"Drink more water," they said. "It'll make you healthier," they said.
Well, they were definitely not lying about the fact that drinking plenty of water will make you feel and look better. But what they often neglect to tell you is that there is such a thing as drinking too much water.
Doctors and other health experts have made it clear that drinking H2O is crucial for our body. However, one should be careful not to over-hydrate because it is just as dangerous as dehydration.
Drinking too much water can lead to severe issues, like water intoxication, also known as hyponatremia.
This causes the sodium in the blood to drop to abnormally low levels, forcing your cells to swell up, according to the Mayo Clinic. The swelling, which affects different parts of the body, can cause some potentially life-threatening complications, and even death.
So how do you know you're drinking too much water? Here are some important signs you can watch out for:
1. Your urine is clear
There's a huge misconception that when you're healthy and properly hydrated your pee is supposed to be clear as crystal. Seeing no color in your urine is an indicator that your water intake is too high.
If you're only drinking a normal amount of water, your urine color will appear straw-colored or transparent yellow.
Try cutting back on the number of glasses you drink per day. The average person should be consuming about eight to ten glasses daily, but these figures change based on your weight, height and physical activity level.
2. You pee excessively
On any given day, it's normal for the average person to urinate between six and eight times.
However, if you're someone who takes extra trips to the bathroom, especially during the night, then you're most likely drinking more water than your body can handle.
If you're already well hydrated, the water your drank throughout the day should suffice, so the best thing to do is finish your last glass a few hours before bedtime. This will give your kidneys enough time to filter the water before you fall asleep.
3. Your body parts are swollen
As mentioned earlier, when your cells swell up due to hyponotremia, the rest of your body also follows suit.
You may notice that your hands, feet, and lips are bigger than usual and maybe even slightly discolored. Some people will gain water weight because of the excess amount of H2O in their blood stream.
The best way to eliminate these symptoms is by reducing the amount of water your drink, especially if you drink more than 10 cups a day. If the condition persists, then you should see a doctor immediately.
4. You frequently feel tired
It's normal to feel tired after a long day of work and running errands, but this feeling shouldn't last after you get adequate rest.
There could be a lot of reasons why you suddenly start to experience fatigue, and over-hydration is one of them. When you drink too much water, your kidneys have to work overtime to filter the fluid through your body, which in turn triggers your stress hormone, leaving you feeling stressed and tired.
Restore balance in your body by limiting your water intake. If excessive consumption of H2O is really the culprit, you'll feel better in no time.
5. You have intense headaches and nausea
Headaches, nausea and vomiting are all signs of dehydration, and much to everyone's surprise, over-hydration too.
Since your kidneys are unable to get rid of the excess fluids, water starts to accumulate within your body, causing some unpleasant symptoms.
The reduction in your body's sodium content also leads to headaches. This happens because your organs, including the brain swell up. The pressure against the skull is what triggers the intense headaches you may feel.
6. You experience cramps and muscle spasms
Water is important in helping your body balance electrolytes. When you have too little of the liquid, you electrolyte levels drop and you'll experience some discomfort, including cramps and muscle spasms.
If you're having trouble cutting back on the amount of water you drink, try replacing a couple of glasses with coconut water or adding sea salt or lemon to your meals. They're all natural and chock-full of electrolytes.