Can you get too much of a good thing?

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Picture of By Julia Abelsohn

By Julia Abelsohn

It’s easy for dementia patients to become dehydrated because they have learned to ignore the signs of thirst or fail to make the connection between thirst and drinking a glass of water. To combat this problem, London based student Lewis Hornby created Jelly Drops, bite-sized edible pods of water that look like colourful candies. Hornby’s own grandmother’s was one of his test subjects. Her reaction was very positive. “When first offered, grandma ate seven Jelly Drops in 10 minutes, the equivalent to a cup full of water—something that would usually take hours and require much more assistance,” said Hornby.

It’s easy to see how Hornby’s idea would get gobbled up by an at-risk population but most of us already know the value in keeping hydrated and haven’t forgotten what to do when we feel thirsty. But is it possible to drink too much water? Are there any side effects to drinking too much and if so how do we recognize the signs?

In rare cases drinking too much water can cause a life-threatening condition called hyponatremia, which is sometimes called water intoxication. Hyponatremia literally means low sodium in the blood. It occurs when someone drinks enormous amounts of water and loses too much salt from the body in a short time. It isn’t really about how much water you drink per day but rather how much you drink per hour.

A large intake of water in a short period overwhelms your kidneys so they can’t process and eliminate the water fast enough, which drives your blood levels of sodium too low. Severe sodium deficiency can lead to twitching, seizures, and even death. A person with hyponatremia needs to see a doctor for immediate diagnosis and treatment.

Hyponatremia won’t happen to a healthy person who sips water regularly throughout the day. It is most likely to occur when marathon runners drink gallons of water and don’t replace the electrolytes during a race.

But for most of us the problem is not that we’re drinking too much water but that we’re not getting enough and there are many studies that support this. One study in women showed that a fluid loss of 1.36% after exercise impaired mood and concentration and increased the frequency of headaches. Other studies show that mild dehydration (1–3% of body weight) caused by exercise or heat can harm many other aspects of brain function. Keep in mind that just 1% of body weight is a fairly significant amount. This happens primarily when you’re sweating a lot. Mild dehydration can also negatively affect physical performance, leading to reduced endurance.

Thousands of people die from dehydration every year, as dehydration causes kidney failure. Elderly people and those with diabetes, heart disease and other chronic illnesses are especially at risk, as their kidneys might not be as strong and affected by disease or age.

Don’t forget that drinking more water may also help with some health problems, such as constipation and kidney stones and some studies show that those who drink more water have a lower risk of bladder and colorectal cancer.

And it’s important to remember to drink clean, filtered water so that our kidneys are not having to work overtime to filter out contaminants such as chlorine, heribicides and pesticides which are found in tap and well water.

At Best Water we have water ionizers and filters that remove even the smallest particles of impurities such as microplastics. In addition, all of our ionizers deliver wonderful health benefits as they infuse H2 into the water. With every drop of water from one of our ionizers you are one step closer to a healthier you.

For more information call and speak to one of our water experts at 1-877-771-1942 or check us out online at:







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Picture of Julia Abelsohn

Julia Abelsohn

Julia Abelsohn is a writer, editor and clinical aromatherapist. She has been sharing her expertise and passion for health and wellness for over 25 years. When not at her desk she can be found exploring the many trails and green spaces near her home in Edmonton, Alberta.

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