Drinking enough water everyday is very important to keep our bodies functioning well and healthy, but then how much water is too much?
Hyponatremia or Overhydration and water intoxication happens when a person drinks more water than their kidneys can get rid of via urine.
Hyponatremia is a condition where sodium levels in the blood are lower than normal. More often than not, too much water in the body dilutes the sodium, causing the condition.
The amount of water is not the only factor, time also plays a role.
According to a 2013 study, the kidneys can eliminate about 20–28 litres of water a day, but they can remove no more than 0.8 to 1.0 litre every hour.
The study also reports that hyponatremia symptoms can develop if a person drinks 3–4 litres of water in a short period, though it is not stated a specific time estimate.
According to one case report, soldiers developed symptoms after consuming at least 1.9 litres of water per hour.
Another report describes the development of hyponatremia after drinking more than 5 litres in a few hours.
There are many factors that could lead to drinking large amounts of water in a short period of time. One of the most common would be being active in sports. You may lose more water through perspiration, but you should still watch the intake of water as to avoid hyponatremia.
Bottom line: To avoid hyponatremia, it is important not to overwork the kidneys by drinking more water than they can get release.