Hyperhydration: How Drinking Too Much Water Can Be Deadly



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“Hyperhydration,” or “water intoxication” — ever heard of it?  It means drinking too much water, and too much water can become toxic – or even fatal! What is “too much water?”  Everyone needs to drink eight to ten glasses of water every day in order to stay healthy, right?  Wrong.  How this myth ever arose is a complicated issue, but a myth it is, according to many authorities on the subject.  “I can’t even tell you that,” said Barbara Rolls, a nutrition researcher at Pennsylvania State University, “and I’ve written a book on water.”


Image: Alex Anlicker

The typical human body loses about ten cups of water per day, through sweat, excretion, exhalation, and other normal functions. Food generally provides about four cups of water per day.

Beverages of all kinds can help to make to up the difference: caffeinated or not, carbonated or not, sweetened or not.  The only liquid that is known to cause actual dehydration is alcohol, and then only in excessive amounts.According to Dr Stanley Goldfarb and Dr Dan Negoianu of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, there are four leading myths about water intake: more water leads to more toxin excretion, improves skin tone, makes one less hungry, and reduces headache frequency.

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