Are you suffering from too much hydration? While drinking plenty of water is crucial for a functioning body, there is such a thing as “over-hydration.” More often than not, top fitness advice tells us that we should be drinking more water. Usually, this is true. That said, how much is too much of a good thing?
How Much is Too Much Hydration?According to a new study, most people might not actually need the commonly recommended eight glasses of water a day. This number has been the general recommendation since 1945, but it might be unnecessary. In fact, another research paper argues that Bruce Lee may have actually died from drinking too much water. The paper proposes that Lee’s death was caused by his “kidney’s inability to excrete excess water.” In a nutshell, it was a case of over-hydration. This is a rare but dangerous condition that happens when someone drinks too much water. In turn, this can overload the kidneys and damage a person’s electrolyte balances. Before we begin, let’s address the fact that all of our bodies are different. Before making potentially dangerous choices, be sure to contact a medical professional. A doctor will know your unique medical history and should be able to properly advise you on health choices. As always, your doctor knows best.
The Value of HydrationNow that we have talked about too much hydration, let’s not discount the enormous health benefits of drinking water. When properly hydrated, water can help our bodies in numerous ways:
- Water regulates your body temperature.
- It can help keep your bowel movements regular. This is remarkably important to a healthy life.
- Drinking enough water flushes out waste products that could be harmful to your body, such as alcohol.
Water IntoxicationSpeaking of alcohol, over-hydration can lead to water intoxication. This can be dangerous and decrease the levels of sodium in your blood to dangerously low levels. Some of the most common symptoms include confusion, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. In severe cases, over-hydration can lead to seizures, a coma, and even death. While death via over-hydration is rare, it is still a genuine danger, as we can see from the high-profile example of Bruce Lee.
Noticing the Symptoms of Too Much HydrationKeeping all of this in mind, it is important to recognize the symptoms of too much hydration. You may be drinking too much water if:
- you are taking too many trips to the bathroom.
- your urine is clear. Urine should be pale yellow in color. Clear urine can show that water is passing right through your body.
- you have cramped muscles, headaches, fatigue, nausea or vomiting.
- your hands feet and lips seem discolored. This could be a sign of over-hydration.