How to counteract too much water?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “How to counteract too much water?”. We will further elaborate on the symptoms and causes of too much water. 

How to counteract too much water? 

To counteract too much water:

  • Limit the consumption of any more water for now
  • Take diuretics to boost the amount of urine you excrete
  • Treat the underlying condition
  • Discontinue any medicines causing the problem
  • Replace sodium in extreme circumstances
  • Ask a doctor 

Different ways to counteract too much water

Water is our body’s central element and makes up nearly 50 per cent to 70 percent of our body weight. Our body relies on water for survival. All cells, tissues and organs in our body require water to function properly.

However, drinking too much water can result in overhydration with severe health problems.

If you are experiencing symptoms or your blood and urine tests have reported too much water, do not panic, most of the cases of too much water can be treated with just a few simple steps. Here we have shared some basic remedies you can follow to counteract too much water.

The first way to counteract too much water is by limiting the consumption of water and any sort of fluid, which will help someone recover in just a few hours. Other ways that may be followed to counteract too much water include:

  • Taking diuretics to boost the amount of urine you excrete
  • Treating the underlying condition that has led to too much water
  • Discontinuing any medicines causing the problem
  • Replacing sodium in extreme circumstances

However if you are experiencing more critical symptoms, it is better to seek immediate medical attention. 

How to prevent too much water?

To prevent too much water, use your thirst signals and urine color as a guide. 

Drink water when you feel thirsty or until the urine is clear or slightly yellow. 

Do not drink more than 1 liter of fluid in an hour which will let your kidneys excrete surplus water. 

If you are experiencing extreme thirst, inform your doctor at the earliest, as this may be a manifestation of some other severe health problem.

What happens when you drink too much water?

Too much consumption of water will dilute the amount of sodium in the blood resulting in a condition called hyponatremia. It is characterized by very low sodium levels from extreme sodium loss with sweating or urination.

Our body requires particular amounts of electrolytes including sodium, potassium, chloride, and magnesium in the blood to support muscle contraction, nervous system function, and to balance the body’s acid-base levels.

When you drink too much water, it can disrupt this particular proportion and can disturb the balance which can further lead to major problems.

What are the symptoms of too much water intake?

You may not identify symptoms of too much water in its earlier phases. However, as the condition advances, typical symptoms may include:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Headache

If left untreated the condition can progress to critically low levels of sodium in the blood. This can result in more serious symptoms, including:

  • Seizures
  • Muscle weakness or spasms
  • Coma
  • Unconsciousness

Is water the only source of hydration?

No. You do not have to depend only on the water to satisfy your fluid requirements. What you eat also supplies a notable amount of water. 

For instance, numerous fruits and vegetables, like melons and broccoli, are almost 100 percent water by weight.

Moreover, liquids including milk, juices and herbal teas are formed mostly of water. Even caffeinated drinks, like coffee and soda, can add to daily water consumption. 

But limit the consumption of sweet drinks. Regular sodas, energy drinks, and different sweet drinks typically have a great amount of added sugars, which may deliver more calories than required.

Are there different reasons for too much water?

There can be two different reasons behind too much water in the body:

Increased water intake

This happens when a person consumes more water than the kidneys can withdraw in the urine. This can result in too much water collecting in the bloodstream.

Retaining water

This happens when a person’s body can not excrete water appropriately. Many medical illnesses can cause the body to accumulate water.

Both of these cases are risky since they destroy the water and sodium balance in the blood.

What is the adequate daily water intake by age?

As stated by the US NASEM, adequate daily fluid consumption is:

  • Nearly 15 and a half cups (3.7 liters) of fluids per day for males
  • Nearly 11 and a half cups (2.7 liters) of fluids per day for females

This covers fluids including water, other beverages and food. About 20 percent of daily fluid consumption usually comes from food while the remainder is from beverages.

Conclusion 

In this brief guide, we have provided an answer to the question, “How to counteract too much water?”. We have further elaborated on the symptoms and causes of too much water. 

References 

https://www.healthline.com/health/overhydration#risks
https://www.healthline.com/health/drink-water-overhydration#What-happens-when-you-drink-too-much-water
https://www.gundersenhealth.org/health-wellness/eat/are-you-over-hydrated/

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.