Too much water?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 12, 2008 5:15 PM GMT
    one of my buddies told me that he read or heard somewhere recently that drinking too much water is not good for you. i've always heard that water is GOOD for you. so, if what he heard is true, how much is too much? i drink over 100 oz. a day and piss like a racehorse. that's ok, right? just curious.
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    Nov 12, 2008 7:11 PM GMT
    I've heard that too much water can hurt your cell integrity, but you'd need to drink more water than your body can evacuate.

    I'm guessing as long as you're not drowning water can do nothing but good.

    BTW 100oz is how much in liters?
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    Nov 12, 2008 7:23 PM GMT
    100 oz = 2.95735296875 litres
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    Nov 12, 2008 7:28 PM GMT
    So let's say 3L then.

    You're good. You are well in the recommended limits, if I remember correctly it's from 5L that its can get dangerous but that was for a test that didn't take into account sweat and similar things.
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    Nov 12, 2008 7:38 PM GMT
    i wasn't really concerned; more just curious. i sweat a lot at the gym everyday, esp after my cardio. thx for info.
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Nov 12, 2008 7:40 PM GMT
    Yes, you can. From Chemistry.com (http://chemistry.about.com/cs/5/f/blwaterintox.htm):

    Question: Can You Drink Too Much Water?

    Answer: You've probably heard that it's important to 'drink plenty of fluids' or simply 'drink lots of water'. There are excellent reasons for drinking water, but have you ever wondered if it's possible to drink too much water. Here's what you need to know:

    Can You Really Drink Too Much Water?

    In a word, yes. Drinking too much water can lead to a condition known as water intoxication and to a related problem resulting from the dilution of sodium in the body, hyponatremia. Water intoxication is most commonly seen in infants under six months of age and sometimes in athletes. A baby can get water intoxication as a result of drinking several bottles of water a day or from drinking infant formula that has been diluted too much. Athletes can also suffer from water intoxication. Athletes sweat heavily, losing both water and electrolytes. Water intoxication and hyponatremia result when a dehydrated person drinks too much water without the accompanying electrolytes.

    What Happens During Water Intoxication?

    When too much water enters the body's cells, the tissues swell with the excess fluid. Your cells maintain a specific concentration gradient, so excess water outside the cells (the serum) draws sodium from within the cells out into the serum in an attempt to re-establish the necessary concentration. As more water accumulates, the serum sodium concentration drops -- a condition known as hyponatremia. The other way cells try to regain the electrolyte balance is for water outside the cells to rush into the cells via osmosis. The movement of water across a semipermeable membrane from higher to lower concentration is called osmosis. Although electrolytes are more concentrated inside the cells than outside, the water outside the cells is 'more concentrated' or 'less dilute' since it contains fewer electrolytes. Both electrolytes and water move across the cell membrane in an effort to balance concentration. Theoretically, cells could swell to the point of bursting.

    From the cell's point of view, water intoxication produces the same effects as would result from drowning in fresh water. Electrolyte imbalance and tissue swelling can cause an irregular heartbeat, allow fluid to enter the lungs, and may cause fluttering eyelids. Swelling puts pressure on the brain and nerves, which can cause behaviors resembling alcohol intoxication. Swelling of brain tissues can cause seizures, coma and ultimately death unless water intake is restricted and a hypertonic saline (salt) solution is administered. If treatment is given before tissue swelling causes too much cellular damage, then a complete recovery can be expected within a few days.

    It's Not How Much You Drink, It's How Fast You Drink It!

    The kidneys of a healthy adult can process fifteen liters of water a day! You are unlikely to suffer from water intoxication, even if you drink a lot of water, as long as you drink over time as opposed to intaking an enormous volume at one time. As a general guideline, most adults need about three quarts of fluid each day. Much of that water comes from food, so 8-12 eight ounce glasses a day is a common recommended intake. You may need more water if the weather is very warm or very dry, if you are exercising, or if you are taking certain medications. The bottom line is this: it's possible to drink too much water, but unless you are running a marathon or an infant, water intoxication is a very uncommon condition.
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    Nov 12, 2008 8:16 PM GMT
    wow, thanks for the info, EricLA. very interesting. ok, i'm good. thx.
  • EricLA

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    Nov 12, 2008 8:20 PM GMT
    But 100 oz. does seem like an excessive amount to be drinking a day. Yes, drinking water is healthy, but sounds like you are overdoing it.
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    Nov 12, 2008 11:15 PM GMT
    TOO much water can deplete your natural sodium levels! Be careful!
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    Nov 12, 2008 11:44 PM GMT
    i know that it flushes out ur vitamins more quickly than you would like, your body does not have time to utilize them
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    Nov 13, 2008 12:06 AM GMT
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/jan/15/usa

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_intoxication

    Radio contest contestants and basic trainees have died of water poisoning. Dont forget those elecrolytes...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 13, 2008 12:15 AM GMT
    You asked a question, but, did not provide enough information for a qualified answer.

    Factors that influence your need for water include, but, are not limited to:
    Activity level
    Environment you are in
    Sodium intake
    Muscle mass
    Potassium intake


    In general, a good rule to follow is to let your body be your guide. Old school thought says that you don't get thirsty soon enough to be a good indicator, but, the newer wisdom is to let thirst be your guide.

    If you want to be real scientific about it, go get a blood test done on your electrolytes. It'll tell you if your sodium is to low, or to high, or if your potassium is to low or to high, etc..ad nauseam.

    In general, a good rule to follow is
    Keep
    It
    Simple
    Silly

    Let your body be your guide and let common sense prevail.

    I.e., if you're very active, large amounts of water would not be excessive. Your body has a way of regulating its salts. Being hydrated also helps with any number of bodily functions.

    Because I eat a clean diet, sometimes, my sodium goes low; right off the bottom end of the chart. This is very atypical of a sedentary public, however, and not something you'd generally experience in the lay population.

    Most doctors / folks in the know will tell you that your urine should be close to clear when you're properly hydrated.

    A LOT of folks bring on WAY to much sodium. Drinking plenty of water is a natural diuretic and serves to flush that sodium out.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 17, 2008 1:25 PM GMT
    hey guys thx again for all the info. i think with all the activity i do during the day, i'm good with my water intake.
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    Nov 17, 2008 2:03 PM GMT
    crownroyal117 saidhttp://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/jan/15/usa

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_intoxication

    Radio contest contestants and basic trainees have died of water poisoning. Dont forget those elecrolytes...

    I've also read about people dying or getting ill from water intoxication because they tried to "wash" the drugs out of their bodies before getting tested.
  • DiverScience

    Posts: 1426

    Nov 17, 2008 2:22 PM GMT
    Yep.

    I have kidney stones. I drink enough water a day to keep those flushed out that I have to watch that my salt intake is high enough to keep up. And when I was in the hospital they pumped so much water through my system (12L a day intravenous) that I started to get water in my lugs.

    But 3L is no biggie if you're eating normal food. That's what I aim for on a low water day. When I hit 5 and 6 I have to be careful.
  • Koaa2

    Posts: 1556

    Nov 19, 2008 12:26 AM GMT
    Can also result from mental illness.

    "Psychogenic polydipsia is the psychiatric condition in which patients feel compelled to drink large quantities of water, thus putting them at risk of water intoxication. This condition can be especially dangerous if the patient also exhibits other psychiatric indications (as is often the case), as his or her care-takers might misinterpret the hyponatremic symptoms.", from Wikipedia.