Too much H2O?

  • Is there such a thing as too much water? Not only are we feeling thirsty we have put down our beer bottles and are holding water bottles.  Can we end up drinking too much water?

    We are new, so please forgive what might be a stupid question.

  • Charlie that is not a silly question. :) Pace your water throughout the day. The body can only process 2C an hour I think. You can get all kinds of dizzy and dangerous if you drink large amounts quickly. I will try to find the other threads that talk about water by looking in the search box and bump them up for you.

  • Not a stupid question at all!

    While it is possible to drink too much water and cause a condition called hyponatremia, it doesn't happen too often. It occurs when there is too little sodium in the blood, usually from drinking excess amounts of water that end up depleting the sodium supply. (We hear how bad sodium is for the body, but it is the excess amounts that do the most damage. Our body needs at least some sodium to function.)  

    Typically though, it occurs when someone is exercising for an extended period of  time and taking in only water, when they should be taking in adequate amounts of sodium in say a sports drink. (Think of a really slow marathoner who only drinks water.)  It can also occur from vomiting and diarrhea and not taking in any nutrients but water. Some medical conditions can also exacerbate the condition, but that's for a doctor to explain.

    Basically, if you are drinking all of your water and eating like you should, you'll be fine. The only thing you may have to worry about is staying close to a bathroom!

    BFL since 1999

  • Excellent news and I get that now.  (and thanks for the "bump up" Legs, I'll try the search box myself next time, duh)

  • Not to be disagreeable, but I've had way more than 2 c. in an hour. I drink a ton of water (not literally) all the time. It's not uncommon for me to have 32 oz. with a meal. The stories you hear about people dying from too much water are typically resulting from some kind of water drinking contest.

    The bottom line is this: it's possible to drink too much water, but unless you are running a marathon, an infant, or guzzling a ton of water all in one sitting, water intoxication is a very uncommon condition.

    BFL since 1999

  • I have a friend who moved here to Arizona from a colder climate and thought she had to drink a lot of water.  It landed her in the hospital in and out of a coma for several days.  I have often heard that drinking half your weight in ounces is a good gauge per day.

    "The only person you should try to be better than, is the person you were yesterday!"

  • Everyone has a tolerance level - I get that. I generally have no issues with drinking 2L by noon then the other 2L by 5pm. One time though (when I use to walk and think I was "working out") I walked for 45 min and in that time drank 1.5L of water. It went down just fine. About 1.5 - 2 hours later I got these horrendous cramps like I have never had before and they lasted a good hour. It scared me and the only thing I could relate it to was all that water in that short time FOR ME. That is why I suggest taking it over a period of time. So if you have a bad water day, dont cram it all in in the evening just because. You may hurt yourself.

  • Typically, if you are thirsty, your not drinking enough's your body's way of telling you it's lacking water.  

  • ...and not to get too graphic, but your urine should be straw colored, a pale yellow.  If it is darker, it is an indication of dehydration.  After drinking excess water, it will be much lighter.  This is a good litmus test, even if you are not counting your intake.