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In a recent article by Noakes and Speedy,1 the authors enthusiastically manufactured a number of arguments in an apparent attempt to bolster their opinion that malfeasance is afoot in the world of athlete hydration. Their primary contentions were:
that the aetiology of exercise-associated hyponatraemia is in dispute;
that the 1996 position stand of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that athletes drink as much as they can tolerate, an advice that predisposes athletes to hyponatraemia; and
that the ACSM made this recommendation to please a corporate sponsor.
Simply stated, each is a manufactured argument, in that the aetiology of exercise-associated hyponatraemia is well established, the ACSM wording is taken out of context, and the inference that there was a conspiracy to benefit corporate coffers at the expense of the athlete welfare is ludicrous and without basis. With that preface in mind, the Noakes and Speedy article warrants a closer look.
The authors’ concerns regarding the welfare of athletes are highly commendable and are shared by the Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI) and by The Gatorade Company. A large part of my role at GSSI is to maintain the longstanding and extensive commitment to sports science research and education that we proudly support. In fact, GSSI has considered the issue of exercise-associated hyponatraemia on numerous occasions, as can be verified by visiting www.gssiweb.org. In addition, Gatorade and GSSI have annually produced and distributed educational materials that have gone directly to hundreds of thousands of …
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