Ever wondered if there can be too much of a good thing? Oh yes! water intoxication, water poisoning, hyper-hydration or water toxaemia is a condition when drinking too much water in short period of time, the kidneys cannot flush it out fast enough, the blood becomes waterlogged. With decreasing amount of salt (sodium/potassium balance), cells adjust by absorbing more and more water. This imbalance of electrolytes in body can be fatal for brain functioning. The swollen brain cells can press the nerves and seal blood vessels leading to lack of oxygen.
The early symptoms include nausea, headache and if untreated it may cause muscle weakness, spasms, seizures, unconsciousness, coma and in extreme cases death due to brain oedema.
Over-hydration can effect following categories: marathon runners, endurance cyclists, army recruits, hikers, infants (low body mass), miners (working in extreme heat and humidity) people using drugs such as MDMA, abnormal renal failure/ kidney dysfunction, compulsive water drinking due to mental illness or water-drinking contest, undergoing strenuous exercise.
Staying hydrated is important but determining how much can often be hard to comprehend. However your urine is a good indicator of your hydration status. Pale yellow urine is a good sign. Darker urine means you are dehydrated while if you are peeing, peeing and peeing out clear colourless water means you are over-hydrated. Experts suggests more than 1.5 litres of water per hour can be lethal and on an average 9-13 cups of water (80-100 ounces) per day is ideal.
Thus be those be warned who are trying to lose weight quickly and resorting to heavy strenuous exercising routines. Staying hydrated is important but moderation is the key. If you are pushing fluids beyond the point it is comfortable maybe its the time to stop drinking – ‘water’.