Hyponatremia: a bigger threat than rhabdo to athletes

Back in the early days of CrossFit, the fitness world started hearing a lot about rhabdomyolysis from articles like this one http://www.crossfit.com/journal/library/38_05_cf_rhabdo.pdf

Yes, this does pose a legitimate threat to a person’s health and coaches/trainers need to educated on it and make sure those they train get the information on it too.

Since I first affiliated with CrossFit back in 2005, We have been blessed to have never had a case of rhabdo caused by our training. Now, ten years later, my program includes Powerlifting, Strongman, and Underground Strength training. All of these are very intense types of training, but still no cases of rhabdo.

Enough said on that threat.

With the glut of  both good and bad information available online these days some very important things pertaining to training have been overlooked. One of them is hyponatremia, which can really mess you or kill you.

Endurance athletes are particularly at risk for this, but they are not the only ones. One way a person can bring on hyponatremia is by drinking way too much water

Living in southwest Florida, this can happen pretty easily.  Being well-hydrated is important, but being over-hydrated is dangerous.

I had a question from one of the lifters at our Iron Brotherhood Weightlifting Club training the other day about the symptoms of hyponatremia, so I have copied a list from this Mayo Clinic article http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hyponatremia/basics/definition/con-20031445

Hyponatremia signs and symptoms may include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Loss of energy and fatigue
  • Restlessness and irritability
  • Muscle weakness, spasms or cramps
  • Seizures
  • Coma

Here’s a second article on it for all the Wikipedia addicts out there


Our motto at the Cave is “No brain, no gain”

Be a smart athlete so you can live well and live long!

Coach D

Published by ironcave1

I was the owner of the Cave, a strength-based, veteran-owned, unconventional coaching facility, which closed on May 31, 2022 after almost 12 years. My full focus is now on bringing our steelclub and mace training called Mace Fit out to the public. Follow us at http://macefit.com and @2slingsteel.

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