Most of us probably could use a couple of more glasses of water a day than we’re getting. But is there really such a thing as drinking too much water?
Yes. You can drink too much and that’s bad for your health.
In fact, it can lead to water-intoxication, also called hyponatremia, where the cells are flooded with water resulting in dangerously low sodium levels in the blood. In severe cases, hyponatremia can lead to seizures, coma and possibly death.
Here are 9 signs of over-hydration to notice the next time you think about drinking a lot of H2O.
1. You constantly carry and drink from a water bottle.
Steadily adding water to your bloodstream can create a dangerous situation where your cells can swell and lead to low blood sodium.
2. You drink water when you’re not feeling thirst.
The feeling of thirst is how your body tells you to drink more water.
If you’re not feeling thirsty and your urine is pale yellow, then you’re hydrated.
3. You drink water until your urine is clear.
Perfectly clear urine is a sign you’re getting too much water.
The right pigment is pale yellow.
4. You’re waking up at night to use the bathroom.
Healthy adults urinate between six and eight times per 24-hour period. Unusually frequent urination can be a sign of too much water in your system.
If you’re waking up at night to use the bathroom, cut back on your water intake and drink your last glass at least two hours before bedtime.
5. You experience nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
If your kidneys are in a state where they cannot rid your body of excess fluid, you may feel sick with symptoms similar to dehydration.
This is caused by the water collecting in the body.
6. You have bad headaches.
When cells in the brain swell with too much fluid, it causes pressure which leads to headaches.
A prolonged condition may mean impairment and trouble breathing.
7. You have discoloration in hands, feet and lips.
Hyponatremia can cause sudden weight gain and the hands, feet and lips to swell and discolor.
If you notice these symptoms, cut back on your water intake and note any differences.
8. Your muscles feel weak and cramp up.
Muscle weakness and cramping can be a sign your electrolytes are out of balance due to the over-consumption of water.
Drinking too much water lowers your body’s electrolyte levels.
If you’re kidneys are working overtime to process water, you’ll likely feel tired and sluggish.
Reduce your water intake and you’ll reduce the stress on your kidneys.
Healthy living is all about balance and our bodies are pretty good with keeping all our fluids in check. So, listen to your body and drink plenty of water.
But not too much. Your body will tell you.