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The More Water The Better, Right?

Can you drink too much water? The answer may surprise you.

Not necessarily. It is possible to overdo it.

Water intoxication, or hyponatremia, a serious condition when blood sodium levels drop precipitously, can be caused by sweating excessively over several hours and drinking way too much water (versus a sports drink) while not eating or urinating (which often slows during intense physical activity).

This could happen to someone who engages in a long athletic event (e.g., a marathon or several day hike). Symptoms include confusion, disorientation, weakness and nausea. Hyponatremia can lead to seizures, coma and death without prompt medical attention.

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Michelle Slimak September 03, 2011 at 12:07 PM
Hey Lynette- thanks for the tip. How much water should someone who doesn't exercise much drink everyday? Should I take into account other liquids as well, or drink them in addition to the water? I have always heard 8 glasses, but I don't drink that much if anything in one day.
Lynette Ferguson September 06, 2011 at 06:49 PM
Hi Michelle, To answer your question I have consulted with Karen DiGirolamo our Health & Wellness Director, she said the following: Water is essential to good health, yet needs vary by individual. Water is your body’s principle chemical component and makes up about 60 percent of your body. The institute of Medicine advises that men consume roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day and women consume 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day. You may need to modify your total fluid intake depending on how active you are, and your health status. To ward off dehydration and make sure our body has the fluids it needs, make water your beverage of choice. Drink a glass of water with each meal and between each meal. Hydrate before, during and after exercise If you are concerned about your fluid intake, it is a good idea to check with your doctor or a registered dietician.

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