Chugging Water All the Time? How to Avoid Overhydration

partake on Pinterest It ’ south slowly to believe that when it comes to hydration, more is always well.

We ’ ve all learn that the soundbox is made largely of water and that we should drink about eight glasses of body of water a day. We ’ rhenium told that drinking ample amounts of urine can clear our bark, heal our colds, and help in weight loss. And everyone seems to own a giant reclaimable water bottle these days, refilling constantly. so, shouldn ’ thyroxine we be chugging H2O at every opportunity ? not necessarily. Although getting enough water is identical crucial for your overall health, it ’ south besides potential ( though uncommon ) to consume excessively much. dehydration may constantly be in the limelight, but overhydration besides has some dangerous adverse health effects. hera ’ s a look at what happens when you drink excessively a lot water, who ’ mho at hazard, and how to ensure you stay properly — but not excessively — hydrated.

What is proper hydration?

Staying hydrated is authoritative for bodily functions like lineage press, kernel rate, muscleman performance, and cognition. however, “ proper hydration ” is notoriously difficult to define. Fluid needs deviate by old age, sex, diet, activity level, and evening the weather. Health conditions like kidney disease and pregnancy can besides alter the measure of body of water a person should drink each day. Certain medications can affect the body ’ s fluent balance, excessively. even your own individual hydration needs can change from day to day. In general, most experts recommend calculating half your weight unit and drinking that count of ounces per day. For exercise, a 150-pound person could strive for a day by day total of 75 ounces ( oz. ), or 2.2 liters ( L ). The Dietary Reference Intake from the Institute of Medicine besides offers guidelines for adequate water consumption for children and adults. These target amounts include not merely water system and other fluids you drink, but water from food sources vitamin a well. A total of foods can provide liquids. Foods like soups and popsicles are recognizable sources, but less obvious items like fruits, vegetables, and dairy products besides contain meaning amounts of water. so, you don ’ t need to only chug H2O to stay hydrated. In fact, other fluids can contain necessary nutrients you don ’ t get from regular water that are crucial for your health.

How much water can we handle?

While we all need plenty of water system to maintain commodity health, the consistency has its limits. In rare cases, overloading on fluids can come with dangerous consequences. so, how much is excessively much ? There ’ s no hard phone number, since factors like age and preexisting health conditions can play a function, but there is a general limit .

“A normal person with normal kidneys can drink [roughly] as much as 17 liters of water (34 16-oz. bottles) if taken in slowly without changing their serum sodium,” says nephrologist Dr. John Maesaka.

“ The kidneys will excrete all of the excess water reasonably promptly, ” Maesaka says. however, the general govern is that the kidneys can only excrete about 1 liter an hour. So the accelerate at which person drinks water can besides change the soundbox ’ s allowance for excess water. If you drink besides much excessively fast, or your kidneys don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate shape properly, you may reach a state of overhydration oklahoman.

What happens when you drink too much water?

The body strives to constantly maintain a state of matter of balance. One separate of this is the proportion of fluid to electrolytes in the bloodstream. We all need certain amounts of electrolytes like sodium, potassium, chloride, and magnesium in our bloodstream to keep our muscles contracting, skittish system officiate, and soundbox ’ mho acid-base levels in check. When you drink excessively much water, it can disrupt this delicate ratio and throw off the libra — which is, unsurprisingly, not a good thing. The electrolyte of most concern with overhydration is sodium. besides a lot fluent will dilute the come of sodium in the bloodstream, leading to abnormally gloomy levels, called hyponatremia. Symptoms of hyponatremia may be mild at foremost, such as a feel of nausea or bloat. Symptoms can become austere, specially when sodium levels abruptly drop. dangerous symptoms include :

  • fatigue
  • weakness
  • unsteady gait
  • irritability
  • confusion
  • convulsions

Hyponatremia vs. water intoxication

You may have heard the term “ water intoxication ” or “ water poison, ” but these aren ’ t the same thing as hyponatremia. “ Hyponatremia merely means the serum sodium is first gear, defined as less than 135 mEq/liter, but water drunkenness means the affected role is symptomatic from low sodium, ” notes Maesaka. Left untreated, water drunkenness can lead to brain disturbances, since without sodium to regulate the balance wheel of fluid within cells, the brain can swell to a dangerous degree. Depending on the level of swelling, water intoxication can result in coma or even death.

It ’ south rare and quite difficult to drink enough water to get to this point, but dying from drinking besides much water is wholly potential .

