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Can You Die From Drinking Too Much Water?

Updated on June 5, 2013

Water Can Kill You!

The Dose Makes The Poison

There are many commonly consumed drugs and foods that can kill you dead if you take too much. Things like water and Coca-Cola. But how much really is too much? Let's find out.


Lets start with water. Every so often, if you follow the news, you'll read about someone, usually a woman on a diet, but also occasionally an athlete in training, who dies from water overdose. And I don't mean drowning. I mean just drinking too much water. So, how much is too much?

Well, here is a news article about a woman who wanted win a WII, and was in a contest to see how long they could go without weeing. They were given little bottles of water to drink, one after another, and they had to resist the urge to go. She drank a bit too much, and it killed her. Dead. Pretty nasty way to go, too. She complained of the awful pain.

And how about the mother of five children who wanted to lose a bit of weight. She went on a fad diet, and was advised to drink 4 liters of water every day. She did. After a few weeks, it killed her.

The diet company that sells this idea basically just said that she didn't follow the rules. It wasn't their fault that they told her to drink poison! It was her fault for believing them, and not precisely following the rules.

Even athletes can die from drinking too much. A marathoner over-drank during her race, with the expected results when you consume a deadly poison like water.

Folks, there really is a simple rule to limit how much you drink. If you are not thirsty, don't drink! A billion years of evolution has the thirst mechanism honed pretty well.

Coca-Cola Can Kill You Dead!


So, how about other things to drink. How about Coca Cola? How much can kill you? How about ten liters a day? Yep. That'll do it.

Basically, this lady lived on nothing much but Coke and cigarettes. Her husband says she started drinking Coke in the morning, before even getting out of bed, and kept it up all day long, sipping in between her 30 cigarettes. What amazes me is that she lasted for years on this diet. People are pretty tough!

Now, to be honest, if four liters of water drunk too fast will kill you, I really doubt that lady was drinking ten liters of Coke a day. But who really knows? Maybe she did. Anyway, according to the doctor, it killed her dead.

So, apparently coke is a lot less dangerous than pure water. Remember that little fact, kids.

Beer Is Dangerous? How Come Nobody Told Me?


How about beer? Can beer kill you? Well, sure, if you drive after drinking beer, you are pretty likely to die. But that is a result beer-stupidity, not the beer itself killing you. How many actual cans of beer would you have to drink for it to kill you?

Well, according to this police website, it would take about 18 to 20 beers to kill an average, 180 pound guy. That is if drunk in one hour. Hmm. That reminds me of the water drinker above. Maybe it isn't just the alcohol killing you, but the water in the alcohol?

Sorry, really shouldn't joke here, cause alcohol poisoning isn't a joke. Every year we read about kids, and it is almost always kids, who are encouraged or forced to drink huge amounts, and it ends up killing them. It would be hard to drink 18 beers in an hour. But what about vodka, drunk from a bottle? Sure. Lots of us did that, when we were young and stupid. Dumb luck kept us alive, and that's all.

And remember, skinny ladies, it takes less to kill a girl than a big guy. It comes down to body mass. Don't go shot for shot with the guys.

Eggs Ain't So Bad. How about 50 A Day?


How about food? Everyone knows eggs are poison, all that evil cholesterol. Eat too many and you fall right over, dead.

After All That, I Need A Breath Of Fresh Air.


Surely we all need oxygen to live, right? But oxygen is a poison. Too much of it, especially at high pressure will cause all sorts of bad things, leading right up to death. Your eyeballs pop out (actually it is just the retinas, not the whole eyeball), your lungs collapse, and then you have seizures and die. Pretty, huh?

How much is too much? It is oxygen under pressure and high concentration that kills. So, just breathing hard isn't going to give you enough oxygen to kill you. You would need to be breathing oxygen at about eight times normal atmospheric concentration for it to kill you in a short time, under an hour. But there are people who do all sorts of crazy things. Like divers.

Divers rarely use pure oxygen, but even normal air, under high pressure like on deep dives, is dangerous.The short of it is, don't breath pressurized oxygen without knowing what you are doing, training, and someone to watch out for you when you go into convulsions!

Paul Newman Eats 50 Eggs

The Dose Makes The Poison. Let's Hear Your Opinion.

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    • Marisa Wright profile image

      Kate Swanson 5 years ago from Sydney

      I must say, I hadn't heard of it either. However, it makes sense if you think about it. People with chronic heart failure are given diuretics to get rid of excess fluid in the body, because their heart can no longer process it efficiently. So for anyone with a heart problem, it's vital to strike a balance between getting enough fluid to stay healthy, vs drinking too much and putting a strain on the heart. It's easy to do - just drink enough so your pee is a pale straw colour. Any paler and you're drinking too much: any darker and you're not drinking enough. Most people can manage that on less than 2 litres a day.

    • tmbridgeland profile image

      tmbridgeland 5 years ago from Small Town, Illinois

      Hi Marisa. This is new info for me. I had never heard that such a low amount of liquid could be dangerous. Athletes have become much more aware of the danger of excess water in recent years, since a few professional athletes died in training.

    • Marisa Wright profile image

      Kate Swanson 5 years ago from Sydney

      Hallelujah, finally someone who sees through the water myth! In fact, water can be very dangerous to some people in much smaller quantities. My sister had a heart attack and she has now been told she mustn't drink more than two litres (3.5 pints) of fluid daily. And that's counting ALL fluids, not just water. That's because excess fluid puts too much stress on a weak heart.

      There are a lot of people walking around with undiagnosed heart problems and they're all being put at risk by the push to drink, drink, drink - which was all an advertising gimmick by the bottled water industry, and not scientifically proven at all.

    • tmbridgeland profile image

      tmbridgeland 5 years ago from Small Town, Illinois

      LetitiaFt thanks.

    • LetitiaFT profile image

      LetitiaFT 5 years ago from Paris via California

      Very funny and voted such. Enjoyed it immensely.

    • tmbridgeland profile image

      tmbridgeland 5 years ago from Small Town, Illinois

      Thank you, sir!

    • molometer profile image

      molometer 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      How ironic that the woman died because she wanted to win a WII.

      That really takes the biscuit.

      Good information and quite funny too. Voting up.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 5 years ago from sunny Florida

      This really is kind of scary. Scary that sometimes choices about what he do are harmful and we do not recognizet that it will be. This reminds us that the old sayings...'all things in moderation'or 'too much of a good thing can kill you' are more truth than fiction. Thank you for so candidly stating for us what we should not need to be told.

    • tmbridgeland profile image

      tmbridgeland 5 years ago from Small Town, Illinois

      Thanks Sherry Hewins. You would think in this day, people would just use Google before having contests like this, to see what the dangers are. If they had used a sports drink, something with salt and other electrolytes in it, that woman would probably still be alive.

    • tmbridgeland profile image

      tmbridgeland 5 years ago from Small Town, Illinois

      You are right, Sheepsquatch. I have heard the same thing. Most of the world's military forces also use it in large quantities. I call for greater government controls!

    • Sheepsquatch profile image

      Sheepsquatch 5 years ago from Springfield, MO

      Yes, I have heard of this dangerous H2O substance. In a report that I read it stated that terrorists were known to carry it, and that it has been used in torture and interrogation.

    • Sherry Hewins profile image

      Sherry Hewins 5 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      I remember hearing about the woman who died from drinking too much water in that radio contest. A nurse had called the station and warned them that it was dangerous, but they went ahead with it anyway.