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Can you drink too much water?

Can you drink too much water?

You in all probability can't calculate what number of occasions you have been advised to drink plenty of water, stay hydrated, drink before you get thirst, and so forth. – particularly when you use it. And at face value – and still – that is strong recommendation. The physique needs water to perform its primary features, the sweating you lose when you follow is to be replaced – you get the picture.

However what concerning the opposite finish of the spectrum? Is it attainable to drink too much water a day? Is that the factor?

Properly, the brief answer is actually sure . If you drink too much water, you can dilute the amount of sodium (salt) in your physique to a dangerously low degree, disturbing the electrolyte stability – and it could have critical results in your health if not repaired.

But how do you get thus far? Why? How much water is too much?


How much water do you actually need?

Before diving into the small print – they usually get a bit of heavy – take a minute and examine the relationship between water and body. To start with, water and oxygen are necessary for survival. As much as 60% of the whole weight comes from the water, it is truly crucial component .

Water helps regulate body temperature (consider sweating), helps transport nutrients via the bloodstream, flushes waste via the urine and acts as a "body" for all organs – just some features. Water has fingers actually on each part of the physique, up from the mobile degree – it's so necessary that if you don't drink sufficient, the consequences could be lethal solely in days .

When you do not drink sufficient water you get dehydrated. Even delicate dehydration could make you really feel tired, scale back cognitive consciousness and scale back train. And as already mentioned, extreme dehydration can kill you.

At current, the Nationwide Academies of Science, Engineering and Drugs supply fairly concrete suggestions for atypical people:

  • Men should drink about three.7 liters of fluid daily; and
  • Ladies ought to drink about 2.7 liters (91 ounces) per day.

However take into account that these recommendations apply to unusual individuals who commonly visit day by day – not athletes or individuals. So you may have so as to add water when you are when you use and in scorching or humid weather. Pregnant or breastfeeding ladies additionally want to increase water consumption due to the necessity for hydration.

However the additional hydration

is enough for water and too little but what about consuming too ? Again, consuming too much water is potential .

In 2003, a 64-year-old lady was discovered lifeless at house. The night time before he left, he drank water in monumental quantities – estimated at 30-40 glasses, which various with repeated vomiting. He turned increasingly uncomfortable and anxious, shouting how he had not drink sufficient water. When medical remedy has diminished, he went to bed and died sooner or later during sleep.

As a result of the lady had no previous medical historical past, the postmortem check was carried out 6 hours later. Blood toxicology excluded many causes of dying, and eventually it was decided that he had died "as a result of hyponatraemia as a result of acute poisoning ."

The second research was carried out on ultradistance triathletes. This research included 605,660 athletes who had made a New Zealand Ironman triathlon. Earlier than the race, they have been weighed and a blood pattern was measured to measure the plasma concentrations of sodium. On the finish of the research, only 330 outcomes have been obtainable.

Of these, 330, 58 (18%) have been hyponatraemia (low sodium ranges); of those, only 18 acquired medical remedy; Of these, 18 have been severely hyponatraemia; and 7 of these 11 are signs of extreme hyponatraemia. The research found that although hyponatraemia is a standard discovering in remote athletes, it’s usually non-symptomatic – and 73% of the intense hyponatraemia athletes studied .

There are numerous different instances that can be thought-about – however the answer is obvious and concrete: you can drink too much water

How does this happen?

How does this occur? so how does it work? To know this, you have to understand how your body handles water, salt, and waste supplies.

Often, the kidneys act as "filters" for the waste material. Your blood passes into the kidneys via the arteries of the kidneys. As a result of it passes by means of the kidneys, excess fluid and waste material are eliminated by small models referred to as nephrons. Some of these filterable materials embrace sodium. Regardless of what your physique needs, it is absorbed into the bloodstream – the remaining is shipped to your urethra for removing in the urine.

However when you drink additional fluids, you can overcome the kidney's potential to secrete it utterly. This leads to your physique's preservation fluid and causes something hyponatraemia – don't fear about this term right now – will probably be discussed quickly. If you have already got kidney problems, the kidneys are more dangerous for this condition and you could also be more delicate.

