Water Intoxication – Does Too Much Water Harm You?

Water intoxication refers to intoxication of the body due to drinking a lot of water.

The theory is that if you drink too much water it may have adverse effects on your health.

But is this real?

Yes, water intoxication is indeed a real possibility unlike unicorns or mermaids. :P

What is Water Intoxication?

When you drink insanely high amounts of water in a short duration of time your body becomes susceptible to water intoxication AKA water poisoning or hyper-hydration.

Now let us understand how this exactly happens.

Our body is made up of various tissues, cells, liquids, electrolytes, bones etc etc.

Of these, electrolytes are responsible for a lot of regular and essential functions of the body. The three most important electrolytes are potassium, sodium and chloride.

Potassium is responsible for regulating the beating of your heart, muscle function and vital for proper functioning of the neurons. Extremely high or extremely low levels of potassium levels are really harmful and could be fatal in some cases.

Sodium regulates the amount of water in our bodies and maintains the proper functioning of nervous and muscular systems.

Chloride helps in proper regulation of body fluids.

So when you drink a lot of water, these electrolytes especially sodium become dilute and their effectiveness reduces as they become more and more dilute.

When you drink a lot of water, you disrupt the balance of liquids that sodium helps to maintain. And as a result you may show one of the following symptoms –

  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Heatstroke
  • Nausea

If things start to get worse, you might end up losing your life.

How much is too much?

Our pair of kidneys can process around half a liter of water per hour. So if you drink at more than this rate for long periods of time, you are at the risk of hyperhydration.

So do not exceed this limit.

Remember, water has never been bad and will never be. Drink as much as you want after regular intervals in small amounts.

As a rule of thumb, unless you are an athlete or in any profession in which you sweat a lot, do not drink more than 8 liters of water per day.

Follow these two restrictions and you should be safe.

The incidents of hyperhydration are pretty isolated and rare, so this is not at all a thing to be worried of. But awareness is important and that is why we came up with this awareness article.

This is SkinnyBonny signing off! :D

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *