Drinking Too Much Water? Learn How Overhydration Can Affect Your Health

Overhydration can result in muscle cramps, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, headaches, low blood sugar levels, water intoxication, etc.

Written by: Sushmita Sharma Updated at: 2023-02-05 14:30

Water makes up over 70% of the human body, which is essential for it to function properly. We all have heard the importance of drinking water and what its deficiency can result in. But do you know that drinking too much water can have side effects and cause health complications too? Yes, too much of anything is not good, and the same is applicable to water as well. Your kidneys cannot get rid of extra water when you consume it excessively. There is no concrete answer to the exact amount of water that should be taken, as the need for water is different in people and is based on several factors.

Signs That Indicate Overhydration

Urine Colour

The colour of your urine is mostly very clear.

Nausea & Vomiting

You may experience nausea and vomiting when the water inside your body is very high. 


You may also suffer from headaches due to the swelling of cells which is caused because of the  excess water. 

Frequent Urination

You urinate more and may also wake up during the night for urination.

Discolouration of Hands Or Lips

You may witness discolouration or swelling of hands, feet, or lips due to excess water intake. This is because your cells swell due to overhydration which further leads to your skin swelling up.

Low Blood Sugar

Drinking excess water can also lower the blood sugar levels of your body. This can result in tremors, increased heart rate, anxiety, and sweating. 

You may drink water even when you don't feel thirsty.

Also Read: Winter Dehydration: What Is It And How You Can Prevent It

What Does Overhydration Lead To?

Overhydration is caused when you drink too much water or if your kidneys are unable to remove excess water from your body. Some of the problems that can result from overhydration are as follows:

Water Intoxication

Excess water intake can lead to water intoxication, which results in an imbalance in your body's electrolyte levels. It can lead to hyponatremia and hypokalemia.

Hyponatremia is a health condition in which blood sodium levels are low in your body. It can affect your daily activities as it affects your thinking and creates balance issues in your body.

Hypokalemia is a health condition resulting in decreased potassium levels in your body. It leads to leg cramps and weakness and causes irregular heart rhythms.

Reduced Electrolyte

Another side effect of drinking excess water is that it reduces the electrolyte levels in your body. This results in muscle pain and cramps, so avoid drinking too much water to prevent this health condition.

Affects Heart Health

Overhydration can affect the health of your heart and lead to an increased heart rate. In severe cases, it may also lead to seizures.

Increased Urination

No one likes to frequent bathroom trips as it can be inconvenient, especially when you are snuggled in your blanket. 

Also Read: What Does The Smell of Urine Tell About The Overall Health?


You can develop fatigue in your body due to excess consumption of water. This is due to the increased pressure on the kidneys, blood vessels, and heart.


Overhydration can lead to water toxicity which can eventually result in water poisoning. It is usually advisable to drink eight glasses of water a day to maintain the overall health of your body. However, you should drink more than eight glasses if you are sweating due to exercise, are pregnant or breastfeeding your child. Look out for these symptoms and reduce your water intake if you have been drinking too much water.


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