Can you drink too much water?

Everyone knows the rule, eight 8-ounce cups of water keeps the doctor away…or something like that.  Anyway, water is important.  To maintain a healthy diet, and to just be a healthy individual, you must drink water.  But how much is too much?  Is there even a too much?


Yes, this is a thing.  You can drink too much water.  This is known as water intoxication and yes, it can be deadly.  To kill a 165 pound person, it takes 6 liters of water.  Drinking too much water can cause salt to enter the blood, causing hyponatremia.  This can lead to the official water intoxication, when a person begins feeling muscle weakness, nausea, headaches and mental disorientation.  All of this water makes it hard for the kidneys to flush it.  So the water adds up and makes the cells swollen.  The problem occurs when the cells in the brain swell.

This is especially prevalent in athletes.  Athletes are always training and trying to have healthy diets.  While doing this, they may end up drinking too much water, resulting in exercise-associated hyponatremia (EAH).  EAH is when one’s kidneys cannot process the amount of water that is given to them.  Swelling, and leading to death.  This can happen to a lot of athletes and is something they should be aware of.  Symptoms of EAH could be nausea, puffiness, confusion, agitation, weight gain, seizures, delirium, or even comas.  Athletes are supposed to drink 1.5 to 2.5 more cups of water than regular people.

One case of water intoxication was a 64 year old woman who had mitral valve disease.  One night, she drank between 30 and 40 cups of water.  She died that night.  She literally overdosed on water; it can happen.  Another case was a 35 year old man was found dead on his bathroom floor after drinking an immense amount of water.  His brain was swollen from the water.

Overhydration is another type, which can be seen as increased water intake or when the body retains too much water.  There are ways to stop this!!! Know when your body has had enough. Know the right amount of water to drink.  Do your research, and you will be fine and drinking a healthy amount of water.

Works Cited:


10 thoughts on “Can you drink too much water?

  1. Pingback: Water – too much? too little? – MERMAID IN A MUDSLIDE

  2. Jonathan Solimano

    I found this article very interesting because who could have thought you could actually die from drinking too much water. I grew up my whole life always thinking I need to drink as much water as possible to stay hydrated, but apparently I was wrong. I did some additional research and found that researchers at the Loyola University Health System conducted a small study about this topic. They talk about the condition called hysponatremia, which is the overdosing of water in the body. They claim that 14 athletes have been killed from this, most being marathon runners or football players. Based off these studies done, there have been guidelines released on how to limit your water in take. Overall, they basically say to only drink water when you are truly thirsty. The article can be found here (

  3. Emanuel Gabriel Mitchell

    Personally, I enjoyed this article. I’m pleased that you wrote this blog, because not many people are aware of the dangers of over-hydrating nor do they think it’s an actual thing. Everybody’s different so some people will need more or less of the recommended amount depending on age, gender, activity level, environment, etc. In addition people don’t take in consideration the fluids that are in foods such as vegetables and fruits, so they should be careful to take that into consideration to avoid over-hydration. Sometimes colorless urine means over-hydration. Here’s a link to a website that describes 10 colors that suggest urine trouble.

  4. John Michael Federici

    My grandpa, who played football for wake forrest back in 1950 use to tell me that drinking water at football practice was bad for me, and that his coaches would never let him drink water during their southern summer football practices (some of this I really have a hard time believing. He was like any old fisherman, he liked to exaggerate his stories).
    However, the fact that water at some point in your body can be toxic is really surprising. If you think about the figure of 6 litters (which was the value given in the initial blog post), its incredible that this relatively low amount of water can become toxic. I wonder if you’re body would begin to reject the water at some point. Also, would other beverages have similar effects in lesser quantities?

  5. Wayson Wu

    After reading this post, I am shock about that it is possible to have negative affect on drinking large amount of water. Because in my family, when we are ill or tired, one thing that parents make tell us is to drink more water. But after watching the video you linked, the last sentence of drink when thirsty brings up my attention. After I looked up online, I found out a research by professor conducted to see how brain function for thirst and found out that human’s brain will tell you when to drink.

  6. Marisa Rose Defilippo

    This post left me in awe! I have always been continuously told to drink more and more water as I will benefit from it. I never knew that there were possible negative outcomes from drinking water. I have noticed that at times when I drink too much water I begin to get a stomach ache. With that being said, I found your post extremely interesting and informative!

  7. Bailee Nicole Koncar

    Hi Caitlin!
    I was shocked after reading your post. I had only ever heard about how good water is for you and how people should drink it more than any other beverage. There are zero calories in water and it helps to flush your system. I had never even considered it being bad for a person. But much like everything, having something in excess can often result in problems. I am curious as to what symptoms we should look for when we are on the verge of being over hydrated.

  8. Yuxing Cai

    interesting post, it is the first time that I’ve see that drinking too much water can be such lethal. I use to drink a lot of water a day because I hate the feeling when my mouth turn dry, but after seeing your post, I found out that drinking too much water could be bad for you body instead of improve your health as I previously thought. And sometime, if I drink too much water before bed, the next day I get up I will felt really headache, and I think this is a symptom called Oedema.

  9. Hung Chieh Wang

    I think this post is very interesting. I am wondering how can people drink so much water. I will throw out after drinking 5 or 6 cup of water. I think that is one of the protection of the body. I also found some cause of the overhdyration : Cause of Overhydration

  10. Victoria Atkinson Scott

    I did not know that too much water could lead to organ swelling and death. After looking it up, it seems that there have been a lot of cases of tragic examples of people dying from drinking too much water. At California State University, there was a case of hazing in a fraternity where they made the boys drink excess amounts of water and do push ups on a cold floor. A man of the name of Chico died at age 21, sadly. This could be considered an anecdote, for most people do not drink nearly enough water a day- and if they were to hear this, it would be very unfortunate if they didn’t drink enough out of fear of dying. Here are other stories about deaths by water: strange-but-true-drinking-too-much-water-can-kill

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