Drinking too much water/energy drinks during tennis

EddieBrock

Semi-Pro
Has anyone ever had an issue with drinking too much water during tennis? The other day I played in brutal heat and drank 6 16.9 fl oz bottles of water, 2 bottles of Gatorade and 1 large powerade during about 2 hours of playing. Afterwards I still got a cramp that lasted a couple of minutes and then went away.

The rest of the day though I felt bloated and uncomfortable. Almost like I was going to throw up. So I was thinking maybe I overdid the drinking. Anyone ever had any experience with this? Is it bad for you? Today I feel ok.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
Gastric emptying of fluids into the small intestine for absorption can be slowed during exercise, so it may be you drank too much, too fast for your system to handle. Small frequent sips are better than taking in large quantities of water. Drinking over a gallon of fluid over 2 hours is a lot of fluid to empty and absorb and far exceeds that amount of sweat you'd have produced in that time. Most people maximally sweat about 50 fl oz/hr so that's about 2/3 a gallon in 2 hours.

Of course you could have been suffering heat exhaustion as well and that can make you nauseous and feel bloated and give you cramps as well.
 

tonylg

Semi-Pro
I'm a very big sweater and find that replacing the water is no problem, it's replacing the minerals and electrolytes that is the issue. Unless you make it up yourself, I find that things like Gatorade and Powerade just don't cut it. Even then, I find the Gatorades not much better than soft drink and prefer the non-sweetened powders that I can make up myself and get the nutrients I need without drinking a swimming pool full of fluids.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
I'm a very big sweater and find that replacing the water is no problem, it's replacing the minerals and electrolytes that is the issue. Unless you make it up yourself, I find that things like Gatorade and Powerade just don't cut it. Even then, I find the Gatorades not much better than soft drink and prefer the non-sweetened powders that I can make up myself and get the nutrients I need without drinking a swimming pool full of fluids.
Very big sweater? Is this you?



Many of the electrolyte sports drinks were formulated for very hot and humid environments (like Florida). But in many situations the drinks are too strong... too much salts (electrolytes) and too much carbs/sugars. That is why tennis players usually dilute their sports drinks or alternate it with plain water. Carbs/sugars are not really added to sweeten the drinks. They are added to provide a SMALL amount of carbs to the drinks. They do limit the amt of sugars because too much would be counterproductive

Sometimes competitive cyclists will add a splash of OJ to their water in order to provide some K/electrolytes and a little bit of sugar
 

tonylg

Semi-Pro
I'm a bigger sweater than that one.

And I live in Queensland. No idea what Florida is like, but others seem to think it's hot and humid here.

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
 

EddieBrock

Semi-Pro
I'm a big sweater too and play in intense heat and humidity. As I put in the OP I even cramped after drinking that much. Guess I need to drink smaller amounts before. I definitely think I overdid the fluids.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
I'm a big sweater too and play in intense heat and humidity. As I put in the OP I even cramped after drinking that much. Guess I need to drink smaller amounts before. I definitely think I overdid the fluids.
Being well hydrated going into the match is important. Then frequent small sips can help keep you on top of sweat related losses.
 

Harry_Wild

G.O.A.T.
Just a couple of gulfs each two games if it is very humid and hot like 90+F. Otherwise, every 4 games! You can take small sips each game too!
 

Crocodile

Hall of Fame
Too much Gatorade can leave you bloated and give you headaches as well. Your kidneys still need to process this stuff.
The other thing is when you do heavy exercise your heart still needs to recover as well as eliminate lots of fluid and aid digestion if you had something to eat as well. It's all about balance. You don't want to get dehydrated which is what usually happens more at the beginning of the summer season. By the end of summer your body adapts to the humidity and you get the balance right. I always gradually work up to the hot season with short sessions first and then adapt that way. You can't just go like s bull out of a gate when the heat hits.
 
If you drink a lot you need to make sure you also take up enough salt/minerals because if you drink a lot of water with little minerals in it it can kinda dilute or maybe even wash out them in the body. Endurance athletes drink a lot but they make sure to also replace the minerals
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Has anyone ever had an issue with drinking too much water during tennis? The other day I played in brutal heat and drank 6 16.9 fl oz bottles of water, 2 bottles of Gatorade and 1 large powerade during about 2 hours of playing. Afterwards I still got a cramp that lasted a couple of minutes and then went away.

The rest of the day though I felt bloated and uncomfortable. Almost like I was going to throw up. So I was thinking maybe I overdid the drinking. Anyone ever had any experience with this? Is it bad for you? Today I feel ok.
I had a USTA match where I drank more than a gallon of DISTILLED water. WHen I got home I felt bloated and sluggish and somewhat dizzy. Was just sitting in my chair thinking this was it. I found myself eating sea salt straight from the shaker. Then I felt fine. So now I add the salt and some trace mineral liquid to my water.

