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Why Drinking Too Much Water Can Be Dangerous to Athletes

by | Sep 19, 2014 | Health | 0 comments

We hear it all the time that we need to drink our water, but is it possible that drinking too much water can be a bad thing? Though we tend to dismiss this view, as it may sound silly, this really can be a problem, particularly for athletes.

There have even been deaths associated with the consumption of too much water, so you want to pay particular attention to this and know the facts. Yes, you do need to drink plenty of water, particularly if you are active, and that will always be important. You just want to be careful, as with anything else, not to overdo it so that you don’t cause yourself more harm than good.

This seems like conflicting information, so we want to look at just why or how drinking too much water can be a problem. Many athletes tend to turn to their water often since it’s what they are conditioned to do. Every time there is a water break, they may drink far more than their body needs as they feel that this is fuel and that you can’t overdo a good thing. Sure, in many cases the athletes are helping themselves to stay hydrated, but in other cases they can actually cause themselves a huge problem. It most commonly occurs when a person turns to drinking too much water even when he or she isn’t thirsty.

Drink Only When You Are Truly Thirsty

There is a fine line between staying hydrated and drinking water just for the sake of drinking it, and this is where we look at how drinking too much water can happen. If you drink far more water than your body really needs, then the cells within your body begin to swell. This doesn’t sound like a problem until these swollen cells don’t have anywhere to go; then the problems arise. These swollen cells can lead to extreme fatigue, vomiting, muscle cramps, loss of consciousness, and even death. The body doesn’t know what to do with all of this excess water, and the cells are far too big to allow things to function properly.

So how can you be sure that you aren’t drinking too much water, whether as an athlete or while exercising simply to stay fit? The biggest indicator is to drink water only when you truly feel thirsty. More than likely, you aren’t going to become dehydrated if you are drinking water, so you want to learn truly to listen to your body. Don’t overdo it but just drink a bit at a time and turn to it only if you really need it. Trying to keep it under control and not going to the extreme by being unnecessarily proactive will keep your water consumption within safe limits. Though water is a good thing, it is very possible to overdo it. Just remain aware of this, and you will be fine!

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