After a long day of sweaty workouts, restless hours typing at a computer, or stuffing down a bag of hot chips, nothing can beat the crisp taste of a glass of water. Whether you slurp yours down ice cold or room temperature style, the refreshing qualities of water keep us hydrated, energized, and ready to take on the world. Deliciously simple as it may be, drinking too much water can actually be more dangerous than you'd expect...
What is Water Intoxication and Why Is It Harmful?
Water intoxication is basically as alarming and real as it sounds- intoxicating the body with water until the point of illness. Yes, when it comes to alcoholic substances, intoxication tends to be a more common issue. Truth is, that drinking too much water too quickly in a day, can cause a similar liquid-based harmful effect in the body.
Miniscule electrolyte balances such as sodium levels can be disrupted from excessive water consumption. As scary as that sounds, most water intoxication cases are extremely rare according to medical diagnosis research.
While the absolute worst effect of too much water can be fatal, most symptoms vary between:
- Cramps and aches
- Rising blood pressure
- Unregulated breathing
- Nausea and vomiting
What Can Water Intoxication Be Caused By?
Simply put- drinking way too much water way too soon! Essentially, an excess of water can have a harmful effect on the blood cells and other various cells within the body. Remember the sodium disruption I mentioned earlier? Turns out sodium can be heavily diluted by too much water, which in turn can cause cells to swell outside of their capacity.
Couple the swelling of cells with other rigorous activities such as high-impact sports and exercises, and you may be stirring up a recipe for disaster. Of course, chances are extremely low to suffer from an intoxication incident or hyponatremia. Still, drinking the recommended medically approved amount of water each day is ideal.
How Much Water is Too Much?
There is no set amount on how much water is dangerous for a person. The levels and stages of intoxication can vary from age group to activity level to even species. For instance, athletes and military people may have higher chances of becoming intoxicated than more sedentary people. Even dogs and babies have different risks to face when it comes to drinking water.
If you're truly set on finding a solid number, medical professionals suggest drinking less than a liter of water in one hour. Drinking more than a liter per hour can begin to put a strain on the kidneys as they work double-time to flush out the excess liquids, plus a host of other issues.
How Much Water to Drink a Day
This is another tricky question to answer since there is no set amount here. If you want to stay on the scientific route of things, the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends 15.5 cups each day for men and roughly 11.5 cups for women daily.
If you struggle with the habit of staying hydrated, this may be shocking news for you. Even so, you're not alone! All sorts of people rely on water intake calculators and reminder apps to make sure they drink enough for the day. Practicing each day to maintain a health goal may start off slow, but as soon as motivation turns into discipline both your habits and body will be smooth sailing in hydration!
One way to get into the groove with a new water habit is by adding some fresh flavor to your water. MOVE has all sorts of flavored water and even fresh Spring Alkaline Oxygenated Water to fuel your body and quench your thirst without excess!