Its possible to over hydrate and dilute your minerals/ electrolytes.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
I had a USTA match where I drank more than a gallon of DISTILLED water. WHen I got home I felt bloated and sluggish and somewhat dizzy. Was just sitting in my chair thinking this was it. I found myself eating sea salt straight from the shaker. Then I felt fine. So now I add the salt and some trace mineral liquid to my water.

Its possible to over hydrate and dilute your minerals/ electrolytes.
Shroud, people die from doing stuff like that. Distilled water is poisonous in high quantities as it will drop your serum sodium and lead to brain swelling. Don't ever replace salty fluid loss with pure distilled water. Very dangerous. Good thing you figured it out without going into convulsions.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Shroud, people die from doing stuff like that. Distilled water is poisonous in high quantities as it will drop your serum sodium and lead to brain swelling. Don't ever replace salty fluid loss with pure distilled water. Very dangerous. Good thing you figured it out without going into convulsions.
Fwiw I have been drinking distilled water for the last 2 or more years. Pretty much all i drink I just add minerals to it. But yeah i found out the hard way.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
Fwiw I have been drinking distilled water for the last 2 or more years. Pretty much all i drink I just add minerals to it. But yeah i found out the hard way.
If you add minerals to it, it becomes normal water. It's pure H2O that's a problem. Need some solutes to keep the osmotic gradient from going all screwy.
 

Dansan

Rookie
Can't expect to replace the lost electrolytes in brutal heat conditions by just pounding a large volume of liquid during the time you are playing. Yes you should be consuming fluids during tennis. But your body won't be able to extract what it needs by just pounding more and more liquid in a small time frame. Your kidneys and intestines can only filter/absorb so much at a certain rate and your system has limitations. So the bloated feeling you had makes a lot of sense after you said you consumed like 9 drinks some of which were 16.9 oz !

Try to be well hydrated before going into these conditions and of course hydrate during. In 2 hours I would say 3/4 average sized bottles of fluid should be sufficient if you are well hydrated going in.

And in some cases, over exerting yourself in a heat index of over 100 degrees with direct sun, and 100% humidity will lead to cramps, dizziness, ect even under the best of hydration !
 

TnsGuru

Professional
Water intoxication
Also known as water poisoning, water intoxication is the disruption of brain function due to drinking too much water (1).
Drinking a lot of water increases the amount of water in your blood.
This water can dilute the electrolytes in your blood, especially sodium. When sodium levels fall below 135 mmol/L, it is called hyponatremia.
Sodium helps balance fluids between the inside and outside of cells.
When sodium levels drop due to excess water consumption, fluids shifts from the outside to the inside of cells, causing them to swell (2).
When this happens to brain cells, it can produce dangerous and potentially life-threatening effects.
Bottom line: Water intoxication results from drinking too much water. The excess water dilutes blood sodium levels and causes fluids to move inside cells, which then swell.


Dangers of too much water

Water intoxication results from the swelling of cells.

When brain cells swell, pressure inside the skull increases. This pressure causes the first symptoms of water intoxication, which include:
Severe cases can produce more serious symptoms, such as:
  • Increased blood pressure.
  • Confusion.
  • Double vision.
  • Drowsiness.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Muscle weakness and cramping.
  • Inability to identify sensory information.
Excess fluid accumulation in the brain is called cerebral edema, which can affect the brain stem and cause central nervous system dysfunction.
In severe cases, water intoxication can cause seizures, brain damage, coma and even death (1).
Bottom line: Drinking too much water increases pressure inside the skull. This can cause various symptoms and even be fatal in severe cases.
Can it be fatal?
It's very difficult to consume too much water by accident, yet there have been reported cases of deaths due to this condition.
Many water intoxication cases have been reported in soldiers (3, 4).
One report concerned 17 soldiers who developed hyponatremia as a result of excess water intake. Their blood sodium levels ranged from 115 to 130 mmol/L, but the normal range is 135-145 mmol/L (4).
Another report described how three soldiers died due to hyponatremia and cerebral edema. These deaths were associated with drinking 2.5-5.6 gallons (10-20 liters) of water in just a few hours (5).
The symptoms of hyponatremia can be misinterpreted as those of dehydration. One soldier, who was misdiagnosed as suffering from dehydration and heat stroke, died from water intoxication as the result of repeated oral hydration (3).

