she will join the world’s foremost hydration experts at the 2015 CrossFit Conference on Exercise-Associated Hyponatremia in Carlsbad, California. Organized by the HEAT Institute, researchers will develop a new set of guidelines to set the record straight on hydration in an attempt to save lives.

According to Dr. Hew-Butler, recommendations such as drinking 8 oz. every 20 minutes are not only unnecessary, but can be life-threatening.

Created by Colleen Campbell (cjcampbell@oakland.edu) on Thursday, February 12, 2015
Modified by Colleen Campbell (cjcampbell@oakland.edu) on Thursday, February 12, 2015
Article Start Date: Thursday, February 12, 2015