Dehydration Dangers, A Myth Promoted by Marketers’ & Scientists?

Dave_white_suit_TMAthletes who collapse during meets or workouts are no more likely to be dehydrated than fellow competitors who remain upright, according to a new review with scathing words about sports-drink marketing. In fact, says Tim Noakes, MD, of the University of Cape Town, too much water (“hyperhydration”) is a greater health risk to athletes than dehydration.

As little as a 2% increase in total body water can trigger serious health problems, he writes, while serious dehydration risks don’t begin until a 15% decrease (which would require 48 dry hours in the desert).


Dr. Noakes adds, “Over the past 40 years humans have been misled… to believe that they need to drink to stay ‘ahead of thirst’ to be optimally hydrated.” An accompanying investigative article cites “collaboration” between beverage marketers and scientists in promoting “a whole area of science devoted to hydration.”

Bottom Line: Even if you’re an active person, eating a balanced diet and drinking fluids throughout the day is sufficient to keep you going strong.  Adding a sports drink is more psychological than anything – unless you’re planning on running for 2 plus hours without stopping.



About Dave Barnas, M.S., CES, NASM-CPT

Dave is the true health guy. He is the founder and owner of True Health Unlimited, LLC, a personal health and fitness company in Tolland, CT & Wellness Writers, a subscription wellness newsletter service that incorporates live & virtual wellness workshops for companies across New England. Dave earned both a Bachelor's (1998) and Master's Degree (2000) in Nutritional Science from the University of Connecticut, and also holds certifications as a National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Personal Trainer, National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist, Aerobics and Fitness Association of America Group Instructor, and Nutrition Specialist. He's also the lead author for four published works. Dave has over 20 years of combined experience in nutrition counseling, dietary supplement advising, personal training, corrective exercise training, health coaching and public speaking. In addition, he's spent over 25 years studying spirituality, meditation, and personal growth strategies. Dave's clients are all ages: youth, college championship level athletes, folks in their retired years, and everywhere in between. He's worked with three of the nation's leading physicians as a dietary supplement advisor and been a guest lecturer at Harvard University, Yale University, UConn, St. Joseph College and various church groups, health clubs, and high schools. In 2013, he was invited to Whole Foods Market to share his Real Food Therapy Guide. And in 2015, Dave's funny "Snowga" (yoga in the snow) video caught the attention of The National Weather Channel, who aired it to shake off cabin fever and bring laughter. In 2016, Dave & Hollie (his wife) founded Wellness Writers and deliver evidence-based Wellness E-newsletters to spread a message of health and happiness to various businesses throughout the US. Dave currently serves as a personal trainer in Tolland as well as a wellness coach and writer for several businesses, gyms and wellness facilities throughout the US.

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