It’s common knowledge that water is important for an excellent health. Yet too much of it have the right to lead to water intoxication.

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Other terms for this include:

hyperhydrationwater toxemiawater poisoning

There aren’t any kind of firm guidelines about how much water can kill you, but drinking more than a liter (L) or so per hour because that several hrs isn’t something doctors recommend.

Read on to learn an ext about water intoxication, including its symptoms and also when it deserve to be life-threatening.


Symptoms that water intoxication have tendency to start appearing after friend consume much more than 3 come 4 l of water in a few hours.

Potential symptom include:

head paincramping, spasms, or weakness in your musclesnausea or vomitingdrowsiness and fatigue

In an ext severe cases, water intoxication can likewise cause seizures or loss of consciousness. If a person doesn’t get treatment, water intoxication have the right to be fatal.


If girlfriend or someone rather is showing any type of signs or symptoms of water intoxication, particularly seizures or drowsiness, it’s best to seek instant medical attention.

As fluid builds increase in the body, all of its cells, including mind cells, begin to swell. Ede in the brain can ultimately lead come coma, seizures, and death if a medical professional doesn’t treat that quickly.

Eating a salty snack may carry out some short-term relief while wait for help to arrive.

Make certain it’s no dehydration

Water intoxication symptoms can seem very similar to those the dehydration. If friend aren’t certain which one you’re experiencing, get immediate help. Prevent drinking or withholding water until you confirm the underlying reason of her symptoms.


There no a set amount the water that constantly causes life-threatening water poisoning. Instead, it’s finest to think in regards to the lot of water that someone drinks per hour. Someone’s age, gender, and overall wellness can also play a role.

The kidneys of a healthy adult can flush the end 20 come 28 together of water each day, however they have the right to only get rid of about 1 L every hour. This provides it tough for her kidneys to store up when you drink much more than 1 L per hour.

The kidney of larger adults and also children have tendency to be much less efficient, so the amount of water the they deserve to safely drink per hour can be a bit lower.

Water intoxication have the right to happen an ext quickly in youngsters or larger adults.


When you drink too lot water, the can cause hyponatremia, i m sorry happens as soon as your blood sodium concentration becomes very low. If friend drink more water than your kidneys have the right to flush out, it’ll dilute the salt in your bloodstream, causing cells to swell.

See more: How Many Hours Of Sleep Do I Need 8 Hours Of Sleep Do You Really Need?

Most of the reported instances of life-threatening water intoxication have involved intense physical activity, together as armed forces training or running a marathon. Others have actually resulted from extreme water consumption due to an underlying mental health problem or forced intake as a kind of abuse.

Water intoxication has additionally been attached to using the drug MDMA, especially at music festivals. That’s due to the fact that people in these settings are frequently dancing for long periods the time in hot environments. This, combined with MDMA’s tendency to raise your body temperature, have the right to make girlfriend drink a the majority of water.

While this is an excellent for avoiding dehydration, it can quickly come to be too much since MDMA additionally causes urine retention. This method that you no urinating frequently, allowing all the extra liquid to develop up in her body.


If friend regularly find yourself drink a lot of water end a short duration of time, there are a few general rules the can aid you stop water intoxication.

Generally, it’s finest to stick v drinking water in ~ the very first feeling the thirst. When you feel quenched, hold off until you begin to feeling thirsty again.

Your urine color can also be a valuable indicator. Clear urine may be a authorize that she at hazard of overdoing it. Top top its own, clear urine no necessarily bad, but it’s a an excellent indicator the you don’t should drink any type of water for a while.

If you’re around to do an intense workout, consider hydrating through an electrolyte drink that includes sodium, such as a sporting activities drink.


While it’s possible to dice from drinking too lot water, that rare. You’d have to drink a many water in a short duration of time, i beg your pardon most people will have actually a tough time act accidentally.

But if you an endurance athlete or carry out a lot of strenuous physical activity, you can have a greater risk. In these cases, you deserve to usually look to your urine color and thirst level come tell you whether you really need to be drink extra water.

If you’re concerned about your water intake, speak to your healthcare provider. Castle can provide you much more specific recommendations based on your overall health, size, and also other factors.


critical medically the review on might 22, 2019


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Medically the review by Elaine K. Luo, M.D. — created by crystal Raypole on may 22, 2019

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