Electrolyte Imbalance?

Will Wilson

I have been suffering some weird muscle strains in my legs (hamstring and calf). These are not full muscle pulls in that they are sore for a few days but then I can usually get back on the court. I thought perhaps they were small cramps but that doesn't make sense in that it wouldn't take a few days to recover.

I am wondering if I have an electrolyte imbalance / issue that is causing these muscular problems. I tend to drink a lot of coffee, beer and water and wonder if you can "dilute" your overall fluid level and "wash" out electrolytes?

Anybody had a similar experience or advice?


Talk Tennis Guru
Coffee might produce a mild diuretic effect, if at all. It is subject to debate if it does have a diuretic effect at all. However, it's effect on electrolyte levels is really a different matter. It is my understanding that caffeine might have a slight to moderate effect on Na levels but very little effect on K levels. Overall, however, it seems that coffee does not create an electrolyte imbalance.


Beer/alcohol is another matter though. It is definitely a diuretic and it can also can have a profound effect on electrolyte levels. OTOH, an over-consumption of water (over-hydration) can also result in an imbalance in your electrolyte levels. Recall a story from some year back where an individual died from drinking too much water (for some radio contest, I believe).




We see compulsive fluid drinkers admitted to the hospital fairly frequently, but nearly all are psychotic and drink GALLONS of fluid daily in the absence of any strenuous activity that would cause a lot of fluid loss. Doing that, they will mostly drop sodium and chloride levels, but significant drops are usually accompanied by confusion, generalized weakness and other symptoms a whole lot worse than some muscle soreness.