Glad You’re Staying Hydrated, But It’s Possible To Drink Too Much Water
During excessively hot days like we’re having, it’s important to stay hydrated. In fact, you can’t turn on the TV or radio without folks urging you to drink plenty of fluids. However, did you know it’s possible to drink too much water?
How Much Water IsToo Much Water?
You should not drink more than 48 ounces, or six cups, of water per hour. That’s according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and an article by Aliza Chasan on CBSNews.com. Basically, this is not a big problem for most people. Because, that’s a lot of water to drink in one hour. I drink about 1 ½ – 2 gallons of water per day, even in the winter. But, I don’t think I’ve ever downed 48 ounces in one hour.
If you ever drink too much water in a short time span, symptoms you may feel include “nausea, vomiting, headaches, altered mental state/confusion, fainting, lethargy and coma.” Whoa! That last symptom is kind of scary. A good way to judge whether or not you’re overhydrating is by the color of your urine. If it’s practically clear, you may want to give your kidneys a break. Conversely, if your urine is dark yellow, you’re not drinking enough.
For the most part, overhydration is seen most often in endurance athletes. In fact, a 17-year-old high school football player in Georgia died of overhydration in 2014. Per Chasan’s article, he drank two gallons of water and two gallons of Gatorade during football practice.
What’s The Best Way To Stay Safely Hydrated?
The CDC recommends that you don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink water. You should get in the habit of downing a glass (8 ounces) of water about every 15-20 minutes if you are exercising or working outdoors in the heat. Waiting until you’re thirsty to grab a drink is the first sign that you’re dehydrated.
For example, the average man needs about 15.5 cups of water per day to stay safely hydrated. By comparison, the average woman needs about 11.5 cups per day. In addition, women who are menstruating, pregnant, or lactating should drink more than that.
It’s also important to note that your body also gets hydration from the foods you eat. So, it is equally important to eat regular meals during this hot weather to keep your electrolytes in balance.