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This content references scientific studies and academic research, and is fact-checked to ensure accuracy. Our team of d nutritionists and dietitians strives to be objective, unbiased, and honest. We are committed to bringing you researched, expert-driven content to help you make more informed decisions around food, health, and wellness. We know how important making choices about your overall health is, and we strive to provide you with the best information possible. But the potential adverse consequences of overhydration are much less understood than the dangers associated with dehydration, says Tamara Hew-Butleran associate professor of Exercise and Sport Studies at Wayne State University whose research is focused on fluid dysregulation. With summer afoot, hydration will be a hot topic among wellness evangelists.
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If you buy through links on thiswe may earn a small commission. All of the major systems of your body depend on water to work properly. Drinking adequate amounts of water helps your body:. Most people, especially those who exercise in hot weather, are more concerned about not drinking enough water.
However, drinking too much water can also be dangerous. Overhydration can lead to water intoxication.
This occurs when the amount of salt and other electrolytes in your body become too diluted. Hyponatremia is a condition in which sodium salt levels become dangerously low. This is the main concern of overhydration. If your electrolytes drop too low too quickly, it can be fatal.
Death by overhydration is rare, but it can happen. This occurs when you drink more water than your kidneys can remove in your urine. This can cause too much water to collect in your bloodstream.
Several medical conditions can cause your body to retain water. Both of these types are dangerous because they throw off the balance between water and sodium in your blood. Overhydration is an imbalance of fluids.
It happens when your body takes in or holds on to more fluid than your kidneys can remove. Drinking too much water or not having a way to remove it can cause water levels to build up. This dilutes important substances in your blood. Endurance athletes, such as those who run marathons and triathlons, sometimes drink too much water before and during an event. The Institute of Medicine established guidelines for adequate water intake.
So there is no exact formula on how much to drink. Common situations such as extreme heat, ificant activity, and illness with fever will all require more fluid intake than average. In a healthy person, your urine is a good indicator of your hydration status. Pale yellow urine that looks like lemonade is a good goal.
Darker urine means you need more water. Colorless urine means you are overhydrated. In healthy people, athletes are at highest risk for overhydration. Sports experts at Harvard recommend that a logical approach to hydration while exercising is letting thirst be your guide.
Some conditions and medicines cause overhydration by making your body hold on to more fluid.
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These include:. Other conditions and drugs can cause increased water intake by making you extremely thirsty. Overhydration is more common among endurance athletes who drink large amounts of water before and during exercise. It has been reported among:. This condition is also more likely in people with kidney or liver disease. It can also affect people with heart failure.
You may not recognize symptoms of overhydration in its early stages. As the condition progresses, common symptoms include:. Untreated overhydration can lead to dangerously low levels of sodium in your blood. This can cause more severe symptoms, such as:.
Your doctor will ask about your medical history to find out if your symptoms are caused by overhydration or another condition. The doctor will also perform a physical examinationand they may order blood and urine tests. Treatments may include:. Endurance athletes can reduce the risk of overhydration by weighing themselves before and after a race. This helps determine how much water they have lost and need to replenish.
It is recommended to drink 16 to 20 ounces of fluid for every pound lost.
What are the s that you’re drinking too much water?
While exercising, try to drink 2 to 4 cups of fluid per hour. If exercising longer than an hour, sports beverages are also an option. These drinks contain sugar, along with electrolytes such as sodium and potassiumwhich you lose in sweat.
Let thirst also guide you when exercising. Shop for sports beverages. If you have a medical condition such as diabetes, CHF, or kidney disease, talk to your doctor about the best treatments. This could be a of a medical problem that needs to be treated. Low blood sodium, or hyponatremia, occurs when water and sodium are out of balance in your body.
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Recognizing the symptoms of type 2 diabetes can help you get effective treatment and manage your condition. These symptoms include high blood pressure. Many experts recommend that you drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. This article explores the science behind this claim. Learn about…. Detox water is claimed to have all sorts of health benefits, including weight loss. But does it really work? This article looks at the science. Medically reviewed by Judith Marcin, M. What is overhydration?
Drinking adequate amounts of water helps your body: regulate temperature prevent constipation flush out waste products perform all major bodily functions Most people, especially those who exercise in hot weather, are more concerned about not drinking enough water. Are there different types of overhydration? What causes overhydration? Who is at risk for overhydration? What are the symptoms of overhydration? How is overhydration diagnosed?
How is overhydration treated?
How can you prevent overhydration? Read this next. Low Blood Sodium Hyponatremia. Medically reviewed by Emelia Arquilla, DO. Is Gatorade Bad for You? Medically reviewed by Daniel Bubnis, M. Is Carbonated Water Bad for You? Medically reviewed by Daniel Murrell, M. What to Know About Diuretics. Medically reviewed by Alan Carter, Pharm. Detox Water Health Benefits and Myths.