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Waterlogged: The Serious Problem of Overhydration in Endurance Sports Paperback – May 1, 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"For sport science devotees at all levels, and those who love to just go for a run, Dr. Noakes' book is the ultimate combination of scientific rigor and practical advice. A must on every athlete’s bookshelf."

Karim Khan--Editor of British Journal of Sports Medicine 

"Finally, an unbiased look at fluid replacement: the real science behind thirst, fluid balance, and thermoregulation during exercise! Waterlogged is a must-read for athletes, coaches, parents, and sports medicine professionals."

Sandra Fowkes Godek, PhD, ATC-- HEAT Institute Director West Chester University

About the Author

Known throughout the academic community for the high-caliber nature of his scientific insights and work, Dr. Timothy Noakes is Discovery Health professor of exercise and sport science at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. He is also director of the Medical Research Council/University of Cape Town Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa in Newlands. Noakes was awarded a doctorate in science (DSc) in 2002, the highest degree awarded by the University of Cape Town. Publishing the first scientific article on exercise-associated hyponatremia (EAH) is considered among his greatest achievements.

Noakes is a veteran of more than 70 marathons and ultramarathons, and his book Lore of Running (Human Kinetics, 2003) is considered a classic by serious distance runners. In addition, Noakes is an editorial board member for many international sport science journals and a former president of the South African Sports Medicine Association. In 1996, he presented the prestigious J.B. Wolffe Memorial Lecture at the American College of Sports Medicine’s annual meeting. In 1999 he was elected as one of 22 founding members of the International Olympic Committee’s Olympic Science Academy. The National Research Foundation of South Africa considers Noakes an A-rated scientist, and in 2008 he received the Order of Mapungubwe (Silver) from the president of South Africa.

Noakes and his wife, Marilyn Anne, reside in Cape Town.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Human Kinetics; 1 edition (May 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 145042497X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1450424974
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 7 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #166,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Let me start with a quiz:

Tom, Dick, and Harry are about to start running a marathon. They each weigh the same. The weather is hot, but humidity is low. Tom expects to finish the marathon in 2.5 hours, during which he will ingest nothing. Dick expects to finish in 5 hours, is pre-hydrated, and will take water at every aid station. Harry expects to finish in 6 hours, is pre-hydrated, and will take sports drink at every aid station.

Which of these is/are most/more likely to report to the medical tent? Answer: Dick and Harry.

Tim Noakes began his research career at about the same time marathon organizers, coaches, and others began advising runners to pre-hydrate, and stay ahead of thirst during marathons and other endurance events. As a researcher, Noakes, perpetuated this. But, some of the people who followed this advice were getting seriously sick. Noakes took a closer look at the studies, and discovered authors of key study in 1969 had made a classic error. The result of this and other research errors is that endurance athletes have been given bad advice -- advice that contributes to endurance athletes' need for medical attention and even fatalities.

For the last 30 years, Noakes has been studying how body temperature, water, and electrolytes are used or regulated in endurance sports, both in doing his own research and evaluating the research of others. In this book, he is critical of the research that generated the advice to "drink ahead of thirst" or advice that endurance athletes should take drinks that replace electrolytes. But, he claims research that advises endurance athletes to drink according to their thirst is well supported.
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Format: Paperback
I cannot imagine the work that went into this book...all on the subject of overhydration....yet, the effect it can have on athletic performance is interesting and, quite imperative.

I personally have always gone by the rule of hydrate, hydrate, hydrate for best performance but this doctor expels the myths and the problems in the studies that taught us that and, more importantly digs deep into the physical facts as to why we shouldn't.

Don't get me wrong...that is not to say you should be dehydrated. Far from it. But I study, and review sport drinks and sport performance drinks. I like to know what works and why in all regards to working out. It's simply a study of interest to me.

The massive studies in here that dispel the performance of Gatorade is alone good reading. Gatorade funded study after study proving the need for, guess what?, Gatorade.

But that's not the end of the story...in fact there is far more to it...this book provides proof and study after study and charts and graphs...truly intent on using facts rather than shaky research or company funds to prove what we should be doing.

I personally like the sports and workout books that are full of great color illustrations and visual learning. This isn't that kind of book, yet I still found it very interesting. Would my visual learning have been enhanced had they found ways to add this? Yes, I just find those workout books more interesting with the photos and illustrations to take you through the research and facts. But this is a book of facts and it the author clearly has found his passion in studying this subject. And it's a hefty book of facts at almost 500 pages of them!
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Format: Paperback
I read Waterlogged in between a couple of trips, and friends and family joked that it looked like I was back in school, lugging around a textbook. I can see why - at over 400 pages, and full of supporting evidence, including graphs and diagrams and charts, Waterlogged physically resembles a lot of the texts I slogged through as a highschooler. But this book was fascinating from start to finish and surpassed any expectations one might have developed based on its appearance.

Dr. Noakes presents a detailed look at the history of advice about drinking in endurance athletics and any athletics and then examines the basis for that advice. He reaches back into the historical roots of human beings and examines the evolutionary advantages conferred on human hunters by our ability to delay drinking for some time while we exercised - hunted - in the heat of day. He reviews, and carefully and thoughtfully explains, countless examinations of the impact of fluid intake at various times and in various amounts in connection with exercise, and presents the reader with a somewhat disturbing conclusion: while hydration is essential for health, and important to activity, the way in which we are advised to hydrate ourselves today, supported in large part by the marketing of the sports drink industry, does not correlate to what our bodies actually need before, during and after exercise.

How can this be interesting? Those friends and family asked me as I turned the pages. The story is compelling, and a little terrifying in itself - but Noakes also tells it through stories and the perspectives of those who have both followed and ignored the advice we are currently given.
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