Who’s at risk?

If you ’ ra goodly, it ’ s unlikely that you ’ ll develop serious problems as a result of drinking besides much water. “ Our kidneys do an excellent caper at removing excess fluids from our body with the process of micturition, ” says dietician Jen Hernandez, RDN, LD, who specializes in treating kidney disease. If you ’ ra drinking large amounts of water in an attempt to stay hydrated, it ’ mho more likely you ’ ll need patronize trips to the toilet than a trip to the ER. still, certain groups of people have a higher risk for hyponatremia and urine drunkenness. One such group is people with kidney disease, since the kidneys regulate the balance of fluid and minerals. “ People with late-stage kidney disease can be at risk for overhydration, as their kidneys are unable to release the excessive body of water, ” says Hernandez. Overhydration can besides occur in athletes, particularly those participating in endurance events, such as marathons, or in hot weather. “ Athletes who train for several hours or outdoors are typically at higher risk of overhydration by not replacing electrolytes like potassium and sodium, ” says Hernandez. Athletes should be mindful that electrolytes lost through sweat can ’ t be replaced with body of water entirely. An electrolyte replacement beverage may be a better choice than body of water during drawn-out bouts of drill . share on Pinterest

Signs you may need to cut back

initial signs of overhydration may be vitamin a simple as changes in your toilet habits. If you find yourself needing to urinate thus frequently that it disrupts your life, or if you have to go multiple times during the night, it may be time to reduce your inhalation. urine that ’ s wholly colorless is another index you might be overdoing it. Symptoms that indicate a more serious overhydration trouble include those associated with hyponatremia, such as :

  • nausea
  • confusion
  • fatigue
  • weakness
  • loss of coordination

If you ’ re concerned, speak to your doctor. They can perform a blood test to check your serum sodium levels and recommend treatment if needed .

How to stay hydrated without overdoing it

It ’ s debatable whether there ’ s truth to the proverb, “ If you ’ ra thirsty, you ’ re already dehydrated. ” still, it ’ randomness surely a good estimate to drink when you feel thirsty and to choose water system a frequently as possible. Just make indisputable you pace yourself. “ Aim to sip water lento throughout the day quite than waiting excessively long and downing an integral bottle or glass at once, ” says Hernandez. Be particularly careful after a long and sweaty exercise. even if your hunger feels quenchless, resist the urge to chug bottle after bottle. To hit the sweetly spot for fluid inhalation, some people find it helpful to fill a bottle with their commend adequate inhalation and drink it steadily throughout the day. This may be specially utilitarian for those who struggle to drink enough, or plainly to get a ocular of an appropriate daily measure. For many, however, it ’ south more practical to monitor the torso for signs of adequate hydration than to focus on hitting a particular numeral of liters per day.

Special considerations

If you have kidney disease or another condition that affects your torso ’ mho ability to excrete overindulgence water, it ’ second crucial to follow the fluid intake guidelines from your sophisticate. They can best fuck your individual health and needs. You may be instructed to limit your water consumption to prevent a dangerous electrolyte imbalance. additionally, if you ’ re an athlete — specially participating in endurance events like marathon running or long-range cycle — your hydration needs on race day look different than on a regular day. “ Having an individualize hydration plan in topographic point anterior to racing a longer consequence is authoritative, ” says sports medicine sophisticate John Martinez, MD, who serves as an onsite doctor for Ironman triathlons. “ Know your relative sweat rates and how much you need to drink to maintain normal hydration. The best means is to measure body weight before and after exercise. The change in system of weights is a rocky estimate about the amount of fluid lost in fret, urine, and respiration. Each cypriot pound of system of weights personnel casualty is approximately 1 pint ( 16 ounces ) of fluid loss. ” While it ’ second crucial to know your sweat rates, you don ’ t need to completely obsess over hydration while exercising. “ Current recommendations are to drink for crave, ” says Martinez. “ You don ’ t need to drink at every aid station during a race if you are not thirsty. ” Be mindful, but don ’ thyroxine overthink it. finally, while it ’ s normal to be occasionally thirsty throughout the day ( particularly in hot weather ), if you notice you feel the necessitate to drink constantly, see your doctor. This may be a sign of an underlie circumstance that needs treatment.

share on Pinterest Sarah Garone, NDTR, is a dietician, freelance health writer, and food blogger. She lives with her conserve and three children in Mesa, Arizona. Find her sharing down-to-earth health and nutrition information and ( by and large ) healthy recipes at A Love Letter to Food .

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