Can You Drink Too Much Water?
Posted on June 20 2016
You’ve probably heard that “it’s important to drink plenty of fluids” or simply “drink lots of water.” There are excellent reasons for drinking water, but have you ever wondered if it’s possible to drink too much water?
This is a topic you hear time and time again, especially now that the summer season just is upon us on this first day of the summer soltice, June 20th. 2016.
To sum this up, Yes! Drinking too much water can lead to a condition known as water intoxication, commonly seen in infants under six months of age and sometimes in athletes. It can be very easy for children under one-year-old to absorb too much water, especially if the child is under nine months old. A baby can get water intoxication as a result of drinking several bottles of water a day or from drinking infant formula that has been diluted too much, while athletes and even marathon runners are susceptible to water intoxication if they drink too much while running. This is caused when sodium levels drop below 135 mmol/L when athletes consume large amounts of fluid.
Symptoms include confusion, headaches, nausea and bloating—stuff that’s easily confused with dehydration. In severe cases, hyponatremia can lead to seizures, organ failure, and even death. Endurance athletes can reduce the risk of overhydration by weighing themselves before and after a race to determine how much water they have lost and need to replenish. Individuals should avoid drinking more than one liter per hour of fluid. Drinking more fluids before and during a race or an intensive athletic exertion can also help you avoid the need to drink too much water afterward. Sports beverages that contain the electrolytes sodium and potassium are also recommended, as both are lost in sweat. A product that we recommend is the Nuun All Day Sugar-Free Electrolyte Tablets. Since they are sugar-free the fluid can be absorbed sooner into your body than sugar based drinks. If you have an underlying medical condition, such as diabetes, congestive heart failure, or kidney problems, talk to your doctor about the best treatments for those conditions. If you experience excessive thirst or an overly strong urge to drink water, contact your doctor before you develop symptoms—it could indicate a medical problem that requires treatment.
Men’s Health provided 7 excellent ways of checking to see how much water your body needs:
1. Weigh yourself daily for a week, to check hydration. “Your body weight shouldn’t fluctuate too much,” Sims says.
2. Notice how much you pee—and its color—in the morning. “It should be a copious amount and pale or clear,” Sims says.
3. Aim to wake-up feeling hydrated. If you’re thirsty when you get out of bed in the morning, you may not be consuming enough fluids.
4. When choosing sports drinks, search for labels with low sugar. Sims recommends about 5 grams per 8-ounce serving. “Even natural drinks like coconut water have too much sugar and potassium to hydrate.”
5. Coffee, tea, and watery fruits and vegetables count toward fluid intake. “Also, caffeine is not a diuretic,” Sims says. “It’s about volume, so if you drink five cups, you’ll pee more.”
6. Start slowly. “Sleep is a six- to eight-hour fast, so if you drink three cups of juice or water right away, you’ll trigger the volume response. Sip instead.”
7. Drink one thing a day that’s not water. “A low-carb electrolyte drink in the afternoon can set you up, as can hot tea with a pinch of salt and lemon,” Sims says. “It will increase your core temperature, and the tiny amount of salt can help you absorb fluid.
So remember, while we all need water as part of our daily intake, its not a bad idea to drink additional fluids that will help you to re-pleanish those nutrients expended as you push your body through it's training....