Is Drinking Too Much Water Bad For You?

Yes, drinking too much water is bad for you and, yes, it could potentially kill you too. There is such a thing as water intoxication or water poisoning and it occurs when one has too much water, usually within a short span of time. I know one doesn't normally associate water as being one of the causative factors for death. But, as they say, excess of anything can be bad, and in the case of water, excess can potentially kill. Generally, in day-to-day life we don't normally consume too much water. We generally only have as much as we require, as indicated by the feeling of thirst. When our thirst is quenched, we are satiated and no longer keep drinking. So, in the normal course, water intoxication is rare. In fact, many health experts advocate drinking adequate amounts of water for its health benefits. For certain ailments too, drinking adequate amounts of water is essential - ailments such as kidney stones. Adequately hydrating oneself can prevent formation of kidney stones, which is one of the most painful medical conditions around. However, you do need to be careful about drinking excessive amounts of water.

Water Drinking Contests - Watch Out!!!

 

Watch out for water-drinking contests and the like. In such contests, one can go overboard and binge on water, potentially causing a health risk to the individual concerned. People in such situations are forcing themselves to have more water than their body requires and thereby overloading their body with water. More critically, these individuals are drinking large volumes of water within an awfully short period of time. The body cannot cope with the excess volume infusion and the tissues can swell up with the excess water retained by the body. This can in turn damage the cells of the body and cause electroyte imbalance - mostly in the form of dilution of sodium - one of the essential electrolytes in the body. Medically, this condition is called hyponatremia. i.e. the body contains an abnormally low concentration of sodium circulating in the blood.

The harmful effects of this fluid overload can be reversed if prompt treatment is given by infusing salt solutions and restricting any fluid intake. It is important to stress though that water intoxication is pretty rare and, as mentioned above, occurs only in certain odd situations like water-drinking contests or sometimes during marathons, where athletes tend to take in excess fluids. In the normal course, a person normally drinks only as much water as he/she requires. So, one doesn't have to get paranoid about drinking water. You just have to make sure that you don't overdo it. Drinking 8-10 glasses of water is considered normal and that should do you no harm at all.

© 2008 Shil1978

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desert blondie profile image

desert blondie 8 years ago from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen

Yes, it is even possible to die from drinking too much water. Although an extremely RARE situation, one young woman recently died after consuming WAY TOO MUCH WATER in a very short period of time. It was in response to a radio contest, based on all this "drink 8 glasses" hype that is out there so much these days. AGAIN, this was a very extreme consumption of water over a very short period of time. But, to answer quite literally, too much water can kill. Since I don't think this is actually what you're asking, most people will never drink "too much" water to be dangerous.


april 7 years ago

I drink a lot of water more than 10 glasses..But i am always thristy..How much is to much?


Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 7 years ago Author

April, you should be just fine, as long as you spread your water intake over a period of time. Remember that overloading your system with lots and lots of water within a short period of time is what usually causes the problems.

So, basically just space out your water drinking. Also, do check out your blood sugar levels, if you feel you have excessive thirst. It is one of the signs of diabetes, not saying you could have it, but always prudent to rule it out as a cause of excessive thirst.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 7 years ago from malang-indonesia

how about fresh water and it cooked well. I think it useful for our healthy. we need just eight glass of water to keep our body healthy.We drink it regularly everyday.


valerie 6 years ago

i try to drink a gallon a day.it is spaced out throughout the day, my family thinks i should not drink so much. what do you think?


Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 6 years ago Author

Hi Valerie,

A gallon is definitely on the higher side, but if it is spaced out (as you say), then it would not harm you as such, except perhaps deplete your body salt concentrations. However, I would advise that you cut down a bit on your water intake, maybe limit it to about 12 glasses or so!!


Stella 6 years ago

HI.. I drink plenty of water, & I don't know if the comsumption i'm taking is in excess.

I have a 550ml bottle at work, & I would fill that up about at least 3-4 times at work, which mounts up to about mre than 2 litres per day?

Is that a good amount? But i do frequent the toilets as well. But am not sure if I am on the right & healthy range of practise?


Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 6 years ago Author

Stella, its perfectly alright to drink about 2 liters per day. Slightly more is fine as well, as long as you space it out over a period of time, which you seem to be doing.

So, don't worry - you are doing just fine!! They say the general rule is if you feel thirsty, you should drink and not force yourself to drink.

