Dietitians constantly warn us that drinking enough water is vital in order for our bodies to function properly. And drinking too much water is also unless. Though most individuals look out for the signs of dehydration, overhydration is fairly dangerous. Drink too much water can cause or happens water intoxication, also known as hyponatremia, causing the liquid to move from your blood to inside your cells, making them swell. Swelling within the brain is serious and needs immediate treatment. In severe cases, water intoxication will cause debilitative health issues like seizures, coma, and even death.
The best way to understand if your body really desires a lot of water is whether or not you feel thirsty. Our bodies are thus programmed to fight against dehydration. One of these mechanisms that each animal have thirst. Thirst is everybody’s individual monitor that lets them understand if they have more. The additional water you need, the thirstier you get.
If you drink too much water, then there may be some danger to your health, in this case, everyone has a question, how many bottles of water should I drink a day. The answer is a 2-liter water bottle per day. But you may need more or less according to your age, climate, and how active you are. Currently in market have water bottle that remind you to drink water, which is help you to maintain daily limit.
What Happens if You Drink Too Much Water
Water intoxication results from the swelling of cells. When brain cells swell, the pressure inside the skull increases. This pressure causes the first symptoms of water intoxication, which include the following:
Nausea And Vomiting
When you drink plenty of water, your kidneys become inadequate to rid of the excess liquid and water starts to collect in the body. This can cause several troublesome symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Headaches are both a symptom of overhydration and dehydration. When you take plenty of water, the salt concentration in your blood diminishes, causing the cells in your body to swell and your brain grows in size and presses against the skull. This added pressure can produce a throbbing headache and induce health problems such as brain impairment and trouble breathing.
Swelling or Discoloration in Your Hands, Lips, And Feet
Most times of hyponatremia, people will experience noticeable swelling or discoloration in their hands, lips, and feet. When all the cells throughout your body swell, your skin will start to swell visibly.
Muscle Weakness, Spasms, or Cramps
When you drink too much water, your electrolyte levels drop and low electrolyte levels can cause several unpleasant symptoms, including muscle spasms and cramping.
When you consume plenty of water, your kidneys work even harder, forming a stressful reaction from your hormones that leaves your body stressed and fatigued.
Changes in a Psychological State Like Confusion or Disorientation
Drinking too much water also alters your mental state, such as producing confusion or disorientation.
Untreated overhydration can lead to low levels of sodium in your blood. This can cause more severe symptoms, such as
Treating overhydration depends on how severe your symptoms are and what caused the condition. Treatments may include:
- Reduce fluid intake
- Taking diuretics to increase urine output
- Treating a condition that caused the overhydration
- Replacing sodium in severe cases
- Stopping any medications that cause the problem
Frequently Ask Questions
What does it mean to drink too much water?
Drinking too much water refers to excessive water consumption beyond the body’s normal requirements. While staying hydrated is essential, there’s a fine balance between sufficient water intake and overhydration. The recommended daily water intake varies for each individual, typically ranging from 2.5 to 3.7 liters for men and 2 to 2.7 liters for women. However, age, physical activity, and climate factors may alter these guidelines.
What are the risks and symptoms of overhydration?
Overhydration can lead to hyponatremia, which occurs when the sodium levels in the blood are diluted. This imbalance can lead to mild to severe symptoms, such as:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Swelling in the hands, feet, and legs (edema)
- Confusion or disorientation
- In extreme cases, death
Monitoring your water intake and adjusting it according to your body’s needs and external factors like physical activity and climate is essential.
How does overhydration affect kidney function?
When you consume excessive amounts of water, your kidneys have to work harder to filter and eliminate the excess fluid. This added strain can lead to kidney damage in the long run, particularly if you have pre-existing kidney issues. Overhydration can cause acute kidney injury in severe cases, which may be reversible with proper treatment but can lead to chronic kidney disease if left untreated.
Can overhydration contribute to weight gain?
While it’s true that water has no calories, excessive water intake can cause temporary weight gain due to fluid retention. This is especially noticeable in the hands, feet, and legs and can lead to a bloated feeling. However, this weight gain is temporary and will typically resolve once the body returns to a balanced state of hydration.
How can I ensure that I am consuming an appropriate amount of water?
Pay attention to your body’s natural thirst signals to avoid overhydration and adjust your water intake accordingly. Age, physical activity, and climate can influence your daily water needs. Additionally, monitor the color of your urine; pale yellow indicates proper hydration, while dark yellow or amber suggests that you may need to drink more water. It’s also important to note that other fluids and water-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, contribute to your daily hydration needs.