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  • Water is amazing!

  • It's necessary for life to exist, makes you healthier, and it's incredibly refreshing especially after an intense workout.

  • But is water intoxication a real thing?

  • Can you drink too much water?

  • We're often told to drink around 8 glasses of water a day to stay healthy,

  • but the honest truth is that this specific number is somewhat arbitrary, and no scientific research exists to support it.

  • Regardless, we know water is incredibly important; in fact, every organism we know of requires water to survive.

  • Not only does it help the human body to bring oxygen and nutrients to the cells, regulate body temperatures and aid metabolism, but it flushes waste out of the body.

  • Sweat out too much during a sporting event, and you'll start to feel a bit woozy.

  • Three days without water, and you likely won't survive.

  • So how could such an essential substance hurt us? It all comes down to the cellular level.

  • The water you drink has very few electrolytes in it - things like sodium or potassium - especially compared to your cells.

  • The electrolytes in your cells allow your muscles and nerves to work properly, and help to control blood pressure and blood volume.

  • Without them, your body cannot function.

  • Now normally, the difference in the electrolyte concentration inside and outside the cell wouldn't pose a problem, because your kidneys flush out any excess water.

  • However, the kidneys can only excrete fluid at a certain rate.

  • This means that consuming a lot of water in a short period of time creates a large concentration difference.

  • As a result, water is drawn into the cells in an attempt to dilute the concentration and even out the proportion of electrolytes, and this causes the cells to swell.

  • The problem is, unlike other parts of your body, the brain literally has no room inside the skull for these newly plump cells.

  • This results in extreme headaches and confusion, leading to seizures, comas, respiratory arrest and even death.

  • So should you be worried? Not likely!

  • Cases of water intoxication are very rare, though they do happen in extreme circumstances.

  • Close to 1/6 of marathon runners develop mild cases in their careers, with all endurance athletes at a higher risk.

  • This is because under the extremes of athletic stress, the body attempts to conserve water.

  • So not only are you taking more water in, you're peeing less out.

  • Science says, though you're not likely to suffer from water intoxication, you should drink to your thirst - it's the best indicator!

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Water is amazing!

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