According to a new study published last week in New England Journal of Medicine, drinking too much water can kill you.

The study found that an alarming number of runners and other athletes are at risk from drinking too much water.Can Drinking Too Much Water Kill You?
The problem is that drinking too much water dilutes the blood’s normal salt content, producing a condition known as hyponatremia.

Hyponatremia is a condition known as “water intoxication.” It is the opposite of dehydration, and is often associated with long distance events like running and cycling. Moreover, it’s not an unusual problem, and you can develop it in a few hours.

What Happens When You Drink Too Much Water?

As you consume large amounts of water over the course of a day, blood plasma (the liquid part of blood) increases thereby diluting the salt content of the blood.

At the same time, your body also loses salt by sweating. Consequently, the amount of electrolytes available to your body tissues decreases over time to a point where that loss interferes with brain, heart, and muscle function!

Excess fluid is sucked from the bloodstream into cells–including brain cells–making them swell. Pressure grows inside the skull, and that can lead to permanent damage, even death.

You have to replace these electrolytes!

They’re essential to the normal electro-chemical operation of your nervous system.

Though the condition is opposite to dehydration, the symptoms generally mirror those of dehydration (apathy, confusion,dizziness, nausea, and fatigue), although some individuals show no symptoms at all.

The World Health Organization advises the best combination of electrolytes mixed in 1 liter of water is as follows:

  • 20.0g Dextrose
  • 3.5g Sodium Chloride
  • 2.9g Trisodium Citrate
  • 1.5g Potassium Chloride

DO NOT drink soda, iced tea, coffee, or alcohol. These are all diuretics and none contain the electrolytes you’ll be in need of.

The study looked at the blood of 488 runners in the 2002 Boston Marathon. An astonishing 13% of them showed clear signs of hyponatremia, and three were at the danger level.

The condition is most likely to strike novice runners, as élite athletes don’t want to lose seconds by slowing down at the water stations that line race routes–and they know from experience that they don’t have to.

And unless there is awareness of how dangerous excessive drinking of water can be, some endurance athletes may be at risk.

Conclusion: Even if you are not an avid runner or novice athlete, you may still be consuning too much water. To much water can deplete your water of crucial minerals leading to a host of sub-clinical symptoms like fatigue, muscle weakness.. just to name a few.

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