We are often reminded of the importance of staying hydrated, but drinking enough water can be difficult, even if you have a favorite water bottle.
But, can drinking too much water be harmful? And how can you know when you've had enough?
Overhydration can result in symptoms ranging from mild and inconvenient to life-threatening.
he good news is that, while consuming a couple more glasses of water on top of your usual hydration may cause an increase in your bathroom visits,
minor overhydration will not put you in danger. Drinking excessive volumes of water, especially when accompanied with a loss of essential electrolytes, poses a life-threatening risk.
"Drinking too much water can result in a condition called hyponatremia, which is a dangerous drop in blood sodium levels,"
Explains Kristin Koskinen, RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist in Richland, Washington. Sodium is an important electrolyte that serves as the body's traffic cop,
Regulating where water is dispersed and how much is transferred to the bladder. "Though water intoxication is uncommon, it can occur if you drink more than your body can excrete," adds Koskinen.
Hyponatremia is uncommon, but when it does occur, it is mainly in ultra-endurance athletes or those with specific health issues.
When someone hydrates with simple water rather than a combination of water and electrolyte-replacement drinks during or after episodes of excessive perspiration and fluid loss, the life-threatening scenario occurs.
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