People are always harping you to drink more water, but you knew there was such a thing as overhydration. Drinking too much water can cause low electrolyte levels, which can cause a wide range of negative side effects. If your electrolyte levels drop or become too quickly unbalanced, the results may even be fatal.
People who are often at risk of over-hydration include endurance athletes who row, cycle, run marathons, or make rigorous hikes. Here’s how to make sure you drink a safe amount of water on a daily basis.
Do you often feel that your muscles are tired, even if you’re not working out? Other side effects may also cause nausea and aches, so if you drink a lot of water and have these conditions, over-hydration may be the cause. This is due to a drop in the blood of sodium.
Body parts swelling
If you have an unusual swelling of your legs, hands, and lips, you may be drinking too much water, as this is a common side effect of electrolyte imbalance. Fluids in your body try to correct imbalanced sodium in your blood, and the result is a “fluid overload” that can cause swollen limbs.
Feelings of confusion or disorientation;
If you experience any delirious feelings, confusion, or disorientation, seek medical attention as this is a serious consequence that happens when our bodies consume too much water. This could be a sign of swelling of the brain.
Along with this frustrating brain fog, drinking too much water can cause severe headaches and migraines. If your body cannot eliminate extra water on its own, the cells swell to make more room for it, and because of our skulls enclosing our brains, there is no room for expansion, all of which leads to that headache.
Drink it when you’re not thirsty
Drinking water frequently when you’re not thirsty is a red flag that you might be over-hydrating. Our natural thirst should generally indicate when we need to drink water, so even if you’re working out or worried about your H20 intake, let that thirst build up a little bit first.
You urinate more than six or seven times a day.
Apparently, this is the average amount that humans produce over the course of 24 hours, so if your amount is significantly higher than that, re-examine your intake of water. Another good way to tell is if you wake up a lot in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.
You’re always feeling tired.
It’s also a symptom of dehydration, but you know your habits best. Over-hydration can cause a massive loss of energy and an onset of drowsy feelings due to the electrolyte imbalance that your body is experiencing.
You get the cramps
Along with muscle pain and fatigue, potassium loss is a common cause of overhydration. Potassium helps the minerals contract and relax the muscles, and when you pee it all out, the cramps may come more easily. Potassium is an electrolyte, after all, and sometimes no amount of bananas can solve your pain.
How to properly hydrate
It’s hard for some people to find their sweet spot when it comes to hydration, so try to follow these rules.
1. Daily consumption should be equal to half an ounce of water per pound of body weight. If you’re still thirsty, increase very slowly. But remember that here, too, your BMI comes into play.
2. Flash news: water is not the only fluid. There’s plenty of water in a range of drinks and fresh fruits and vegetables. Soups, of course, also count. So if you eat tons of them every day, maybe you don’t need to choke as much water.
3. Before and after workouts, you’re extremely athletic. The difference in weight will help you see how much fluid you’ve lost. Just don’t start obsessing your weight as a result! Every pound of water lost can be filled with two cups of water.
4. Don’t chew a set number of glasses every day. Drinking your water intake all in one go isn’t ideal – instead, spread it out over the day and pay attention to factors such as weather, activity levels, and what you’re eating.