Saturday, May 16, 2009

Drinking Too Much Water Is Dangerous

In 2007, a 28 year old woman from California, United States joined a water-drinking contest on the radio entitled "Hold your Wee for a Wii". After drinking 6 liters of water for 3 hours, Jennifer Strange vomited, went home with a terrible headache, and died from so-called water intoxication.

Another tragic incident happened in 2005. A 21 year old man was forced to drink excessive amounts of water between rounds of push-up in a hazing rite by a fraternity in California State University in the US. He was left dead in a cold basement.

A 2005 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that close to one-sixth of marathon runners develop some degree of hyponatremia, or dilution of the blood caused by drinking too much water.

Hyponatremia comes from the Latin and Greek words which means "insufficient salt in the blood." Specifically it means having a blood sodium concentration below 135 millimoles per liter, or approximately 11.37 milliliter per gallon. The normal concentration lies between 135 and 145 millimoles per liter. Severe cases of hyponatremia can lead to water intoxication, an ilness whose symptoms include headache, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, frequent urination, and mental disorientation.

Our kidneys control the amount of water, salts and other solutes eaving the body by filtering blood through kidney's millions of tubules. When a person drinks too much water in a short period of time, the kidneys cannot flush it out fast enough and the blood becomes waterlogged. and then the excess water will enter into cells and into brain cells and neurons and since the brain cells are tightly packed in our skull, there will be almost zero room to expand and swell inside the skull. Thus, brain swelling can be dangerous. It can manifest seizures, comma, respiratory arrest, brain stem herniation, and death.


Coco Ballantyne. Strange but True: Too Much Drinking Water can Kill.
Bato Balani. ISSN 0117-7079 VOL.28 No.4 SY 2008-2009


  1. thanx for the great information i am a all time water lover :P i really fond your article scary i always heard that drinking alot of water will purify your body and skin ut if it is as much dangerous than i should be care full although every thing has its positive and negetive effects and excess use of any thing can be dangerous

  2. Very interesting article. I guess with so much media attention concentrating on drinking more and more water, I guess we have turned a blind eye to the bad effects of drinking too much water. I guess moderation is the key in everything.

  3. Yes, this was very high profile in the UK last year when a young man died in a warmer than normal London Marathon.

    After seeing the comments above though I think it's important to remember that this is only a problem in pretty extreme conditions. 6 liters of water in 3 hours really is a LOT of intake in a very short period of time.

  4. Good Day blogging friend :) have an award for you..i would sure love if you'll grab it. =)

  5. thanks for Gi-Ann..I would love to accept the award...

  6. I've heard of this before. We are always told to drink more water, and now we find out that we should not drink too much. Just like everything else, even water should be taken in moderation.

  7. Great information. I managed to go through some of your posts. And being the first time reader of your blog,this post grabbed my attention to add comment and at least let you know you have one more reader now.

  8. Great and informative post. I will often come back for more interesting stuff.

  9. Well I'd be careful about drawing too many conclusions from this. Most people don't drink enough water, the optimum amount is???, who knows exactly but if you don't drink water during the day, you need to drink more. Period.

    It is possible to drink too much water yes but if you drink 2 liters a day you are fine, nothing to worry about. Can;t worry about drinking too much water and also about not drinking enough. Everything in moderation.

  10. too much of anything is very dangerous..nice blog, good infos.keep up the good work