However, 2 liters should do you no harm at all!! Breathe easy :)


Kira 6 years ago

So I see in response to April that being thirsty all the time can be a sign of diabetes. I have (somewhat) the opposite problem ... reactive hypoglycemia. Can that be related in any way? I also drink large amounts of water throughout the day and am always thirsty. Sometimes I can drink a whole pint at once and actually find it satisfying.

Second question- Is it possible to have trained myself to drink so much that I think I'm thirsty when I'm not, similar to someone who overeats?


Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 6 years ago Author

I don't think it is related Kira. There's nothing wrong in the amount of water you drink, from the amount you've stated. Just as long as it is spaced out.

I am not sure if you can train yourself to feel thirsty. I'd think you'd know when you are thirsty and when you are not. Also, the feeling of thirst can vary depending on whether its winter or summer.

Also, depends on whether you are doing lots of physical activity or not. So, its very subjective. I don't think you have anything to worry per se. However, to reassure yourself there isn't an underlying medical condition, you could undergo a complete blood test.


green tea-cher profile image

green tea-cher 6 years ago

Interesting topic.Recently, friends of ours lost their child during surgery because of too much IV fluid administered during surgery for the child's body weight. It was a simple tonsillectomy which was successful but after recovery the patient began to hemorrhage so he had to go back to into surgery. The addition of the second IV in such a short span of time caused his death while under anesthetic. Unfortunately , when the boy started failing, the surgeon's thought it had more to do with his blood loss and the cause was not discovered until the autopsy.

It's good information you have put out here because I feel that tragedies can be avoided if people know the risks of the drinking contests.


Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 6 years ago Author

Thanks again GTC for dropping by this hub and for sharing this tragic story. Feel for the parents, very unfortunate!!

Yes, I wish more people learn about the risks involved, while participating in these seemingly innocuous contests.

Thanks again for the visit. Appreciate your comments. This hub is richer due to your comment. Thanks :)


cgm 6 years ago

my 3 yr old girl has been on a drinking water benge for about a week now. she drinks water all the time. i offer her milk and pop and tea and she wont drink it. is that something to be concerned about


Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 6 years ago Author

Well, cgm, it really depends on the exact amount and whether she tends to drink it all at the same time. As I've stated before, if it is spaced out - it won't cause any harm.

I would suggest you time her water drinking events by keeping a log. Also, get an estimate of how much water she really drinks in a day. Often times, we think someone is drinking lots of water when they really are not!

Personally, for a 3-year-old, I would consider the normal amount to be around 4 (maybe 5) eight-ounce glasses per day, so if your girl is drinking around that much, she should be perfectly okay.

Just make sure she spaces it out, or at least doesn't drink most of it in one session!!

Do note though that I am not a doctor. You may seek the opinion of your primary care doc too to get an idea of what they consider normal and if at all, they would want to run any tests!!


GmaGoldie profile image

GmaGoldie 6 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

I write often on water - never heard this one! Great Hub! Thank you very much for the information.


Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 6 years ago Author

Thank you GG for stopping by this hub and for your kind comments! Appreciate it very much :)


nikki1 profile image

nikki1 6 years ago

Yes, you can drown. Great hub.


Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 6 years ago Author

Thank you Nikki for stopping by and commenting. Glad you liked this hub :)


ABS 6 years ago

but what if i'm drinking too much but not all of that is water? some of them are milk, softdrinks, ice coffee and iced tea? and of course water. is that still dangerous?


Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 6 years ago Author

ABS, it will be dangerous only if you drink large quantities of it over a short period. All the things you mentioned are water primarily!!


hiddenmgr 6 years ago

I have been drinking 24 cupes of water a day for the past 2 weeks so what is a good amount if that is too much?


Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 6 years ago Author

Hiddenmgr - Although a bit on the higher side, it would not do you any harm at all - just space it out over the day and you'd be just fine.

As I've stated before in this article, water-drinking contests in which you down large amounts of water over a very short duration is what people should be worried about!!


MyMastiffPuppies profile image

MyMastiffPuppies 6 years ago

Great information! Most people worry about not drinking enough water but I had heard about the flip side of too much. So many just are not aware of some of the unexpected things that can harm us, so very good job on the guide of what might be too much.


Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 6 years ago Author

Thank you MMP for stopping by and commenting. Thanks for your appreciation of this hub :)


5 years ago

I drink around anywhere fromlike 8 litres of water a day to around 12 but usually around 10 and im wondering if that is really bad for me like i literally will drink a case (24 bottles) of water in a day and im not really sure if thats bad for me considering i've done this for the like past 6 months even though a lot of people say i shouldn't im just always thirsty and can take a water bottle (500ml) and just drink it in 15 seconds and grab another one and do the same thing im around 5"11.5 200lbs does anyone know if this is bad for me


5 years ago

this didn't just start 6 months ago to clarify i've always had this were i drink huge amounts of water daily and i usually drink fluids faster then everyone else IE: going to a restaurant ill be half way done my second drink before anyone else is even close to halfway done there drink


Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 5 years ago Author

Thank you 'C' for stopping by and sharing your story. Well, quite honestly, I am surprised that you drink as much water as you do!! Your body doesn't require more than a maximum of 3 liters per day.

Do you really feel thirsty - that you drink all that water? Or do you drink because you have become habituated to drinking as much? Generally, your body tells you when you require water - the feeling of thirst.

In your case, I would say you are putting yourself at risk. Beyond a max of 7 liters a day, it is really, really dangerous. I would suggest you bring this up with your doctor. There may be an underlying medical condition responsible for this.

My advice till then will be to space out your drinking. For example, don't down two 500 mL bottles of water under a minute or even 1 bottle in a minute for that matter - as you seem to be doing now. Try training yourself to drink around a glass of water every hour (unless you are undertaking a lot of physical activity in which case you can drink more) as a start and do consult your doctor. Best of luck!!


5 years ago

Thank yu for replying so quickly shil1978. Yes I am thirsty when I drink it so it's not just a habitual thing I will take your advice and consult my doctor thank you. Also what is the really dangerous part of drinking 7+ litres a day considering in the past four hours I've been awake I've already drunken 7 litres of water not counting milk Ect


Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 5 years ago Author

My pleasure 'C' - seems you have excessive thirst, which is often a symptom of various medical conditions, one of which is diabetes. Not saying you have it, but always better to see a doc and get tested.

The dangerous part in general is the effect it might have on the electrolyte balance in your body - electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, calcium, etc. The levels of these change with the water levels in your body. If these fall to abnormally low levels, conditions such as irregular heartbeat, adverse effects on the brain that can cause seizures, among various other conditions can result.

Do note that, it is not necessarily HOW MUCH you drink, rather HOW FAST you drink in most cases. Theoretically, your kidneys may be able to process the 10 liters per day without difficulty; in fact, healthy kidneys can process up to 15 liters per day.

However, my concern is that you seem to be drinking much of the water QUITE FAST. So, it is more important to SPACE IT OUT, rather than down large amounts of water at one go.

However, as I've stated before, it is better to get an ALL CLEAR from your doc - just to rule out any underlying medical conditions for your excessive thirst!!


5 years ago

Alright thanks Shil1978


Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 5 years ago Author

You are welcome 'C' - take care!!


Anu 5 years ago

hi,very very informative for women like me who all are thinking excessive water consumption is good.now i understand your concept very well.before the day starts am gng to measure 8 liters of water to consume,so that i will not exceed!!!thank you....


Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 5 years ago Author

Thank you, Anu, for stopping by and commenting. You don't really have to consume 8 liters of water a day. Your body would do just fine with about 3 liters a day.


Grace 5 years ago

Hi shil1978,

I was really under the impression that consuming lots of water is really good for health.This section was really informative for me.


Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 5 years ago Author

Hi Grace, I thought that too! As they say, too much of anything is bad. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!!


search 5 years ago

hello Shil1978

ever since i was born ive always had excess thirst. im 16 and i drink about 6-8liters everyday. I go to the bathroom a lot but i think my bladder can hold a lot more water than other people. Ive learnt to deal with it all these years, and don't see it as a problem. But now i would like to tone my body up and gain muscle. ive always been an active person and don't get tired as quickly as other people. Ive recently done some research and i think i have polydipsia. But i don't see as drinking so much water is a bad thing for me, but if i do want to put on more weight would i need to stop drinking so much? and would polydipsia cause long term affects?

thanks


Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 5 years ago Author

Hi "search," polydipsia is just the medical word for prolonged excessive thirst. It is not a disease in and of itself, but more a symptom of other potential medical conditions. A lot of medical conditions have polydipsia as one of the symptoms - there are many really, so it wouldn't help if I list them all out to you. The only definitive way you'd know for sure is if you have testing done through your doctor.

