Consuming water excessively can have numerous unwanted effects, together with muscle cramping from electrolyte imbalance and a rise in urine frequency. In excessive instances, consuming an excessive amount of water can result in fatal water intoxication, also called water toxemia, water poisoning, or hyperhydration.
“In overhydration an extra of water dilutes the electrolyte concentrations within the blood, inflicting imbalance all through the physique’s many methods,” doctor Catherine Waldrop, M.D., tells mbg. Electrolytes, like sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, are charged ions important for a lot of mobile processes. “When the focus of electrolytes within the blood is just too low, it makes practically all mobile processes much less environment friendly to almost inconceivable,” she says.
The most typical electrolyte imbalance, which could be attributable to consuming an excessive amount of water, is named hyponatremia (aka low sodium within the blood). “Gentle hyponatremia is characterised by gastrointestinal tract signs, nausea, vomiting, lack of urge for food,” one research says, whereas, extra critical instances lead to extra water and swelling within the mind, resulting in seizures, comas, or impaired psychological standing.
This seemingly loopy phenomenon is extra frequent for folks going via intense coaching applications, together with triathlon or ultramarathon runners, members of the navy, or skilled athletes. In response to the U.S. Nationwide Library of Medication, extreme thirst is also triggered by medicines like diuretics, or a symptom of excessive blood sugar.