The Health Risks Of Drinking Too Much Water

Wed, 09/28/2022 - 07:43

Water is excellent for your overall health as hydration plays a critical role in everything from metabolism to immunity. But… can you drink too much of it? Surprisingly the answer is yes. Overhydration / drinking A LOT of water can create an electrolyte imbalance that can create of host of issues like headaches, fatigue, muscle spasms, nausea, and confusion or a feeling of being disoriented.

So, the first thing to address is what are electrolytes and what role do they play in our health. Electrolytes are essential minerals like sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, phosphate, and magnesium that play a huge role in conducting nervous impulses, contracting muscles, keeping you hydrated, regulating your body’s pH levels, and facilitating the function of your vital organs (heart, kidneys, brain etc.).

Overhydration can cause an imbalance due to something called hypo-osmolality. This is when we consume water faster than the kidneys can excrete it causing the electrolytes in our blood to become diluted.

While an extreme electrolyte imbalance is pretty rare, a mild imbalance can still compromise your overall well being and it’s easily avoidable.

The telltale signs you may have an imbalance would be if you are experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms like chronic fatigue, muscle spasms, headaches etc. 

If your urine is totally clear. You want your urine to look like lemonade. Not apple juice and not water. Apple juice colored urine means you are dehydrated. Water colored urine means you are over hydrated. The urine goldilocks zone is a light yellow. As everyone’s required water intake will very this is an excellent gauge to read your personal hydration level / needs.

And going forward, a simple way to combat this and or preempt it entirely, especially for athletes and active individuals who sweat a lot often and need to hydrate and replenish water frequently, is to include watermelon juice or coconut water into their water. And, be sure to eat magnesium rich foods regularly like dark leafy greens, legumes, beans, and nuts.

Last, be sure to avoid the sugary processed drinks that promise electrolyte replacement. If you want to supplement during extreme sports where you may be sweating significantly consider a high quality supplement with nothing artificial added. But again, watermelon juice or coconut water should do the trick nicely.