Purpose of the Paper
Previous research has evaluated the prevalence and aetiology of hyponatraemia in athletes, particularly for ultra endurance events. However, few papers have focused specifically on the incidence and effects of hyponatraemia in female athletes. The aim of this paper was to review and collate previous research that has investigated hyponatraemia in female athletes and explain how excessive retention of free fluid may influence female performance and health status.
The most up-to-date and pertinent studies within the literature have been included and summated in this review.
The findings from this overview indicate that women participating in endurance events are particularly susceptible to developing hyponatraemia. It is important that women do not have depleted sodium concentrations prior to an athletic event, hypotonic fluid should not been consumed in excess and carbohydrate solutions (4-8g carbohydrate per 100ml fluid) should be consumed when women participate in intense exercise, lasting for longer than 1 hour. It is fundamentally important that up-to-date rehydration guidelines are imparted to active females and the dangers of over-ingesting fluid need to be emphasized within this vulnerable population.
This paper gives a concise, up-to-date overview on how hyponatraemia can affect female athletic performance and health status.