MAYWOOD, Ill. -- Marathon runners are at a higher risk for illness related to hydration, according to Loyola University Health System (LUHS) sports medicine experts. In an effort to protect Chicago Marathon participants this weekend, specialists are available to offer tips for proper hydration.
*Drinking too little water can lead to dehydration while drinking too much water can dilute sodium levels in the blood. This can cause a rare, but potentially life-threatening condition called Exercise Associated Hyponatremia (EAH).
**Symptoms associated with EAH are nausea, vomiting, lightheadedness, dizziness, and in severe cases, seizures, unconsciousness or death.
*Hydration recommendations vary based on age, body size and environmental conditions. However, the goal of the endurance athlete should be to start the event well hydrated and to replace fluids during the marathon to prevent dehydration.
**Four hours prior to a marathon, runners should drink about six mL of water or sports drink (an average water bottle contains 500 mL).
**Two hours prior to the event, if a runner has not urinated or if the urine is dark in color, the athlete should drink four mL of fluids.
**During a marathon, participants should consume 400 – 800 mL of fluids per hour with the heavier and faster runners drinking on the higher end of the spectrum.
*Tips to measure hydration status include evaluating level of thirst, weighing yourself before and after the race to determine if you have gained or lost weight and assessing urine color, which should be clear.
Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. The medical center campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. The heart of the medical center campus, Loyola University Hospital, is a 569-licensed-bed facility. It houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children’s Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as the LUC Stritch School of Medicine, the LUC Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 264-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.