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September 10, 1982

Hypernatremia Induced by Maximal Exercise

JAMA. 1982;248(10):1209-1211. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330100047029

A short burst of intensive exercise (100-m swim lasting one minute and resulting in a 12-fold rise in the level of blood lactate) resulted in frank hypernatremia (serum sodium level, >150 mEq/L) in 30% to 40% of well-trained athletes. In contrast, less intensive exercise (800-m swim lasting ten minutes and resulting in a sevenfold rise in the level of blood lactate) failed to cause a rise in serum sodium level despite comparable elevations in hematocrit reading and serum protein levels. Hypernatremia induced by intensive exercise cannot be explained by losses in body fluid or solute ingestion, but is probably a consequence of a shift of hypotonic fluid from the extracellular to the intracellular compartment. Thus, the mechanism of exercise-induced hypernatremia may be unique, as compared with other clinically recognized forms of hypernatremia.

(JAMA 1982;248:1209-1211)