Water Overdose

How much water is too much then?

NewsBharati    08-Dec-2022 10:21:52 AM   
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Recently the world was shocked to know the death of its beloved action hero Bruce Lee apparently caused due to drinking excess water. This led to different questions, doubts, and the spread of misinformation. So how can a person die due to overdrinking water?

Let's understand what exactly happens and how much water should be enough.
Water Overdose  

Always we have been hearing or been taught that water is essential. We are well aware of the consequences of not drinking enough water but as overdrinking of water is a rare occurrence, we are unaware of its extreme consequences.

How much water is too much then ?

Will drinking 10-12 glasses in the place of recommended 8 glasses each day cause some trouble? How will I know I am drinking extra water than required?

Ok so here are some basic symptoms if you are drinking a little more water than needed.

• Nausea 

• Disorientation 

• Vomiting 

• Stomache

To put it simply, whenever we drink water our kidneys are responsible to throw away the excess but if that excess limit is crossed then even the kidneys can't deal with a load of water and don't function properly. Thus this excess water remains in the body, and bloodstream causing swelling, low sodium levels, and much more.

The most fatal result of excess water is low levels of sodium known as hyponatremia.

Sodium is an important micronutrient. Along with other functions, it keeps the balance between water and minerals in your body. It is one of the electrolytes. It helps hold the water in your cells thus keeping them hydrated.

You lose sodium via sweat hence sportspersons electrolytes solution and not just plain water during heavy sessions or matches to keep themselves hydrated.

What happens when the sodium goes down?

• Loss of energy

• Cramps

• Spasms

• Fatigue

• Drowsiness

• Muscle weakness

• Seizures

Drinking excess water dilutes the sodium content in the blood causing hyponatremia.

And untreated hyponatremia proves fatal to life.

People who are into heavy physical activity or sweat more tend to drink more water and this results in hyponatremia thus make sure to replenish your electrolytes stores in such cases. This is what must have caused the death of Bruce Lee. And to lead to this state you must drink more than 10-15ltrs of plain water.

Having said this don't compromise on your daily recommended water intake as dehydration is equally severe.

Always seek balance.

Neha Kank

Neha Kank has a P.G. in Nutrition, Diploma in Sports Nutrition and Diploma in exercise science