Too Much (Water) Can Kill You: Over hydration is Worse than Dehydration


It is something reinforced time and again: always stay hydrated and get enough water. Most people, however, interpret ‘enough’ as a way to prevent dehydration. Rarely do people think that ‘enough’ also means just the right amount and not overdoing it.

From keeping your skin radiant to relieving depression, there are many proven health benefits to drinking enough water. Too much of a good thing, however, can be bad. Taking too many fluids heightens the likelihood of developing a condition called hyponatraemia or water intoxication. Health professionals and experts from Purity Water advise being more sensitive to thirst, as this indicates exactly how much water your body needs.

Rethink the Drink

It’s tempting to drink more water, especially during summer or when doing strenuous exercises. Runners, particularly those who participate in marathons, often fall victim to this.

With the scorching heat of the sun and the need to stay energised during the race, some believe that they have to “stay ahead” of their thirst, so they try too hard to prevent dehydration and stop for a drink at every water station they’ll pass.

Too Much of a Good Thing

This could be a serious mistake as hyponatraemia or water intoxication causes disorientation, muscle weakness, nausea and vomiting. Left untreated, it may cause serious complications such as brain swelling, seizures, pulmonary edema, cardio respiratory arrest, and possibly even death.

Drinking too much water can also lead to extreme sweating; in some cases, surgeries are necessary to remove sweat glands. You may also experience insomnia if you drink an excessive amount of fluids, especially at the end of the day. During sleep, the brain produces a hormone that slows down kidney function, which prevents us from having to get up to urinate every so often. Your body is likely to compromise the effect of that hormone if there are extra fluids in your system, causing sleep disruption.

The Ultimate Indicator

There’s really no exact science as to how much is too much. In fact, studies show that we should just follow our thirst when drinking water. Instead of loading up your body with huge amounts of water before going outside or doing your workouts, it’s best to just load up your water tumbler, bring it with you and drink from it whenever you feel thirsty.

Too much water can be a bad thing, after all. Remember the mantra and make sure to stay hydrated, but never in excess.