Is Drinking Too Much Water Possible?
Too much can sometimes be a bad thing
Eight glasses of water a day. That’s what we all know. The information has been ingrained in our heads for as long as we can remember. We know that water is not a bad thing; it’s the good guy. It’s what we all turn to on a hot day or when we aren’t feeling so hot.
Sick? Drink more water. Want to clear your skin? Water. The sun is beating down a little too harshly? Grab a glass of ice-cold water.
But is it possible to have too much of it?
The quick answer is yes. Believe it or not, water in extreme amounts can actually be bad for you. When you’re thirsty and haven’t had a glass in a while, you should be careful by how much you gulp down. Be mindful especially about how you space out your intake.
Too much water in a small amount of time can cause the level of salt or sodium in your blood to drop down too low. The resulting condition is called hyponatremia, which can become fatal. You may have heard of it as water intoxication.
What is hyponatremia?
What basically happens when you have hyponatremia is that the sodium in your body becomes diluted. Because sodium is an electrolyte that helps regulate the amount of water that’s in and around your cells, its absence causes your cells to swell.
The resulting swelling can cause other health problems, some of which are mild but some of which can be life-threatening. The cure reaches both ends of the spectrum as well. Correcting your sodium levels could merely call for less water intake or you may need intravenous fluids and medication.
How do you know when too much is too much?
Really, it’s all about listening to your body. It’s a set system and it gives you different clues as to how it’s functioning and if it’s functioning well. In the case of water intake, the easiest way to tell is to look at the color of your urine. It should be a light colored yellow and you should be relieving yourself about seven to eight times a day.
Conversely, there are also signs that tell you that you need more water. If your eyes, skin and mouth are dry, up the intake.
Don’t forget to visit and consult with your doctor!