- Too much of everything is poisonous and that too applies to water. It has been hammered into our heads that we need to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day to stay hydrated, which is good. However, over hydration or drinking too much water can be dangerous.
- You need to factor in your body size, activity level and types of food you consume before you go downing gallons of water in the name of staying healthy.
Too much water intake can upset your body’s sodium balance resulting in water intoxication also known as hypernatremia. This causes the cells to swell after too much water from the blood stream flows into the cells. In extreme cases it causes death especially in athletes.
If you suspect you may be drinking too much water here are signs you should pay close attention to and take necessary action.
- You constantly carry a bottle of water
If you find yourself always refilling your bottle immediately the water depletes, you may be drinking too much. This will cause your cells to swell up. This is because your body has sodium and potassium ions that act as electrolytes and maintain fluid balance between your cells and your blood. Too much water will dilute the electrolytes and the excess water in the blood accompanied with a higher amount of salts and ions within the cells will cause them to swell. This becomes particularly dangerous when the brain cells which can lead to headaches, seizures and even death.
- Clear urine
There is the notion that clear urine is a healthy sign and that your body is well hydrated. However, the color of urine should be transparent yellow. If yours has no color you are drinking too much water. Keep your water intake within the daily recommended amount unless otherwise.
- Frequent urination
On average people urinate between six to eight times a day. But if you find yourself urinating more than 10 times extending to your sleep time, you should cut down on water. Have your last glass of water hours before bedtime to give your kidneys time to filter the water through the body.
- You always drink water
Our bodies have mechanisms that let you know when you need water hence the thirst and urge to drink water. If you’re always taking walking despite feeling thirsty you are doing it all wrong. If your body needs water you will know. Follow your body cues.
This is could be a sign you are drinking too much water or not enough of it. Due to the swelling of cells and organs, excess water makes your brain to enlarge pressing against the skull hence the headaches. If not monitored it could lead to more serious health problems such as brain impairment, seizures and difficulty in breathing.
- Muscle cramps
This develops from low electrolytes which can cause a number of symptoms including muscle spasms and cramping. Cut down on water and replace a few glasses with coconut water which is full of electrolytes.
One of the functions of your kidneys is to excrete fluids. When you take too much water your kidneys are strained creating a stressful reaction from your hormones. This will make you feel tired or fatigued as your body tries to stay balanced.
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