Am aware of certain studies that have been done that have come to the conclusion that drinking water can help reduce weight, but as far as I know, this is water that you drink before a meal. It helps indirectly by filling up your stomach and ensuring that you don't eat as much. So, well, going by that theory - you shouldn't be drinking water before a meal, if you need to increase your weight. I doubt though you'd gain much muscle this way. You'd need protein supplementation for that!!

About the last part, as I've stated before, there would be a reason for your polydipsia - only a doctor can give you a definitive diagnosis of the exact medical condition that could be causing your polydipsia, based on medical tests. So, I'd encourage you to see a doctor regarding this. Wish you good health!!


search 5 years ago

hey shil,

i understand what you mean about polydipsia, but i don't think i have any diseases like diabetes. As i said, i was born with this problem and lived with it all my life. I wouldn't actually say its a problem tbh, i think polydipsia helps me in some ways, i think that drinking so much water speeds my body more then other people, if you get what i mean. I concentrate a lot and i also have a great memory. I do eat a lot of food, i'm also hungry a lot of the time, my dinner plate is as much as my fathers :p. Water before food has a reverse effect on me, i actually feel much more hungry if i drink water before a meal. I haven't been to a doctor for a very long time, and never have i had a blood test. i have no idea why nothing is wrong with me, i would think by now i would get a heart attack, or kidney failure...but no i feel great and i rarely ever get a headace or pains in my body. My friends say i drink so much water, at school alone i drink about 3 1/2 liters, and even at night time i wake up and get a glass of water, sometimes 3 times a night but i do sleep well. i guess my body has learnt to deal with it. So would there be a great need to see a doctor? i know ive got nothing to loose but should i be worried?


misba  5 years ago

hi..

over the last couple of weeks iv been drinking about 3 litres of water and my lower stomach is really hurting. im 15 years old and female....so is it anything to worry about...should i go to the doctor?


Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 5 years ago Author

Hi Misba, it is unlikely that the pain in your stomach is related to drinking water. Would advise you to go to your doctor to have it checked out. If the pain keeps coming on and isn't a one-off, then it is prudent to have it checked by a doctor in my opinion.


matt 5 years ago

I drank too much water i think.

B/c now, after drinking too big super gulp sizes in about 2 hours, I haven't had to urinate at all.

Plus, I have this little pain that comes from my testicular area, off and on.

What should i do???


mads 5 years ago

hi,my patient has a chronic kidney disease and she can take only 1liter of fluid including juices,tea,& soup.It is okay for her?


Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 5 years ago Author

Hi 'mads,' I am not a qualified medical professional to answer your question accurately. I am sure you'd find the answer by talking to someone specializing in the field. My intent behind the creation of this article was to warn about the dangers of binging on water!!


oh no 5 years ago

i never knew too much water was bad and me and my partner just drank 7 glasses each in less then ten minutes will we be ok please reply asap thanks


Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 5 years ago Author

Sorry, I couldn't reply to this earlier or in time. You shouldn't have had a problem is my guess, though it isn't advisable or makes any sense to gulp down that many in such a short time!!


Zabbella profile image

Zabbella 5 years ago from NJ-USA

Interesting! I never thought that anyone can binge on water. I read some of the comments, and your answers are good. They should see a doctor because folks can have diabetes and not be aware of it. Thirst is among the early symptoms of diabetes.Good hub.


Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 5 years ago Author

Yes, Zabbella, it isn't something that is widely known. You are right also about the connection with diabetes. That is something one needs to rule out if one has excessive thirst. Thank you for your appreciation and thanks for stopping by and commenting :)


virginia 4 years ago

I am worried because I am over 50 and drink so much water like over 30 glasses a day and now go to the bathroom over and over but I can't get enough water. I am very concern.


btonyb321 4 years ago

I just wish people who write on the internet would stop exaggerating. I do not know of anyone dying from drinking water unless they were being tortured with it. But I know of thousands who die every day because they can't drink enough of it. I just wish the drama queens would get some perspective and stop trying to frighten people with their ill informed opinions.


Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 4 years ago Author

Virginia, I'd advise that you go to your doc and find out why you have this excessive thirst. There are many medical conditions that have excessive thirst as one of its symptoms and there is no way of knowing which ( if any ) you have, unless you get thorougly worked up by a doc. Wish you well!!


Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 4 years ago Author

Tony, I am not overstating at all. Just because you do not know of anyone personally dying from water intoxication does not mean that the threat does not exist. I'd urge you to read the following two links from governmental websites (which I hope you'd trust more than my writings here),

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC177006...

