You’ve heard it a million times. When it’s hot outside or you’re exercising, drink lots of water. It’s how your body stays hydrated.
But can there be too much of a good thing? drinking an extreme amount in a short time can be dangerous. It can cause the level of salt, or sodium, in your blood to drop too low. That’s a condition called hyponatremia. It’s very serious, and can be fatal. You may hear it called water intoxication.
1. You urinate frequently, including during the night
You may be drinking too much water if you find yourself often waking up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. Most people urinate between six and eight times a day. If you find yourself urinating move than 10 times a day, you may be drinking more water than your body needs. To prevent nighttime urination, have your last glass of water a couple hours before bed to give your kidneys time to filter the water through your body.
2. You feel nauseous and may experience vomiting
The symptoms of overhydration look a lot like those of dehydration, according to Hew Butler. When you drink too much water, your kidneys become unable to rid of the excess liquid and water starts to collect in the body. This can cause a number of unpleasant symptoms, often including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
3. You continuously drink water until your urine is clear
If you’re drinking a healthy amount of water, the color of your urine should be straw-colored to transparent yellow. Though most people believe clear urine is the healthiest sign of hydration, however, having urine with no pigmentation at all may be a sign that you’re drinking too much water. For most people, eight to 10 glasses a water of day is considered a normal amount. This suggestion varies depending on an individual’s height, weight, and exercise patterns.
4. You have throbbing headaches throughout the day
Headaches are both a sign of overhydration and dehydration, similar to nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. When you drink too much water, the salt concentration in your blood reduces, causing the cells in the organs throughout your body to swell. When your salt concentration is low, your cells grow. When you drink too much water, your brain actually grows in size and presses against the skull. This added pressure can cause a throbbing headache and more serious health problems such as brain impairment and trouble breathing.
5. You feel tired or fatigued
Your kidneys are responsible for filtering the water you drink through your body and making sure the fluid levels in your blood stream stay balanced. When you drink too much water, your kidneys have to work ever harder, creating a stressful reaction from your hormones that leaves your body stressed and fatigued. If you’re constantly drinking water and find yourself struggling to get out of bed, it may be because you’ve added unneeded stress to your kidneys.
6. You NEVER leave the house without a water bottle and constantly have one in hand
If you carry around your water bottle all day and immediately refill it when it depletes, you may be drinking too much water. Constantly adding water to your body can result in low sodium levels in your blood, which can cause all of cells in your body to swell. According to Tamara Hew-Butler, DPM, PhD, an exercise science professor at Oakland University, this can become particularly dangerous when your brain starts to swell. “Your brain can only swell about 8 to 10 percent before it reaches the skull and it pushes your brain stem out,” Dr. Hew-Butler sa
7. How is it possible to drink too much water?
Dietitians constantly remind us that drinking enough water is absolutely vital in order for our bodies to function properly. And it is—unless you drink too much of it. Though most people worry more about getting dehydrated, overhydration is equally as dangerous. Drinking too much water can result in water intoxication, also known as hyponatremia, causing the inside of cells to flood due to abnormally low sodium levels in your blood stream. In severe cases, water intoxication can lead to debilitating health problems such as seizures, coma, and even death.