Waterlogged!

Raining, here, though not quite soaked. Manning the fort. No pressing motivation to run. Perhaps in the late afternoon. It’s not nearly as hot here as it could have been, or was last week. Some country bicycling in store.

I found a draft lurking here, forgotten. So here it is.

I’ve always pretty much in awe of Timothy Noakes’ Lore of Running, 4th Edition, a compendium of learning impressive for sheer weight alone (3.5 pounds), but on top of that throw in a dash of scientific rigor and a no-nonsense practical mindset and you’ve got a great (reference) book. So I couldn’t help be curious when I came upon this piece in Running Times about his new book, Waterlogged. His point? Runners probably drink too much water.

Here’s the editor’s note prefacing the piece:

EDITOR’S NOTE: Tim Noakes, author of Lore of Running, has a new book out that will surprise many readers and perhaps even offend some. In writingWaterlogged, Noakes pored over seemingly every bit of research ever conducted on hydration and performance and concluded that much of what we’ve been told on the topic is wrong. Noakes says we’ve been sold a “dehydration myth.” In the following excerpt from Chapter 2 of Waterlogged, Noakes explains the physiology of dehydration and how research on the topic often contradicts conventional wisdom.

It’s not light reading — densely and forcefully argued — Noakes makes the case that you probably drink too much water. Here’s another sample:

More recent studies further confirm that the sensations of thirst are always sufficient to ensure proper hydration both before and during exercise. Participants who began exercise in a dehydrated state (-3.4 percent BW) drank 5.3 times as much fluid during 90 minutes of exercise than when they started exercise normally hydrated such that, provided they were able to drink during exercise, it made no difference whether subjects began exercise dehydrated or normally hydrated; by the end of exercise their core body temperatures, heart rates, blood osmolalities and thirst ratings were the same.

I’m afraid I’m just inclined to agree with him. This idea that you have to drink in anticipation of some dehydration that’s going to sneak up on you — even when you’re not thirsty — just seems like bunk.

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