Water Poisoning

When you cross the body's potential to separate water and waste, you develop water poisoning – the same area that killed the aforementioned 64-year-old lady. Water poisoning causes disturbances within the physique's electrolyte stability causing a life-threatening condition referred to as hyponatraemia. By quickly decreasing the amount of sodium within the blood relative to the quantity of water, signs can develop rapidly:

  • Early symptoms might embrace confusion, disorientation, nausea and vomiting, and modifications in mental state or signs. psychosis.
  • Later signs might develop if left untreated, cramped, coma and ultimately deadly.

So what’s "hyponatraemia?"

Now that has been mentioned several occasions, what is hyponatraemia? Primarily, it is a low salt content in your physique and is the most typical dyselectrolytic or abnormal electrolyte dysfunction. It is categorised quantitatively because the serum sodium focus falls under 136 mmol / l of blood.

However it's not only a "low sodium" drawback – you often don't get hyponatraemia with out consuming enough salty foods. Hyponatraemia is a relative disorder – the amount of sodium in comparison with the quantity of water. In truth, there are 3 main kinds of hyponatraemia, every with totally different typical causes:

Euvolemic hyponatraemia

Euvolemic hyponatraemia may also be referred to as dilution and that’s what we’re talking about. It’s sometimes brought on by polydipsia – excessive thirst that causes extra water than normal. But once more this could additionally occur by considering that you can't drink too much.

Typical remedy is the cause, typically for the remedy of diabetes, psychological sickness or brain damage.

Hypervolemic Hyponatraemia

Hypervolemic hyponatraemia occurs when each water and salt improve, but water progress is comparatively greater than sodium. It often occurs from health issues that trigger water and salt retention, reminiscent of heart failure or cirrhosis.

In these instances, the remedy is often by limiting the fluid and removing the physique water from the diuretic, a drug that forces the fluid to cross by way of urination.

Hypovolemic Hyponatraemia

Hypovolemic Hyponatraemia – if you have info on medical terminology – is the other of hypervolemic hyponatraemia. In this case, both the entire body sodium and water have decreased, but salt levels have fallen relatively extra.

Such a hyponatraemia happens when body fluids containing sodium disappear – consider vomiting and diarrhea during long-term sickness. It may possibly additionally occur with some kidney illnesses and sure drugs – such because the diuretics mentioned above. The remedy varies in accordance with the severity, however consists of the alternative of both liquid and sodium lost by way of the administration of medicine corresponding to 0.9% regular saline.

Prevention of overhydration and hyponatraemia

So because it has been found that you can drink too much water – probably probably lethal consequences – how can you avoid it? Sufficient water, however not too much, consuming is sort of simple:

  • Drink in accordance with thirst. Your body knows when it wants water, so drink when you get thirsty, not before. If you are sedentary, you can describe the numbers mentioned earlier. If you are lively, use these numbers as a information, but anticipate to drink more (especially if you are utilizing a diuretic). And it's time for thirsty emotions. [19659000] Consider the sweating loss hourly. A considerably extra difficult technique, if you are shifting in lengthy, scorching or humid climate or competing in sports activities, you can do this. Weigh your self earlier than exercise, drink thirsty through the event, weigh your self afterwards. Your activity is to have the same or barely smaller weight – if you press greater than some extra water than mandatory. This technique could be better applied if you compete in sports activities (ie Football) with an obtainable scale that you can use every hour to regulate the consumption of fluid.
  • Keep away from excessive fluid consumption. This is easy – if you're not thirsty, don't drink additional liquids. In any other case, you might expertise nausea or even vomiting. In fact, this doesn’t imply that you don’t drink any liquid at all, but do not drink if you will not be thirsty.

There are also a couple of issues you can regulate with such easy “signs” that you can drink sufficient: if you will not be thirsty (or typically thirsty) or ] in case your urine is colorless or poorly yellow you are in all probability consuming sufficient water .


Despite basic information, it is attainable to overhydrate. This could lead to as little confusion as coma or demise. Nevertheless, it is attainable to take easy measures to make sure that you are each:

  1. Consuming is sufficient ; and
  2. Doesn’t drink too .

Take heed to what your body is saying. Water consumption is essential for well being and subsequently for body composition goals. Drink every time you get thirsty, drink sufficient to help your degree of exercise – however don't "over drink". Thank you later.


Matthew Seiltz is a writer and lifelong lover. When she doesn’t write or work out, she could be discovered within the ebook or spend time together with her spouse and sons outdoors.