Doctors warn of student-athletes over-hyrdrating - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Doctors warn of student-athletes over-hyrdrating

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(Western Mass News photo) (Western Mass News photo)

It's the season to get ready for back to school and that also means back to sports. 

Athletes are taking the field soon, even in the summer heat.  

Many athletes are advised by coaches and parents to drink tons of water, but that can actually have a dangerous consequence. 

In the last four years, two high school football players in Georgia and Mississippi have died from over hydrating. 

A local doctor warned Western Mass News that athletes need to find a balance with their water intake.

"Just like anything in sports, hydration is a skill by itself.  It's important for the athlete to find a strategy that works and stick with that strategy," said Dr. Julio Martinez with Baystate Rehabilitation care.

Martinez has a recommendation that works across the board.

"The strategy I like to use for athletes to hydrate is drinking one or two glasses of water before participating in sports," Martinez added.

It's very, very rare for an athlete to over-hydrate. but drinking an extreme amount of water can dilute the natural salt and electrolytes in the body that makes the brain think and the heart pump. 

So if an athlete has a big two hour practice coming up, they need more than water. 

"For events that last more than an hour, I usually recommend sports drinks because they have electrolytes and sugar that will actually help you," Martinez noted.

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