Drinking water can help you stay healthy, and it is likely that many of us could use an extra glass or two. However, there is such a thing as too much water! While most people tend to be on the lookout for signs of dehydration, overhydration can be equally as dangerous. Drinking too much water can result in water intoxication, also known as hyponatremia, which occurs when excessive amounts of water cause low sodium by overwhelming the kidneys’ ability to excrete water. In severe cases, water intoxication can lead to health problems such as seizures, coma, and even death. Are you drinking too much water? Here are nine signs to look for.
9. You Always Have Water Bottles Nearby
Do you find you regularly have water bottles close by? Or refill them often? These may be signs you’re drinking too much water. Constantly drinking water can result in low sodium levels in your blood, which cause the cells to swell. According to Tamara Hew-Butler, DPM, Ph.D., an exercise science professor at Oakland University, this is especially dangerous because the brain also starts to swell. “Your brain can only swell about 8 to 10 percent before it reaches the skull and it pushes your brain stem out,” said Dr. Hew-Butler.
8. You Drink Water When You’re Not Thirsty
Thinking you’re thirsty and being thirsty are two separate things. “Our bodies are so programmed to fight against dehydration because we’ve always been living in fear of scarcity or not having enough, so we all have all of these built-in mechanisms to protect us against that,” Dr. Hew-Butler said. “One of these mechanisms that all animals have is thirst. Thirst is everybody’s monitor that lets them know if they need more. The more water you need, the thirstier you get.” Let a mild thirst be your guide as to when to drink water, rather than drinking it constantly.