Water intoxication is serious. It occurs when a person drinks a large number of liters or water within an hour or less. The kidneys can only deal with about half a liter of water within each half hour at best. Increasing intake beyond that point can lead to a number of adverse reactions. Alongside there being a standardized amount of water intake each day, it is also important to keep in mind the pH level of the water and make sure a person is consuming water which contains the correct acid level for drinking water.
The major issue which arises from too much water consumption is the issue of sodium levels within the body. Sodium balances fluids within the body and by consuming massive amounts of water, an imbalance in the amount of liquids in the blood can occur. This imbalance can cause them to swell up and requires immediate medical treatment.
Over hydration is more common among endurance athletes who consume large amounts of water during, after and before training sessions. Those particularly at risk include;
- Rugby players.
- Military personal.
- Endurance runners.
- Endurance cyclists.
- Ironman triathletes.
- Marathon runners.
Symptoms of Water Intoxication
Most people don’t recognize these symptoms when they are at the initial stages and it usually as the condition worsens, that the symptoms become more prominent. They include;
- Nausea and vomiting etc
In case water levels reach a lethal and life threatening point due to a severely low level of sodium within the blood, there can be an increase in the severity of the systems. They include;
- Muscle weakness
- spasms etc
Signs of Water Intoxication
Those who consume massive amounts of water for training sessions have the following early signs. These are a good indication that it is time to limit a person’s consumption of water. The symptoms include;
1. Clear Urine
Those who drink a healthy amount of water have urine which is either straw colored or transparent yellow. Many believe that having clear urine is a positive sign whereas it is a sign to limit water intake. For the majority of the population, drinking around eight or ten glasses of water is considered a safe average amount. However this suggestion varies based upon an individual’s weight, height, and lifestyle habits.
2. Frequent Urination
Those people who consume so much water that they find themselves running to the bathroom late at night should curb and limit their water intake. Most people, urinate about six or eight times a day on average. Those who find themselves urinating more than ten times a day might be consuming more water than the body needs. In order to prevent night time bathroom breaks, drinking water a couple of hours before bedtime would be an ideal option as it would give the kidneys time to filter through the water.
3. Nauseous-ness & Vomiting
This symptom is most commonly associated with dehydration and it is therefore dangerous in case someone mistakes it as such. This can lead to a worsening of the symptoms. When a person drinks too much water, the kidneys become incapable of getting rid of the water and because of that, a number of unpleasant symptoms, including vomiting, nausea as well as diarrhea could occur.
4. Throbbing Headaches
Headaches are also a sign of both, dehydration as well as over hydration. When a person consumes massive amounts of water, the sodium levels within their body diminishes and causes the cells and organs within the body to swell up. When organs like the brain swell up, it can push against the skull and cause a throbbing headache; in more dangerous cases it can cause brain impairment or trouble breathing.
5. Discoloration of Extremities
In most cases, people who consume massive amounts of water will experience a noticeable swelling of their hands, lips and feet. When the cells within the body begin to swell, so will the skin. People may also gain a large amount of water weight as a result of this. Those who drink more than ten glasses of water a day may begin to experience discoloration within their extremities.
6. Cramping & Weakness in Muscles
People who consume massive amounts of water may experience an electrolyte imbalance. This imbalance causes a number of unpleasant symptoms which include spams and cramping within the muscles. This is a symptom which can easily be remedied by substituting normal drinking water with coconut water.
7. Tiredness & Fatigue
The kidneys within the body are responsible for making sure the water within the blood stream stay at a balanced level and when a person drinks too much water, the kidneys have to work harder to filter it out. This adds an extreme amount of stress onto the body which can cause tiredness and fatigue within an individual. If someone finds it hard to get out of bed, they might be putting added stress onto their kidneys.