Posted by: john | 2003/02/20

sodium levels in blood

Ive been asked to voluntarily supply a blood sample by UCT before and after the argus race to check sodium levels in the blood, what do the sodium levels actually indicate to a person and of what use could this be ?

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Hi John

Sodium is a very important electrolyte in the blood which assists with a number of physiological pathways, and it is therefore vital to keep it at safe levels.

If one were to become very dehydrated, sodium levels might be higher than desired (hypernatriemia), but more dangerously, if one over hydrates (drinks too much), one could become hyponatraemic, which is potentially life threatening. Several people have died in sporting events due to over-hydrating, which is why Prof Tim Noakes, speaks out so loudly about drinking as thirst dictates, not because you think you should but don't feel like it.

Your sodium levels before and after the race will provide the resaerchers with an idea of you level of hydration.

Good luck with the Argus.

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