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12053855

As you might have noticed, the threat is very much real and should not be ignored. My intention is not to frighten people, but rather make them aware of this less known danger. We all hear about how healthy drinking lots of water is, but people should know of the danger of overdoing it!!


Mahesh 4 years ago

I drink 600ml water in every hour from 9.30 am to 3 pm and in the evening I take some 6 glasses (3 at a time)of water. is it healthy ? or Should I decrease the amount?


Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 4 years ago Author

Mahesh, if I have understood you correctly, you take 600 mL x 5, i.e. 3000 mL or 3 liters from 9:30 to 3 p.m. alone. Your evening consumption of 6 glasses may approximate to 1.5 liters. So, you may be consuming a total of 4.5 liters a day.

Now, that is a bit too high. An average human only needs about 2 liters of water during the whole day (plus or minus about 1/2 to 1 liter to account for excess heat, etc).

That said, the risk of water intoxication is greatest when you consume lots of water within a few hours - say if you consume 5 liters or more within a span of a few hours.

So, you may be fine even with that above-normal amount of water consumption provided it is spaced out evenly through the day, but I would suggest you to get checked up by a doc - just in case your excess water consumption is due to excessive thirst that may be brought on by a medical condition like diabetes.


Janny 4 years ago

a drink aglass of water and after 30min i go for ashort call,do need to see a doctor?


Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 4 years ago Author

The normal amount an average person needs is about 8-10 glasses of water. If I assume that you are drinking a glass of water every 30 mins, then how many glasses would that come to on a daily basis? In an hour - 2 glasses; in 15 hours, 30 glasses? That would be quite a lot.

If that's how much you drink daily, then yes - you should see a doc to know why you may be feeling so thirsty. I am of course assuming you are consuming that much due to thirst and not as part of a planned schedule!!

You may of course not be drinking as much. The only way to know is to track your daily total intake of water.


Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 4 years ago Author

The normal amount an average person needs is about 8-10 glasses of water. If I assume that you are drinking a glass of water every 30 mins, then how many glasses would that come to on a daily basis? In an hour - 2 glasses; in 15 hours, 30 glasses? That would be quite a lot.

If that's how much you drink daily, then yes - you should see a doc to know why you may be feeling so thirsty. I am of course assuming you are consuming that much due to thirst and not as part of a planned schedule!!

You may of course not be drinking as much. The only way to know is to track your daily total intake of water.


Paul 4 years ago

I'd like to make sure that you mention that normal water consumption is also determined by body weight. As an obese man, I am supposed to drink right around 2 gallons a day, just as the "8 glasses a day" is designed for the average weight man.

Keep in mind, also, that the actual measurement for 8 glasses a day was based on a mL per calorie measurement, and based on the average diet at the time of the study, the measurement came out to ~64oz a day. Also, the explanation following this finding, showed that a large amount of this water comes in the food we eat, so the actual requirement for 'drinking' water can be much lower.

I'd also like to add that drinking 1-2 litres when you first wake up, before you eat or drink anything else, will kickstart your day like you would not believe. It starts to flush out all of the "toxins", or the crud that accumulates overnight, and it gets you cleaned up for the day. You'll need the toilet pretty quickly after this, so be warned. If you try this, you'll find that you are more alert than you normally are after your coffee.


Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 4 years ago Author

Paul, the simplest way to avoid all these measurements and figures is to drink only when you are thirsty. Thirst is your body's way of telling you that you need to take in some water and your body can't go wrong in most cases, except if you have medical conditions that cause excessive thirst.

Generally, water intake shouldn't harm you as long as you don't binge on lots of water over a short period of time. You make some good points, Paul, about the measurements.

The point about kickstarting your day with 1-2 liters, well I guess it works for you and I can believe you on that. However, I don't think everyone needs to do that as a routine!

Thanks much for sharing your perspective on the subject, Paul - your views are much appreciated!!


Aprilr685 4 years ago

I have been eating ice since I was pregnant with my first child eight years ago. Within the last year I have been going to Sonic every five to six days and picking up a ten pound bag of ice. I typically eat one to two 24 to 32 ounce cups in a sitting, three or four times a day. Sometimes I begin shaking because I get so cold after eating it, then I drink a cup of coffee, but upon doing that I feel like I need more ice. Then I get short of breath or nauseous...sometimes I can eat ice first thing in the morning and not be hungry until after lunchtime.

