Jun 24, 2012 at 10:53 pm #1291356
@maynard76Locale: New EnglandJun 25, 2012 at 12:41 am #1889864
I agree entirely with Dr Noakes, but I would hardly say that was 'new'. The farce of 'hydration' was exposed many many years ago, when athletes were dying from over-hydration in long races. But the vendors keep pushing the idea – $$$
CheersJun 25, 2012 at 12:57 am #1889868
Dr Noakes wrote extensively about this in "The Lore of Running". Given that the current (4th) edition was published in 2003, this is not new! But as Roger says, the sports drinks companies have perpetuated the myth for so long that most accept it as fact.Jun 25, 2012 at 7:00 am #1889897
"But the vendors keep pushing the idea – $$$."
From an evolutionary (out-of-Africa) standpoint, what do you actually need to walk, carry, eat & drink? Especially, as the good doctor notes, we are adapted to full, mid-day sun:
Walking – something to protect your feet from sharp stones, not to cushion your heels or brace your ankles
Carry – something to allow you to "shoulder the weight", whether it literally is on your back or semi-transferred to your hips
Eat – nuts, berries (gather) and occasional game (hunt) aka GORP + jerky
Drink – water, when available (after the hunt = after a big push)
All else is marketing to help some other person pay for their mortgage, holiday, etc. Do you want to fund their enjoyment or yours?Jun 25, 2012 at 7:20 am #1889903
If you are interested to see what we have evolved to be capable of, check this out:
or google "persistence hunting". They do carry water for the hunt, but then it is 40C!Jun 25, 2012 at 8:03 am #1889912
Drink when you are thirsty.Jun 25, 2012 at 8:54 am #1889924
At first glance it looks like Noakes was part of the problem in recommending the hyperhydration of the past.
"I said you should drink up to 900 mL per hour [30 ounces]. In May 1981, I wrote an article saying you should drink as much as you can. Wherever you can find fluid on a race course, you must drink it. The next month, I received a call and a letter from Eleanor Sadler, a South African runner who had lost consciousness in the Comrades Marathon. She had almost died, and had been unconscious for four days."
After a few deaths, the military stopped the practice in about 1999. Now Noakes doesn't like the current guidelines either (customized replacement to replace fluids lost) and wants to make money writing books.Jun 25, 2012 at 9:08 am #1889925
"I don't see Noakes recommending different until 2003"
Then you are not looking …
Noakes TD: The hyponatremia of exercise. Int J Sports Nutr 1992;2(3):205-228
Noakes TD: Dehydration during exercise: what are the real dangers? Clin J Sport Med 1995;5(2):123-128
….and many more.Jun 25, 2012 at 3:28 pm #1890032
> ….and many more.
+1 on Greg.
CheersJun 25, 2012 at 5:53 pm #1890066
a happy medium, somewhere between over hydration and dehydration(Leave sports drinks out of the discussion, at least in the context of my post)? Personal experience tells me that this is the case, at least my case, although I do not think I am biologically different from anybody else. I ran 8 marathons and 1 50 miler before I hung up my shoes; 4 of those marathons were on the road in moderate to cool conditions and 3 were sub 3 hours. In none of them did I ever feel the need to drink, nor did I sufffer any ill effects from not doing so. The other 3 marathons were run at altitude on trails and fire roads, and in very hot conditions; in the first one I did suffer ill effects, life threatening, from not drinking enough and in the other two I merely got severely dehydrated. The 50 miler was also run in hot conditions and again I suffered severe effects from not drinking enough. The common threads in the 3 off road marathons and 50 miler were heat and time on feet, anywhere from 5:20 for the first marathon and 9:13 for the 50 miler down to 4:16 on my last try at the marathon. What I am getting at is that the length of time you are running, altitude, and the ambient temperature will have an impact on your need for water, and electrolytes. We may have evolved on the savannas of Africa, but we have long since lost that capability as we dispersed over the face of the earth and evolved a radically different lifestyle. I think there is a danger of the pendulum swinging too far in the direction of under hydrating, based on the posts I have seen in this thread, and I am here to tell you there is danger at that end of the spectrum as well. My 2 centsJun 25, 2012 at 6:09 pm #1890072
@alfrescoLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
The Ben Greenfield Podcast has several interviews with Dr Noakes. Just type his name in the search field.Jun 25, 2012 at 6:39 pm #1890080
@bestbuilderLocale: Pacific Northwest
Tom, quick question- did you at any time during your "problem" runs get thirsty or want to take a drink?
I just asking for a point of reference.Jun 25, 2012 at 6:54 pm #1890085
"Tom, quick question- did you at any time during your "problem" runs get thirsty or want to take a drink?"
