Walter Wilbanks was a 17-year-old football player who suddenly fell ill during a game last August. In an effort to stay well hydrated—considering that the game’s location in Jackson, Miss., can see temperatures upward of 90 in August—Wilbanks consumed Gatorade and Pedialyte before and during the game. Three days later, he died due to swelling in his brain triggered by hyponatremia—a result of over-hydrating which causes the body’s sodium levels to plummet. Wilbanks’s death, along with another high school football player’s hyponatremia-linked death last year, has since prompted new hydration guidelines for endurance athletes. The overriding theme experts emphasize: know hyponatremia’s warning signs (headaches, vomiting, confusion or seizures) and seek help immediately if you experience these symptoms. Also, only hydrate when you FEEL thirsty. Do you agree? Will this news make you think twice about hydrating when you’re not feeling thirst? Tell us in the comments.
The Scary Truth About Over-Hydrating and How to Prevent It
February 26, 2017