I take college classes online so mostly I'm working on my computer, so I'm not getting a huge amount of exercise outside of typical household duties and errands. I don't have insurance so I haven't seen a doctor, but I feel like I need to eat the ice, I don't do it because I want to.

I have become nervous lately that I am going to give myself water poisoning, but it's like it's an addiction. I've tried iron pills (I was told I had anemia when I was pregnant so I thought it might help) and multi-vitamins, but they make me feel sick and I still crave the ice. Does this sound like any specific condition, or does it sound like a bad habit? If so, what can I do that will help me break this horrid habit???


Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 4 years ago Author

April, you may have pagophagia - that is the medical term used to describe a condition where people have the compulsive and repeated need to eat ice. Generally, this is a common symptom of iron-deficiency anemia. If you do have it ( as you indicated you had when you were pregnant ) then taking iron supplements should help.

This may also be related to nutritional deficits - perhaps you are not taking in adequate nutrition through the food you eat. You may try to address these two factors and see if your urge to eat ice compulsively goes away.

If iron pills make you sick, may be you can try having iron-rich foods. Here is a link to an article that explains briefly about iron-deficiency anemia and lists some iron-rich foods.

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/00...

I hope you can break this habit. All the best!!


Dr Joe 4 years ago

I'm not sure if the author of this hub has any medical training, but I do think there are some things that need to be mentioned. 1- The amount of water someone should drink depends on many factors such as weight, overall health and the amount of exercise they partake in. 2- While it's true that drinking large amounts of liquid in a short period of time can be dangerou, low serum sodium levels tend to occur mainly during heavy exercise such as marathons. 3- It also depends on the type of liquid you're drinking. For instance, if you're drinking something that is primarily water based, but it also contains potassium and sodium like Gatorade, then you're probably replacing a portion of the electrolytes that you're losing.

You don't want to generalize about the 2 liters per day theory too much. It all depends on the individual. For some that is too much, for others not enough. I suggest everyone speak with their personal physician if they have any concerns about this matter and rely less on someone who writes a blog online. Only your doctor will know what's best in your particular situation.


Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 4 years ago Author

Dr. Joe, I have not trained as a physician though do have a medical background. Being a doctor, you do know best and I agree with the points you make. If you read through the comments, I do encourage those who have concerns about their water intake to seek medical advice from a doctor.

Also, if you read through my comments, I do not say that 2 liters is "too much." On the contrary, I've reassured those who were concerned about drinking that amount. What I stated was that an average human requires about that much, and by average, I do not mean those who take part in marathons or who exercise heavily.

Thank you, Dr. Joe, for stopping by and commenting. I appreciate your comments greatly!!


4 years ago

I'm a bit concerned as earlier on (approx 4 hours ago) I drank about 2 or 2.4 litres of water in the space of about 2 and a half hours. Will this harm me?


Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 4 years ago Author

No, it will not harm you. You'd be fine. As long as you don't drink large quantities of water within the space of a few minutes ( more than what your body tells you to drink to quench your thirst ) - you should be fine!! In your case, you've consumed this amount over a period of 2-1/2 hours and so there is no cause for concern.


4 years ago

OK...about half of that was within 20 minutes however, is this dangerous? I was really thirsty basically, and drank several glasses of water, and afterwards realised i'd consumed about a litre...I wouldn't normally do this and just wondered if it was ok?


Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 4 years ago Author

I don't think it is dangerous, B. The only thing you need to be careful about is in not overloading your system by drinking water beyond the feeling of your normal thirst. If you do feel that you tend to get thirsty excessively, you should see your doctor to get checked out if there is a medical reason behind your excessive thirst - assuming you have it. Otherwise, you should just be fine, especially as you normally don't do this!!


4 years ago

Thank you...I've really restricted my intake today and only really drank a powerade to make sure I would get some electrolytes, just to be on the safe side! It's scary and confusing reading the information regarding water intoxication online!


Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 4 years ago Author

B, you don't have to really be concerned about this. As I state in the article, the problem arises only when you take part in abnormal situations like water drinking contests, etc - where you are basically drinking water just for the sake of it, not because of thirst.

In the normal course, we only drink when we feel thirsty and we rarely overdrink, so you don't have to really restrict your water intake - the other end of the spectrum is dehydration and you don't want to get dehydrated from not drinking enough water.

So, drink when you feel thirsty and you should be fine!!


