Can You Drink Too Much Water?

Woman drinking a glass of water.

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.

“Drink More Water”

If I had a dollar for every time someone told me to drink more water, I’d be rich. We are warned constantly about dehydration and the negative effects of a low water intake but rarely are we cautioned about drinking too much water. Most people probably don’t know that it is possible to do so. Continue reading to find out what can occur when you drink water excessively.

What happens when you drink too much water?

Drinking too much water increases the water in your blood, diluting the sodium in the blood. Sodium is a bodyguard controlling the number of fluids allowed inside and outside the cells. When sodium levels drop due to excessive water consumption, sodium cannot control what fluid goes into the cells, causing them to swell. Such an event can be dangerous and even life-threatening. When brain cells begin to swell, the pressure in the skull increases and can cause headaches, nausea, and vomiting. Severe water intoxication can have dangerous symptoms like drowsiness, muscle weakness, confusion, and increased blood pressure.

How to know you’re drinking too much water?

Staying hydrated is paramount to a healthy lifestyle. However, you can take it too far and experience overhydration. How are you supposed to know? Insider has put together a list of signs that your water consumption may be too high.

Drinking water when you’re not thirsty. Let your natural thirst guide your water intake.

Clear urine. Of course, you don’t want dark urine, but colorless urine is a sign of overhydration. 

Lingering headaches and nausea. These occur because sodium levels drop due to drinking too much water.

Constant fatigue and tiredness. A lot of water intake produces an electrolyte imbalance that causes energy loss.

Confusion or disorientation. Low sodium concentration causes the brain to swell and creates these symptoms.

How much water should you be drinking?

Each day you are losing water through different movements and bodily functions. In order to stay healthy, you must make sure you are replenishing that loss. The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine decided that the average daily fluid intake is about 15.5 cups for men and about 11.5 cups for women. Of course, that is just a recommendation. Your fluid intake should be dependent on your health, environment, and level of physical activity.

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About Kayla Gonzalez

Kayla is a graduate of Texas A&M University and joined the Empower Brokerage marketing team in early 2021. She creates content for the company websites and assists with various marketing campaigns. LinkedIn Profile

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