What happens if you drink too much water?

We all know how important staying hydrated is for our overall health and bodies, but too much of anything does not mean it is necessarily better; moderation is key. Although it is difficult to drink too much water by mistake, believe it or not, there are cases where this can happen; this is called ‘water intoxication’ or ‘water poisoning.’

This can occur after you consume more than 3-4 litres in a few hours. By drinking too much water, it can dilute the electrolytes and sodium levels in our blood and cause swelling in our cells which can include brain cells. This can be dangerous or life threatening.

The first signs of water intoxication can include headaches, nausea, vomiting and in extreme cases, can also cause confusion, drowsiness, increased blood pressure, muscle cramps and difficulty breathing. Depending on our age, gender and health, our kidneys can get rid of 20-28 litres of water a day however, they can only remove around 1 litre per hour. If you drink more than this, it makes it difficult for our kidneys to keep up. 

If you’re the type of person who forgets to drink water during the day and tries to catch up at the end of the day, try to set reminders throughout your day to take little sips to ensure your body is getting an adequate amount of water so you can reap the benefits of being hydrated!