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Friday May 22nd, 2015 6:11PM

Over-hydration can dilute sodium in your bloodstream

By Derreck Booth Anchor/reporter
Relatives of the Douglas County High School football player who died Monday say he drank two gallons of water and more than two gallons of Gatorade.<br /> <br /> Doctor Amy Borrow, an orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist at the Longstreet Clinic in Gainesville, said over-hydration deals with the amount of sodium in your blood.<br /> <br /> "The lack of sodium in those drinks, compared to what your body needs, will actually dilute the amount of sodium in your bloodstream if you drink too much," Borrow said.<br /> <br /> Relatives said doctors told them 17-year-old Zyrees Oliver suffered massive swelling around the brain from over-hydration. He had complained of cramping at practice last Tuesday. Family members took Oliver off of life support Monday at a hospital in Marietta.<br /> <br /> Borrow said the treatment would be getting the sodium back into the bloodstream at a slow rate. It involves IV fluid, according to Barrow.<br /> <br /> "There's a little more sodium in our IV fluids than what we actually have a need for in our bodies," Borrow said.<br /> <br /> Borrow said the opposite problem, dehydration, is usually what physicians see among student athletes. In turn, today's athletes are told repeatedly to hydrate, especially in Georgia's heat.<br /> <br /> "Some of them (student athletes) think more means better, but there is a limit to how much you can do, so it's usually not that they're that thirsty, it's that they're trying to overdo what they've been recommended to do," Borrow said.<br /> <br /> Borrow said there is a balance, and it involves weighing yourself before and after practice.<br /> <br /> "For example, a gallon of water is 8.32 pounds...if you go out and start practicing at 165 pounds, and you come home at 159, then you know you need to drink three-quarters of a gallon of fluid afterward."<br /> <br /> Barrow also said it's generally better to drink an electrolyte solution like a sports drink following a workout.
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