Drinking too much water can be dangerous

Drinking too much water can be dangerous
PHOTO: The Straits Times

Drinking too much water brings a host of horrors, some of which can be lethal.

Having too much water dilutes your blood, which decreases the concentration of sodium and electrolytes in our bodies.

Since sodium is what regulates the water in and around our cells, our cells begin swelling up.

According to Dr Tamara Hew-Butler, a science professor at Oakland University, if our brain cells swell up to more than 10 per cent, it can reach our skull and possibly push the brain stem out of place.

But how much is too much? As it depends on each individual, always consult your doctor before drastically lowering or increasing your water intake.

YOU FILL UP YOUR WATER BOTTLE SEVERAL TIMES A DAY

A typical water bottle holds around 500ml. If you fill that bottle up more than six times a day, chances are you are overhydrated.

YOUR URINE IS CLEAR

If your urine is almost transparent, it is a sign for you to stop guzzling all that water.

YOU OFTEN FEEL NAUSEOUS

Drinking more water than your body requires often results in your kidney struggling to get rid of the excess water.

The extra water starts getting collected in your body and results in unpleasant symptoms such as nausea, diarrhoea, or in some cases, vomiting.

YOU WAKE UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT TO PEE

If that sounds familiar, it means you have had too much water the previous day. Frequent peeing also prevents you from having a restful sleep.

YOU ALWAYS HAVE HEADACHES

If you are a victim of daily headaches, it might be because of your high water intake.

The low sodium count of your blood results in swelled-up cells, which might cause your brain to expand in size.

This expansion pushes your brain against your skull which causes that painful throbbing sensation.

YOU ALWAYS HAVE MUSCLE CRAMPS

Electrolytes are important elements in our bodies that allow our muscles to contract during workouts. If you drink too much water, the electrolyte levels in your blood drop, which causes frequent muscles cramps or spasms.

YOU FEEL LETHARGIC

Drinking too much water means your kidneys have to work extra hard. The energy taken up by your kidneys leaves the rest of your body feeling very tired.

This article was first published on www.shape.com.sg

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