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The Effects of Over Hydration

4 mins read

8 glasses of water they say, it’ll be good they say. The truth is, everyone has a different threshold for hydration – some more, and others less. There is no such thing as a fixed amount of water one must drink a day to remain healthy. That is a good gauge, but it is not catered to everyone.

Too much of a good thing is bad for you and that includes water. Amazingly enough, overhydration will lead to water intoxication, and that can cause Hyponatremia of exercise. (Diluted sodium levels in the bloodstream) [1]

This article is not meant as medical advice nor a medically professional statement. This article is to bring forth the misconception of hydration. Seek professional medical advice if you are facing similar issues or unsure about your health.

The Misconception

The biggest misconception about the intake of water is to always drink at least 8 cups a day. The question is; my definition of 8 cups might be different from yours. Adding on to that, we are all built differently. Some of us are bigger, taller, have different medical conditions, contrasting metabolic rates and staying in dissimilar climates.

There is however a simple guideline that you can have a gauge of.

Problems and Symptoms

As stated initially, overhydration can lead to hyponatremia. Hyponatremia of exercise is due to the dilution of sodium in your bloodstream.

As published on PubMed, written by Min A Joo, MD and Eun Young Kim, MD, PhD; quote “ Water intoxication, also known as dilutional hyponatremia, develops only because the intake of water exceeds the kidney’s ability to eliminate water.”

Having so will cause nausea, vomiting, headaches, seizures, muscle weakness, and unconsciousness.

Usually happens in endurance athletes who consume a large amount of water before and during exercise [2].

What You Should Do

Listen to your body.

As much as there are many guidelines for drinking water, we have a built-in gauge that is free and has been with us since birth – thirst. It’s biologically built in us. Another method is to look at the colour of your urine. What you want to see is a semi yellow almost like a cup of diluted tea-ish colour.

Dehydration

We all know the detrimental effects of dehydration, especially if you’re active in sports. So drink up pre-game and continuously hydrate yourself but don’t overdo it.

That’s it

Right, so there’s more to it than that so feel free to hit up the links down below to learn more about overhydration.

All in all, always listen to your body and watch out for unnormal symptoms. Always remember to seek medical help if you’re worried or unsure.

References

  1. Whitfield, A. H. N. (2006, July 1). Too much of a good thing?: The danger of water intoxication in endurance sports. PubMed Central (PMC). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1872071/
  2. Radcliffe, S. (2019, March 8). Overhydration. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/overhydration#risks

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