Is There Such a Thing as Drinking Too Much Water?

It may seem like a silly question to ask, as the more common problem is people don’t drink enough water. When you also consider how important water is to every cell in our body, it is hard to imagine you could ever drink too much. However, as unlikely as it seems, overhydration is a real thing.

What happens to you when you drink an excessive amount of water? That’s what we are going to discuss in the following post.

What Happens When You Are Overhydrated?

When you are overhydrated, you could experience what is known as water intoxication or water poisoning, or even some kind of disruption in your normal brain function. This occurs when your cells have too much water in them and start to swell. The swelling in the brain cells causes unwanted pressure within your brain and you could experience symptoms like headaches, drowsiness, and even confusion. Eventually, this increase in pressure could lead to more serious conditions like bradycardia (low heart rate) and hypertension (high blood pressure)

Signs You Are Overhydrated?

Now we understand some of the problems related to overhydration, it's important to know the signs that you are suffering from this. 

  • Urine Color – Perhaps the most effective way to identify overhydration is by checking the color of your urine. Urine, in general, can range from a tea color to pale yellow depending on the levels of water in your body and a pigment known as urochrome. If your urine is always clear, you know you’ve been drinking a lot and are starting to experience the symptoms noted above, it could be a sign you are overhydrated.
  • Drinking Even When You Are Not Actually Thirsty = Another sign you are drinking too much and overhydrated is wanting to drink water even when you don’t really need it. The only way you can really identify this sign is if you have a good understanding of when your body needs and doesn’t need to be rehydrated. 
  • Vomiting or Nausea – Interestingly, many of the symptoms of overhydration are exactly the same as dehydration. If you have too much water collecting in your body, your kidneys are unable to remove the excess. This can lead to vomiting, nausea, and even diarrhea. 
  • Discoloration or Swelling of Your Lips, Feet, and Hands – if you have drunk too much water, you may notice that your lips, feet, and hands are discolored or swollen. This is because as the cells swell, so too does your skin. 

How Much Should You Drink Then?

All of this sounds frightening and leads us to the important question of how much water you should drink. As a general rule of thumb, the 8 glasses of water are only a guide. There is no true guideline as the amount you need depends on a variety of factors.

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