Drinking too much water seems like the least problem you should worry about. Dietitians constantly remind you to drink water regularly because it is vital to how your body functions. What you don’t realise is that while drinking water to avoid dehydration is important; preventing overhydration is also important.
Overhydration happens when you drink too much water. This can lead to an imbalance of electrolytes in your body. Electrolytes like potassium, sodium and magnesium help regulate everything from your kidneys to your heart function.
In simple terms, too much water causes the inside of cells to flood as a result of an abnormally low sodium level in your bloodstream. Sodium is an important electrolyte that acts as the body’s traffic guard. It regulates where water is being distributed throughout the body and how much is being sent to the bladder.
Basically, too much comes in and less goes out. There’s an imbalance which can affect your health. In severe cases, overhydration can lead to debilitating health problems such as seizures, a coma and even death.
How to tell when you’re drinking too much water
1. The colour of your urine
Surely, you are aware that dark-coloured urine is a cause for worry and means you’re dehydrated. This does not mean you should aim for clear-coloured urine. On the contrary, urine with no pigmentation is a sign that you’re overhydrated. Naturally, your urine colour should range from straw coloured to transparent yellow. You need to spread out your water intake to intervals or reduce it completely. The average glasses of water you should take ranges from eight to ten depending on your weight.
2. Frequent bathroom breaks
The average number of times to urinate in a day is between six and eight. If you find yourself urinating more than ten times a day, then it’s a sure sign that you’ve had too much water to drink. Sometimes, you have had more liquid in your system. That makes it hard for you to realise that you’re over intoxicating yourself. Liquids from soups, alcohol and other drinks contain a level of water and count in overhydration. It gets worse when you have to wake up at night to visit the loo. This is a sign that you need to cut back on your liquid intake and give your kidney time to filter the water through your body.
If your frequent urination persists, see a doctor. It could be other conditions like diabetes, prostate problem, urinary tract infections or pelvic floor weakness.
3. You feel nauseous
Nausea is sometimes triggered when you drink more water than your body is capable of excreting. Your sodium level becomes low and, when there is too much water in your bloodstream, your body tries to throw-up the extra water. You also feel bloated as a result. Although nausea is also a sign of dehydration, you should also be conscious if you feel this way after consuming a large quantity of water. It’s a sign that you need to stop.
4. Lingering headache
As a result of the sodium imbalance in the blood caused by too much water intake, your body tissues begin to swell. The brain cells also swell, resulting in a throbbing headache. Your brain putting pressure on your skull can also cause brain impairment and breathing problems. It can also lead to coma, seizures, brain damage and death in severe cases.
5. Fatigue or weakness
While this can be as a result of several health conditions, overhydration is one trigger. Drinking too much water can make you feel drowsy, tired, and you lose energy. A sign that you’re fatigued is if you’re getting enough sleep, but still fell tired. You should cut back on your daily intake.
The Secret to Hydrating Right
Your body tells you when you are dehydrated and are in need of water. This is the only time you should drink water. You should also count your daily intake and take the average (6-8). Check your urine colour as well, and keep it at the normal shade of pale yellow. fatigue because lack of activity, prolonged or short sleep, and eating heavy can be your source of weakness.