Yes, and I drank, but not enough apparently. They put two liters of electrolyte solution in me after the first marathon and told me I fortunate to have strong kidneys. I suspect part of the problem was that I trained for those "hot" marathons, which were run in early May down around Lone Pine, CA, up here in Seattle. Thus, I was not acclimated for running in heat for that length of time. Altitude and the arid climate may also have contributed to the problem, IMO, and time on feet definitely did. I ran the last half of those marathons when the temperatures were in the mid 80's to low 90's. The 50 miler was also run in fairly high temperatures, in the low 80's for the last 3 or so hours. In truth, I wasn't adequately trained for the 50 miler. I was very marathon fit, having come off a 2:45 effort 3 months previously and cycled up again to marathon racing fitness, but was simply not trained to spend 8-9 hours on my feet in hot weather. That marathon required no fluid intake, whereas an 8-9 hour effort in hot weather definitely did, and I hadn't trained my body to process the water efficiently, or so it seems to me. Ultras are a whole different ball game.Jun 25, 2012 at 9:57 pm #1890124
It may be worth while some time when you are running in high heat to try pouring the water down the back of your head and neck instead. Racers do that quite often (invert cup over head), to cool the cortex and brain stem. You might be surprised at just how fantastic it can feel! Often, it isn't thirst but overheating of the brain stem which is the problem.
CheersJun 26, 2012 at 8:01 am #1890185
@wufpackfnLocale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
How does Dr Noakes writing a book for $$$ differ from a sports drink company selling product for $$$? Why should I believe him over them? One could make an argument that his book will sell more copies if he writes something going against the norm. He has to differentiate his message if he wants anyone to buy his book.
As a runner myself, I still say the best approach is to do your own testing. Why would I listen to this guy or a sports drink company? Sure I read a lot from different sources and then test accordingly. Not like it's rocket science to test.
BradJun 26, 2012 at 8:51 am #1890208
lol Brad. Dr. Noakes has been publishing in the medical literature about this issue since the early 90's or so. It does seem "different" that he would only now resort to writing a book about the issue a decade later. Maybe he feels that is the only way to get his word out in the current world about his dislike of the current standards and his journal writing does not have the same effect? Or, he just wants to make a buck for his efforts ; ).Jun 26, 2012 at 9:17 am #1890225
it's been shown (with deadly results) that you can over hydrate- that is fact; just as factual is that you can under hydrate- this can often have grime results as wel
I also think it's hard to talk about hydration advice for long events and not discuss sodium and potassium, not replacing electrolytes during long events can also impact (negatively) your performance
the strategies employed at an event like the recent Western States are as varied as the number of participants; what works for one, certainly doesn't work for everyone
experience and listening to your body should guide you into what works for you; if one starts somewhere in the middle of the hydration continuum and adjust from there hopefully you won't experience any dire consequencesJun 26, 2012 at 10:00 am #1890238
"Why would I listen to this guy or a sports drink company? …. Not like it's rocket science to test. "
25 years ago hydration theory Was like rocket science. And ultra athletes were dying after touchdown.
Noakes paid attention, looked beyond "common knowledge", and suggested an alternate approach. Then he had to say it over and over until people started to listen and learn.
Now we all know better, know what to look for, and know how to deal with it. We are smart enough "… to do [our] own testing."
And in my opinion, we should also be humble enough to remember how we got here.Jun 26, 2012 at 3:58 pm #1890337
"It may be worth while some time when you are running in high heat to try pouring the water down the back of your head and neck instead. Racers do that quite often (invert cup over head), to cool the cortex and brain stem. You might be surprised at just how fantastic it can feel!"
Oh, it does feel good, and I did it at every aid station in those races, but I fail to see how it could, or did,, cool the cortex inside my skull.
"Often, it isn't thirst but overheating of the brain stem which is the problem."
Perhaps, but when I reached the finish line a quart or two low, I would have to say thirst and the underlying dehydration were very much a problem. Pretty much all the literature I have come across in the past few years recommends hydrating for events over an hour in duration, particularly in hot and/or humid conditions. This does not necessarily mean hydrating with sports drinks, however.Jun 26, 2012 at 4:26 pm #1890345
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
"Perhaps, but when I reached the finish line a quart or two low, I would have to say thirst and the underlying dehydration were very much a problem."
I don't know the science behind it, but I know that once you start to dehydrate it is like a runaway train and you aren't going to fix the problem by continuing the race (or hike) and increasing fluid intake. You have to stop and recover. But when in a race, the competitive voice in your brain keeps whispering, "Go, you can make it."Jun 26, 2012 at 4:37 pm #1890350
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
I was on a Mount Whitney hike one time, and one of the other hikers started showing signs of heat exhaustion when we were halfway down. He had not been drinking enough fluids, either. I saw that he could not walk a straight line. So, we sat him down by a cold stream, and we helped him take his shirt off. Instinctively, we started rubbing the cold water into his head, neck, and back. Then we made him drink some water, take one aspirin, and eat half of a candy bar.
Within minutes, he was coming back to life. I don't know exactly which treatment worked the most. It is very easy to become dehydrated when at high elevation.
–B.G.–Jun 26, 2012 at 7:55 pm #1890417
"You have to stop and recover. But when in a race, the competitive voice in your brain keeps whispering, "Go, you can make it.""
Spoken like a true racer, Nick. That was exactly the dynamic at play, and it led me to make a near fatal mistake. I had never DNF'd a race in my life, and that competitive fire within was not about to let that time be the first. Big mistake.
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