Over hydration – Is it possible to drink too much water?

All of your major systems of your body depend on water to work properly. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day will help in reducing body temperature, flushing waste products out of the body. As water levels in your cells rise, they begin to swell, causing a variety of health problems. When the water level increased in the body, then it leads to water intoxication or low levels of sodium in the blood clinically called hyponatremia.


The amount of water in the body can be controlled by urine production in the kidneys and the thirst response. Over hydration can be caused due to drinking too much water during exercise, uncontrolled diabetes, Psychiatric conditions.

Increase in dehydration is due to reduction in blood plasma volume as blood flow to the skin is decreased. As blood flow reduces cooling and leading to higher body temperature.


  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Lethargy
  • Restlessness and irritability
  • Unconsciousness or coma
  • Muscle weakness, spasm or cramps
  • Confusion

Digestive symptoms

Over hydration may cause a sloshing sensation in your stomach, vomiting, impaired digestion, nausea and you may lose appetite.

Neurological symptoms

Neurological symptoms include mental confusion, dizziness, nausea, irritability, hallucinations, restlessness and headache. It may further lead to loss of consciousness and death from brain swelling.

Over hydration depends upon the symptoms which includes cutting back on fluid, salt intake, diuretics and medications.

Over hydration can be prevented by avoiding more than one liter per hour of fluid. Avoid sports beverages that contain the electrolytes sodium and potassium as both are less in sweat.

  • Eat half a banana before half an hour a workout to give your body the potassium needs.
  • Try to eat snacks with salt, like pretzels or chips before and after long, hot workouts.
  • Avoid taking aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen during any race or long workout, as it may interfere with kidney function.
  • Consume sports drinks with low sugar, i.e., about 5 grams per 8-ounce serving is recommended.
  • Coffee, tea and watery fruits and vegetables towards fluid intake.

Effects of over hydration


You may feel nausea and vomiting as your stomach is full and heavy. You may also experience a lack of appetite as your stomach is full. A large quantity of fluid at one time may upset the stomach.


You feel lethargic and tired due to much fluid in a short time. You may experience cramps, weakness and muscle pains.

Brain function

A large fluid intake alters sodium levels, which make your brain cells in trouble due to lack of the minerals. Your brain tries to function at lower than average sodium levels because of brain cells are plumped up with fluid causing swelling in your brain. This is dangerous and sometimes lead to death.

What are the effects of over hydration?

The effects of water and intoxication are closely interlinked to the symptoms of over hydration.

  • Digestion issues: Over hydration on the stomach fills too much fluid and prepares to digest food. This helps to present for digestion and the person starts to feel nauseated and vomit now and then. The stomach is being full of liquid that individual may lose appetite. This is capable of handling too much liquid at one time, which will process it much harder and slower. Thus, water remains in the stomach and vomiting the result. Drinking excess water leads to vomiting and dehydration. Over hydration alleviate the water intoxication problem.
  • Change in brain function: The effect of over hydration on the brain has some serious repercussions. The hyponatremia of the sodium particles is less compared to the given amount of water present in the blood. Thus, the brain cells will fill much faster with fluids. This leads to mild to severe headaches and to seizures and coma. The swelling of the brain is a very dangerous condition that as in rare cases leads to death.
  • Mood and energy fluctuation: Hyponatremia has an individual’s mood and energy levels. This may feel lethargic and tired, while at any other times that you feel irritable and is restless. The two extremes occur at the same time that is related to mood swings. But, you will also feel muscle spasms, muscle pain and overall weakness in the body.
  • Acidosis: The blood and tissues are highly acidic state. They are high in damaging to the organs. This is high in acid levels and is burning the tissues that may damage even the heart and brain. When the body fills with too much water. This is closely related to acidosis.

Hydration key moments to stay hydrated

  • Driving: The essential to remain hydrated whilst driving as dehydration that can cause fatigue and lack of concentration.
  • Working: Many people don’t drink enough amounts of working hours. This results in tiredness and is lack of concentration. This requires no physical activity with a vital to get enough water intakes.
  • Studying: The brain represents 2% of the body’s weight and helps to receives approximately 20% of the body’s blood circulation. The brain remains fully hydrated.
  • Exercising: Many people are not aware of the correct amount of water that is to intake the consumption whilst exercising. These are more than 30 minutes, ensure that you drink enough water before during and after.