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Water is vital to the human body, and staying hydrated should be a top priority for anyone looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle. You can, however, actually take your quest for hydration too far. Drinking too much water can cause side effects that range from mildly irritating to life-threatening — and overhydration can lead to an imbalance of electrolytes in the body.
Electrolytes such Effects of excessive drinking of water potassium, sodium, and magnesium help regulate everything from your kidneys to your heart function. If you consume too much water, there may not be enough of these electrolytes in your body to keep it functioning properly. Keep in mind that while some of the symptoms listed below could be attributed to overhydration, they could also be the result of other medical conditions or issues. When in doubt, consult with your doctor. Some experts believe that many people meet their daily water needs by simply letting their thirst tell them when to drink.
So if you're chugging water even when you're not thirsty, you could be drinking more than your body needs. Though it's important to increase your water intake if you're engaging in strenuous physical activity or outside in hot weather, allow your natural thirst to be your guide in most situations. You might know that dark-colored urine can be a of dehydration, but that doesn't mean you should aim to produce urine that's clear. According to Healthline, pale-yellow urine that looks like lemonade indicates a healthy level of hydration. Colorless urine, on the other hand, might mean you are overhydrated and need to reduce your water intake.
According to WebMDdrinking too much water can cause the sodium levels in your blood Effects of excessive drinking of water drop, which can lead to headaches and nausea. Most people urinate six or seven times every 24 hoursaccording to Medical News Today. If you find yourself urinating more frequently than that and needing to wake up at night to use the bathroom, you may be drinking too much water.
Other conditions such as urinary tract infections, diabetesprostate problems, and pelvic-floor weakness can also cause frequent urinationso talk to your doctor if you notice yourself peeing much more than usual. According to the MSD Manual, drinking too much water can lead to low levels of sodium in the blood. This can cause the body's cells to swell and retain fluid. In some cases, the cells in the tissues of the face or extremities feel or look puffy if you've been drinking too much water.
Drinking too much water can cause muscle weakness, spasms, or cramps, according to the Mayo Clinic. These symptoms may arise when the sodium in your blood becomes diluted. If you notice shakiness or pain in your arms and legs that don't seem related to physical exertion, it could be a you are overly hydrated and lacking vital electrolytes. If your muscle pain or weakness continues even after you've reduced your water intake, it's worth checking in with a doctor.
Per Mayo Clinic, drinking too much water can result in a loss of energy, drowsiness, or a constant feeling of fatigue because of the creation of an electrolyte imbalance within the body. Try cutting back on excessive water intake to see if overhydration might be causing your lingering fatigue. One of overhydration or water intoxication is a feeling of confusion or disorientation. This is linked to falling levels of electrolytes, such as sodium, in the body. In extreme cases, drinking too much water and lowering the sodium concentration in your blood can cause your brain to swell dangerously.
If you begin experiencing symptoms, like confusion, seizures, or loss of consciousness, you may want to seek immediate medical attention. How much water are you supposed to drink a day, debunking the 8-cups-a-day myth. I drink a gallon of water a day — here are my tips for staying well hydrated.
World globe An icon of the world globe, indicating different international options. Get the Insider App. A leading-edge research firm focused on digital transformation. Sophia Mitrokostas. Drinking water is crucial. But it's possible to drink too much water and become overhydrated. Overhydration can lead to falling electrolyte levels, which can cause headaches and muscle weakness.
If your lips, hands, and feet are swollen, you may be drinking too much water. Visit Insider's home for more stories. Stay up to date with what you want to know. Evergreen story Summer.Effects of excessive drinking of water
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