Neha 4 years ago

I Drink too much water when i'm tensed. my this problem appeard from few moths ago. what's the reason?


Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 4 years ago Author

Hi Neha, do check with your doctor. I cannot say what the reason is, only your doctor can shed some light on this based on some medical tests or your medical history!!


Concerned39 4 years ago

Hi, I drink about 10 liters of water in a day, and sometimes up to 14, is this normal for a 15 year old male. About 5 foot 10 and 145 lbs.


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Shil1978 4 years ago Author

Concerned39, do talk to a doctor. There may be an underlying medical cause to your excessive thirst. I'd recommend you get a check-up done with your doctor!!


smp 4 years ago

I had Renal failure in 2006 and I'm a diabetic since 2003. I been having a problem with drinking to much water and not drinking enough water. How much water is enough and how much is to much. Dr. in hosiptal says I not drinking enough and my Dr. says I'm drinking to much. and I'm getting sick. what to much what not enough?


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Shil1978 4 years ago Author

Honestly, smp, I haven't a clue as to why both your doctors are giving you seemingly varying advice. Perhaps, you could ask them both to give you an exact or approximate measurement of how many ounce glasses of water you need to be drinking. Hopefully, that should clear up things for you. Wish you better health and take care!!


Molly 4 years ago

I suffered from Water intoxication after drinking a gallon of water in 30 min due to a baldder infection and trying to flush out the pain and bacteria. I was treated at home by my spouse who has a sports science degree with salt and dieretics. I suffered from nausea, confusion and pressure head pain. This happened 2 days ago and I have restricted water intake and am drinking gatorade. I have no idea when I am in the clear and do not have to worry anymore and when I can start drinking water again.. I can not find any info on the internet to let me know I am ok now.. I also had no idea about water intoxication before this happened ...


Rupam Dutta 4 years ago

My wife is drinking almost 40 glass of water a day for the last 15 days. Which I find is abnormal. She feels dizzy and weak if she does not intake water once she is thirsty. She is not able to sleep well during the night since she wakes up frequently to meet the thirst for water. Please advise.


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Shil1978 4 years ago Author

Rupam, you should really consult a doctor to find out the source for her excessive thirst. I wouldn't be able to advise without knowing the full facts that can only be known by examination and perhaps lab tests.


Mette 4 years ago

I usually don't drink more than 2 liters a day but when I do drink water it's 500ml bottle all at once. Four times a day- I have now noticed I keep getting severe headaches whenever I drink water. maybe I don't sweat enough as I live in a very cold climate and very slim so going to the gym just seems a hassle. I am having splitting headaches right now after drinking water- I am freaking tbh.


fahad 4 years ago

hello, due to dehydration i started taking lots of water about 5 ltrs daily if nt less and especially right after food . Nw i hv developed complete indigestion . Is it related?


JewelLee 4 years ago

Hi, for those who aren't convinced drinking too much water can have serious consequences ...

My 12 yr old boys just had a water drinking contest. In the fifteen minutes or so in which I was outside running our dog, they both drank eight 8oz glasses of water and one was working on his ninth. I got online to see if I should be concerned and found this site. Then I called the Soonercare nurse line. The nurse had me call poison control. She instructed them to eat something salty (chips), no more water this evening, and told me to keep a close eye on them in case they begin having symptoms such as vomiting, confusion/disorientation, or seizure activity. If they have any of these symptoms, they are to go to the ER immediately. She told me to tell them never to do this again because it can kill them. Just thought I'd let your readers know. We should make sure our kids know how dangerous this can be because an innocent playful competition can quickly become a tragedy due to a simple lack of knowledge. And to one of the commenters here ... it's not being overly dramatic at all. Just ask the poison control center. Thanks.


Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 4 years ago Author

Thank you, Jewel, for sharing your boys' experience. Unfortunately, a lot of people aren't convinced about the real dangers involved in gulping down serious amounts of water in a very short time, as happens in water drinking contests and the like.

If only instead of dismissing the dangers outright, they speak to their doctors, they'd get some perspective. Am glad you took the right steps in getting professional help and ensuring your boys' were monitored for any danger signs. I just hope more people are aware of this lesser known danger.

I hope the other visitors to this article look up your post - they'd learn much on how real the dangers are. Thanks again for stopping by and taking the time to share your story - greatly appreciate your doing so! Do spread the word on this to others your know! Wish you and your boys good health :)

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