Drinking enough water is important for the overall functions of your body. But, as we know, excess of everything is bad. Similarly drinking too much water is debilitating for your system. It can cause water poisoning and disrupt your brain function. This is called water intoxication or overhydration. When you consume an excessive amount of water, the level of sodium in your blood drops leading to fluids traveling from outside to the inside cells. This further causes swelling in the cells. 

Water intoxication can lead to swelling of your brain cells too, increasing the pressure inside your skull. The condition is characterized by headaches, vomiting, and nausea. In severe cases, water intoxication can cause double vision, drowsiness, muscle weakness, increased blood pressure, and difficulty in breathing. 

Cause of Water Intoxication

Water intoxication is rare. Usually, excessive water intake is observed in people participating in endurance training, sporting event, or those suffering from schizophrenia, personality disorder, and psychosis.

How Much Water Intake is Too Much?

Water intoxication occurs when you drink more water than your kidneys can get rid of via urine. According to a research published in the journal Annals of Pediatric Endocrinology & Metabolism, on average, your kidneys can eliminate approximately 20 to 28 liters of water in a day. Also, the organ can excrete only 0.8 to 1.0 liters of water every hour. This means you should not consume more than a liter or half a of water every hour. 

How to Prevent Water Intoxication

One of the best ways to keep water intoxication at bay is to drink water only when you feel thirsty. Also, check the colour of your urine to get an idea if you are having a too little or excessive amount of water. The dark yellow colour of your urine is a sign of dehydration. On the other hand, clear urine may be a sign that you are overhydrating your body.