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What Happens If You Drink Too Much Water?

Your body cannot survive without water and most of your bodily functions are dependent on it. It helps you process your food as well as flush waste from your body. Regular consumption regulates your body temperature, digestive system and other vital systems.

It is recommended you drink at least eight glasses of water spread throughout the day. Usually we are concerned about getting enough water, especially when you have to exercise in a warm setting or live in a hot climate. But have you ever thought what happens if you drink too much water?

Can You Drink Too Much Water?

While it is difficult, you can drink too much water. When you drink more water than your body needs and you are healthy, you will process it through your kidneys and eliminate it. For women, a good daily intake of water is around 91 ounces. Some of it will come from the food you eat. If you drink more than that, you will probably have to go to the bathroom more often but otherwise it should not cause any problems. You would have to drink over two gallons of water in one hour before needing to worry about what happens if you drink too much water.

There are two types of overhydration, sometimes referred to water intoxication. Usually there is a balance between urine output and water consumption, but when you drink too much you can decrease your sodium to dangerous levels.

  • Increased water intake: When this happens, you drink way too much water than your kidney can process and eliminate through urinating. This causes the excess water to accumulate in your body.

  • Retained water: If your body loses the ability to eliminate excess water, the water and sodium ratio in your blood can become unbalanced. This often happens due to a medical condition.

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