Side Effects of Drinking too much Water (Over-Hydrating)
Life on Earth, without water, is impossible. About 60% of our body is made up of water. It is essential for our body as it carries nutrients to the cells, regulates the body’s temperature, and removes toxins. It is essential to drink enough water in a day to maintain good health and proper functioning of the body.
There’s no single way to determine how much water should one drink in a day. The ideal recommendation is 8 glasses per day but you should adjust your intake around this parameter depending upon your overall health, exercise plans, and environment.
However, drinking too much water can also lead to troubles. Drinking too much water can lead to water poisoning, water intoxication, or a disruption in the functioning of the brain. When there is too much water in the cells, it can cause them to swell. When the cells present in the brain start to swell, they can cause pressure in the brain leading to symptoms like:
- Low heart rate
Drinking too much water or over-hydrating your body can also lead to:
- Disturbance in the balance of minerals – Drinking too much water and the non-removal of excess water can cause the water levels to build up and dilute important minerals in the blood.
- Decrease in the sodium concentration in the blood – Sodium is the electrolyte that is highly affected by over-hydrating your body. Sodium’s function in the body is to keep the balance of fluids in and out of cells. When the levels of sodium decrease in the body, the fluids can get inside the cells.
- Water Intoxication – It refers to potentially fatal disturbances in the brain functions that arise when the normal balance of electrolytes is out of its safe limits
- Swelling in the brain – If left untreated, the build-up of fluids in the cells can lead to swelling of cells in the brain and can cause pressure in the brain.
If the levels of sodium drop dangerously low, it can lead to the following problems:
- Muscle cramps or spasms
Signs that you’re Over-Hydrating yourself
- The color of your urine – This is the easiest way to determine whether or not you’re drinking too much water. If the pee is often clear, that’s a sign you’re drinking too much water
- The number of bathroom trips – On average, one should urinate 6-8 times a day and 10 times is normal for people who regularly drink caffeine or alcohol. If you’re making trips to the bathroom more than this, it might be possible that you’re over-hydrating yourself
- Hydrating yourself even when you’re not thirsty –The body fights against dehydration by letting you know when you need to drink some water. Thirst is the body’s response to dehydration, if you’re hydrating yourself even when you’re not thirsty; chances are you’re over-hydrating yourself