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Waterlogged: The Serious Problem of Overhydration in Endurance Sports

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  174 ratings  ·  27 reviews
"Drink as much as you can, even before you feel thirsty." That's been the mantra to athletes and coaches for the past three decades, and bottled water and sports drinks have flourished into billion-dollar industries in the same short time. The problem is that an overhydrated athlete is at a performance disadvantage and at risk of exercise-associated hyponatremia (EAH)--a p ...more
Paperback, 428 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Human Kinetics Publishers
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Mar 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I've been itching to read this book ever since it was published last year (2012), but I didn't want to buy a copy because, after all, how often do I need to read about the bad advice so often given to drink water to excess. Now that I am taking an Anatomy and Physiology class (Principles of Anatomy and Physiology With A Brief Atlas of the Skeleton, Surface Anatomy, ) my interest got high enough to hunt it down. The Flagstaff Public Library was kind enough to buy a copy at my request. I only had ...more
Andd Becker
Sep 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Dr. Noakes debunks the myth that a marathon runner must drink as much as possible during a race to optimize performance and to prevent dehydration. The author points to the dangers of fluid overload.
Scientific studies by Dr. Noakes and by other researchers prove conclusively that exercise-associated hyponatremia (EAH) and exercise-associated hyponatremic encephalopathy (EAHE) are caused by abnormal fluid retention in certain athletes who drink copious amounts of fluids during (and sometimes af
Sep 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fitness, sciencebooks
If you're an endurance athlete who has ever been told that you should drink before you're thirsty or that you should drink sports drinks with electrolytes to prevent your blood sodium levels from dropping too low, you should read this book. Noakes meticulously outlines the science that proves that a lot of the conventional advice given about hydration is at best useless, and at worst, potentially fatal.

It's also a fascinating look at how the combination of faulty assumptions and commercial inte
Jun 28, 2012 rated it liked it
This is a pretty fascinating read, especially if you're one of many athletes who've been told time and again to drink water copiously while exercising. I've heard reports about hyponatremia but always assumed it was because of inadequate sodium intake, and this book explains how that is not the case. Noakes goes through an incredible literature review in this book and lays out the evidence that hyponatremia is caused by consuming too much water. At times this book gets very repetitive, the biolo ...more
Jun 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Intense read, full of science and it goes against basically EVERYTHING that our world is preaching when it comes to endurance sports these days. But it's thought-provoking and I think everybody who coaches athletes should read it at some point.
Stephen Redwood
Sep 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sports
It's hard to imagine a more detailed account being written of what happens to hydration, salts and carb levels during prolonged exercise. A full description of how we evolved to cope with heat and low hydration sets the scene (we are a lot more efficient than other mammals and our brain shuts us down before dehydration kills us). Then an exhaustive analysis of past research and the author's own research shows how the guidelines pushed by Gatorade and other sports drinks producers can lead to fat ...more
Oct 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating read! This book has completely changed how I view hydration. The conclusions reached are completely against the current dogma regarding hydration and sodium intake, but the book is exhaustively researched and referenced. I now see that many of my problems in marathons and beyond have been due to over hydrating, not dehydration or lack of sodium. We'll see if following the guidelines in this book make my next ultra better. ...more
Aug 30, 2012 marked it as to-read
I won this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. Looking forward to reading it. Thank you.
Benjamin Espen
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received this book for free from LibraryThing's Early Reviewers Program.

In the early 2000s, I was talking with a park ranger at the Grand Canyon. He told me he never really had to help anyone with serious dehydration in the Park. Too much water, leading to a salt deficit, was more common in his experience. Ten years later, I got a copy of this book for free. Timothy Noakes explained, at length, why that park ranger was right.

Noakes runs through a massive amount of material relating to human ph
An Te
Sep 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Waterlogged? Can you really drink too much water in replenishing lost fluids? You sure can; Tim Noakes demonstrates with case after case that over hydrating before, during or after endurance events (longer than 2 hours and often in excess of this) is detrimental to health, and at times can be life threatening.

His evidence recommendations include drinking according to thirst, replace salts accordingly and take in carbohydrate, if carbohydrate adapted, in sufficient quantities. You ought to liste
Nancie Lafferty
Feb 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Excellently researched and presented. If you try to pay attention to how much you hydrate, runner or not, then this information will open your eyes and, probably, cause you to make some drastic changes to protect your health.
Adam Schwartz-Lowe
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A great, very technical, description on how hydration works and the importance of not over hydrating during endurance events.

I also have never read so much about rectal temperatures, nor do I expect to in the future.
Aug 11, 2012 rated it liked it
I heard that this book was an easy read. That's funny. I don't think so and it is a lot boring, at least it was to me. I agree with what it said however. The idea of drinking several ounces of water prior to a marathon and then drinking at every aid station that is 1 mile apart is definitely way too much!!! It talked about the history of what athletes would drink or not drink at events, which species of animals sweat, which don't and why, salt balance in the body, sports drink industry and their ...more
Nov 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Awesome read - I'm doubting anyone EVER tried so hard (and succeeded) to prove a point. Charts, graphs, studies, personal experience, and interviews, all woven perfectly together.

The only downside? I shoulda read this before buying my last hydration pack;-)

Here's the 5¢ tour...
- Drink only when you're thirsty
- If you eat a lotta salt, you sweat/pea a lotta salt
- Cool down
- Never trust a Gatorade
- Relax your body will self regulate (almost) everything
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Eye-opening and life changing. As a runner, I was fooled and pulled in by the commonly-accepted ideas that you need a bottle of Gatorade to run around the block, a bottle of water in order to make it from the car to the door of the mall. You don't! The lessons on hyponatremia are worth the price of the book. But the rest of the science is amazing. It has helped my fine tune my hydration for marathons and ultras. And I never buy Gatorade. ...more
I had no idea what to expect from this book, as I (disclaimer) received it for free through Goodreads' First Reads giveaway program. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it contained an abundance of citations and facts to back up the author's claims. Not being familiar with the field of endurance sports at all, I found this book to be very informative, if somewhat repetitive. ...more
Jordan White
Oct 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Very heavy scientifically but some incredible information. Concepts in this book are certainly not the normative for our day and age, but Noakes proves his theories time and again. Very interesting stuff.
Apr 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, running
I didn’t end up finishing; way too technical for my level of interest. Don’t drink too much water, as it’s bad for you.
Ellen Michael
Jun 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Great book for anyone who is an athlete, into endurance sports, or just interested in physiology. It's very clinical, but he explains everything really well in layman's terms. ...more
May 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Every endurance athlete needs to read this book.
Henry Bickerstaff
Jan 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
A research paper on hydration put in a readable form. A must read for ultra distance event athletes.
Paco Gorina
Jan 17, 2014 rated it liked it
Good arguments. A bit too long but worth reading.
Jan 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Great information, but this book it huge! Obviously a lot of extensive research went into this book, but I need a cliff notes version :)
Neal Boswell
Jan 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Exhaustively researched. This is a must for any one participating in endurance sports.
Nov 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Nice! Very nice! If you're an endurance athlete then get it and read it. ...more
Will G
Apr 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Kinda dry, but given the topic about as exciting as possible.

Changed my entire treatment algorithm for "dehydration" and heat injury.
Jeffrey Brasen
rated it it was amazing
Dec 30, 2013
rated it really liked it
Dec 10, 2012
Mark Lofquist
rated it it was amazing
Oct 26, 2012
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Timothy David Noakes is a South African professor of exercise and sports science at the University of Cape Town. He has run more than 70 marathons and ultramarathons, and is the author of the running book Lore of Running.

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