What is water intoxication? Well, here is a surprise, it results from drinking too much water. The excess water dilutes blood sodium levels and causes fluids to move inside cells, which then swell. This is known as Hyponatremia.
How much is too much water to drink in a day? Your kidneys can eliminate about 5.3–7.4 gallons (20–28 liters) of water a day, but they can’t get rid of more than 27–33 ounces (0.8–1.0 liters) per hour. Therefore, in order to avoid hyponatremia symptoms, you should not drink more than 27–33 ounces (0.8–1.0 liters) of water per hour, on average.
Wow! That’s a lot of water! Can you imagine how much time you would be spending in the bathroom each day?
Let’s put this in perspective. My goal is 90 ounces a day. Assuming I am awake for 16 hours a day, that breaks down to just under 6 ounces an hour. I can’t imagine trying to drink 27- 33 ounces in an hour, even if I am exercising. Now, if you are working outdoors in the heat, you will need more to keep up.
So, how much water should you drink in a day? It can be different for each person, but a good rule of thumb is to drink half of your body weight in ounces. That is where my goal of 90 ounces comes from and it works very well for me.
How can you tell if you are well hydrated? Well, honestly…..it’s your urine. You don’t know how awkward I feel right now. Anyway, if your urine is clear, you are well hydrated. If it is a deep yellow, you are dehydrated. Be aware, if you are taking vitamins or other supplements, they can make your urine brighter yellow. So, if you don’t know if you are drinking enough water, just pay more attention in the bathroom.
Here’s to healthy, happy, and hydrated!