A few days ago, a statement made by Chris Pratt hit the headlines. The interpreter of Star-Lord, in MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios, caused a stir when he said he drank 220 glasses of water a day to keep in shape. A nightmarish amount that would cause him to urinate 'all day long'... and that simply cannot be real. In fact, drinking such a quantity of water is not possible, as the kidneys are incapable of filtering so much. It is possible to die from drinking too much water, but before that happens, the body goes through a stage called hyperhydration.
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Symptoms of hyperhydration
Hyperhydration, also known as water intoxication, water toxemia or water poisoning, occurs when too much water is consumed in too short a time. Symptoms may include:
- Head pain: sensation of heaviness or pressure in the skull.
- Muscle pain: cramps, spasms or weakness.
- Nausea or vomiting: general feeling of malaise.
- Drowsiness and fatigue: feeling of exhaustion or difficulty staying awake.
In the most serious cases, water intoxication can lead to convulsions or loss of consciousness, and without rapid medical intervention, the outcome can be fatal.
Here's the maximum amount of water you can drink every day
The human body is an extraordinary machine, but it has its limits. As Healthline points out:
The kidneys of a healthy adult can eliminate 20 to 28 liters of water per day, but they can only eliminate about 1 liter per hour. So when you drink more than a liter an hour, your kidneys have trouble keeping up.
When you drink too much water, it can cause a condition called hyponatremia, where sodium levels in the blood become dangerously low. Most cases of severe water poisoning are linked to intense physical activity, such as military training or participation in a marathon.
Rest assured, cases of hyperhydration leading to death are extremely rare. If you're worried that you haven't drunk enough water, your urine is an excellent indicator of your hydration: if it's clear, it usually means you've had enough to drink.
This article has been translated from Gentside FR.
Healthline: Can Drinking Too Much Water Be Fatal? Know the Facts