It’s true that there can be too much of a good thing, even water! While most people could do with drinking a little more water to keep themselves hydrated and healthy, too much consumption of water can lead to feelings of heaviness and, in worst-case scenarios, water intoxication. Also known as hyponatremia, water intoxication causes the inside of cells to flood due to abnormally low sodium levels in your bloodstream. While it is incredibly important to stay hydrated, if you are someone who enjoys chugging down glass after glass of water without restraint, you may be overdoing it.
Here are six signs of over-hydration to look for, compiled with the help of The Healthy.
Multiple trips to the loo
While most people urinate an average of six to eight times a day, if you find yourself in the need to take bathroom breaks too often, it may be a sign that you are overhydrating yourself. Urinating over 10 times a day or getting up multiple times at night to use the loo may mean that you need to watch how much water you are consuming.
When you drink too much water, your kidneys, the organs which serve to rid your body of excess water, can’t keep up. Your body can’t urinate out all the water you’re consuming fast enough, so it looks for other ways to expel the excess liquid out of your body. This results in feelings of nausea or even outright vomiting. However, this is also a symptom of dehydration, so make sure you understand the underlying cause of the uneasiness.
Here’s probably something you had no idea about: When you overhydrate, your body retains the excess water in your cells, literally making your brain grow larger in size, which ends up pushing against your skull causing some very unpleasant headaches.
Swelling and discolouration of lips
If you’re drinking more than 10 cups of water each day and notice swelling or discolouration in your hands, lips, and feet, you may want to cut back on how much water you consume in a day. Just like your brain, the skin is also an organ prone to swelling due to the over-retention of water. In addition to the sharp uptick in water weight, people suffering from water intoxication will experience noticeable swelling or discolouration in their hands, lips, and feet.
When it comes to the body, if there’s one thing it needs, it is balance! Too much or too little of anything can have severe consequences for your overall health, which is why the path of moderation is always your best bet. When you drink too much water, your electrolyte levels drop, compromising the delicate balance of the human body, which then leads to unpleasant symptoms, including muscle spasms and cramping.
Not thirsty but still drinking water
Most of the time, you can rely on your body to let you know when it’s had too little or too much of something. If you are in need of nutrition, the hunger pangs will take you straight to the kitchen. Similarly, if you’re dehydrated, the thirst is bound to kick in. If you drink more than ten glasses of water, chances are you’re drinking water even when you aren’t particularly thirsty, which isn’t ideal. If you’ve had the minimum amount of seven to eight cups of water, you shouldn’t be refilling your water bottle for a little while at least.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