Water intoxication also occurs during sports, especially endurance sports. Over-hydration is common in these activities as a means to avoid dehydration.
For this reason, hyponatremia often occurs during major sporting events (6, 7).
At the 2002 Boston Marathon, 13% of participants had hyponatremia symptoms. 0.06% showed critical hyponatremia, with sodium levels less than 120 mmol/L (8).
Unfortunately, some instances of water intoxication at these sports events have resulted in deaths.
One case involved a runner after a marathon. Tests revealed that his sodium levels were less than 130 mmol/L. He developed hydrocephalus and brain stem herniation, which caused his death (9).
Excessive water drinking can also occur in psychiatric patients, especially schizophrenics (10, 11, 12).
One study of 27 schizophrenics that had died young showed that five of them died due to self-induced water intoxication (13).
Bottom line: Water intoxication is most common among soldiers, endurance sports athletes and schizophrenia patients. Several hyponatremia cases and deaths have been reported in these populations.
 

EddieBrock

Semi-Pro
Can't expect to replace the lost electrolytes in brutal heat conditions by just pounding a large volume of liquid during the time you are playing. Yes you should be consuming fluids during tennis. But your body won't be able to extract what it needs by just pounding more and more liquid in a small time frame. Your kidneys and intestines can only filter/absorb so much at a certain rate and your system has limitations. So the bloated feeling you had makes a lot of sense after you said you consumed like 9 drinks some of which were 16.9 oz !

Try to be well hydrated before going into these conditions and of course hydrate during. In 2 hours I would say 3/4 average sized bottles of fluid should be sufficient if you are well hydrated going in.

And in some cases, over exerting yourself in a heat index of over 100 degrees with direct sun, and 100% humidity will lead to cramps, dizziness, ect even under the best of hydration !
Next time I'll try to drink more before I play. What's funny is while I was playing it was so hot and humid I thought I was doing the right thing by drinking so much since I was afraid of cramping (which I did anyway). I never thought drinking too much would be a problem
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Next time I'll try to drink more before I play. What's funny is while I was playing it was so hot and humid I thought I was doing the right thing by drinking so much since I was afraid of cramping (which I did anyway). I never thought drinking too much would be a problem
Be careful not to go to the other extreme either.

Thirst is often not the best indicator of how much water/liquid your body needs. Made that mistake some 25+ yrs ago. I was playing a badminton tournament on a very hot day in a gym w/o AC. An hour of badminton singles can burn as many calories as 2-3 hours of tennis. Matches are shorter but more intense as far as energy expenditure goes. I played 4 or 5 matches during the course of the day (11-12 hour span). Was only drinking enuff H2O to satisfy my thirst. Ended up losing 8 lbs or so lbs in single day. Much/most of that was H2O loss. Suffered from pretty severe dehydration. It felt like the worst of hangovers and that lasted for several days. (No alcohol was ingested to bring on this hangover).

Good idea to drink more prior to play. Also, take a good look at how much the pro players drink during a match. They will have a little bit to drink every 2 or 4 games -- depending on heat & humidity. They will often just take a gulp of a sports drink and a similar amount of plain water.
 

EddieBrock

Semi-Pro
Be careful not to go to the other extreme either.

Thirst is often not the best indicator of how much water/liquid your body needs. Made that mistake some 25+ yrs ago. I was playing a badminton tournament on a very hot day in a gym w/o AC. An hour of badminton singles can burn as many calories as 2-3 hours of tennis. Matches are shorter but more intense as far as energy expenditure goes. I played 4 or 5 matches during the course of the day (11-12 hour span). Was only drinking enuff H2O to satisfy my thirst. Ended up losing 8 lbs or so lbs in single day. Much/most of that was H2O loss. Suffered from pretty severe dehydration. It felt like the worst of hangovers and that lasted for several days. (No alcohol was ingested to bring on this hangover).

Good idea to drink more prior to play. Also, take a good look at how much the pro players drink during a match. They will have a little bit to drink every 2 or 4 games -- depending on heat & humidity. They will often just take a gulp of a sports drink and a similar amount of plain water.
Seems like a delicate balance then. One of the worst cramping episodes came after a 1 hour private lesson in the morning then a 2 hour clinic at night. I drank a lot of sports drinks and water while playing and then a few minutes after I started driving I felt leg cramps coming and and pulled into the valet parking for a restaurant.

Sure enough both legs cramped intensely over the next 45 minutes and it was extremely painful. I could see then pulsing and 1 leg would cramp then the other then both. I had some friends bring salt water, saltine crackers and sports drinks and eventually I was able to hobble to their car to take me home. My leg cramped again that night.

That's why I was drinking so much during the time I described and also why I don't play a lot of competitive singles. It's just not worth the risk of cramping in the car or excruciating pain that comes from these leg cramps
 
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