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6 Ways How Drinking Too Much Water Can Harm You

Technically, you should drink water only as much as you need to satisfy your thirst. Too much of it can cause water intoxication.

6 Ways How Drinking Too Much Water Can Harm You

You should drink water only as much as you need to satisfy your thirst

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Holding too much liquid in your body is uncomfortable and unhealthy
  2. You should drink water only as much as you need to satisfy your thirst
  3. Drinking too much water can disturb your bodys overall sodium balance

"Drink lots of water, it's healthy."

If only you could count how many times you have heard this from people around. It sounds like the perfect medicine for everything. However, it is not. Though drinking lots of water can protect you from a number of health risks, it is important to know when to stop. Hydration sure is the key to a healthy survival but only to a particular threshold. Usually, people say that 8 glasses of water in a day is necessary for you. But do you find it difficult to drink 8 glasses of water? Do you have to force it down? Well, there is nothing wrong with you; instead, doing this can do something wrong to your health. Holding so much liquid in your body is uncomfortable, and according to recent studies, it isn't healthy either.

Also read: Here's How Much Water You Should Drink Every Day

Technically, you should drink water only as much as you need to satisfy your thirst. Too much of it can cause water intoxication, leading to fluid and blood imbalance in the body. This condition reduces the sodium levels in your body, thereby resulting in nausea, fainting, cramps, vomiting, and brain swelling in some cases. According to experts, 3 liters of water in a day is sufficient for you.


Here's a list of the 6 possible side effects of drinking too much water. Keep reading...

Also read: Real Weight Vs Water Weight: How To Differentiate​

1. Swells up your cells

Sodium and potassium ions in your body maintain the fluid balance between the cells and the blood. However, when there is excess water in the blood and salt and ions in the cells, water rushes into the cells and swells them up. This is risky for your nerve cells of your brain due to the restricted area in the skull and may lead to seizures, headaches and brain injury.

2. Low potassium levels

Hypokalemia or low potassium levels are another side effect of overhydration. This may lead to symptoms like vomiting, low blood pressure, nausea, and diarrhea. So if your body is in a state of water retention, its best to not drink more water.

Also read: 5 Simplest Tricks To Reduce Water Retention

3. Low sodium levels

Drinking too much water can disturb your body's overall sodium balance. Critically, it should be 145 mEq/L but when it goes lower than 135 mEq/L, it can result in the swelling up of cells due to too much water. In case of sodium loss, one must avoid drinking more water as it just makes conditions worse. This condition is seen in athletes who lose a lot of sodium due to sweating.

4. Muscle cramps

Filling up on the water can disturb your body's fluid balance due to a drop in electrolyte levels. This can disturb the normal functioning of muscles, thereby resulting in muscle cramps and spasms. So if you are into a high-intensity sport, then you must drink water to hydrate yourself but you must also drink sports drinks to fill your body up with electrolytes.

Also read: Here's Why You Shouldn't Stand And Drink Water

5. Overwhelming the kidneys

Drinking liters of water in a short period of time can overwhelm your kidneys. It puts too much pressure on the kidneys to filter the blood and excrete water from the body. Overhydration can be dangerous if you are dealing with kidney problems. Experts believe that it may spark up the risk of chronic kidney diseases. They also believe that too much water may increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

6. Makes you feel lethargic

The primary function of your kidneys is excretion of fluids. When you drink more water than what is required, you kidneys flush that out through urine. However, they need to stress to drain out all this water. These results in a stress-reaction from the hormones thereby making you feel fatigued.

Also read: 7 Signs You're Not Drinking Enough Water

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information. 

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