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Thursday, February 02, 2006 Bookmark Now! | Email to a friend  

Is it possible to drink too much water?

I dove into this search by typing "drink too much water" into the Yahoo! search box. I was aware that finding a category on such an obscure subject would be nearly impossible, but I was confident I could click on Web Pages and receive some answers. As I learned from the University of Florida's College of Health and Human Performance, there's a condition known as "water intoxication," or hyponatremia, which isn't uncommon among marathoners and triathletes.

As these athletes consume large amounts of water over the course of a race, blood plasma increases and dilutes the salt content of the blood. While this is happening, the athlete is also losing salt by sweating. Consequently, the amount of salt available to the body tissues decreases, and, over time, the loss interferes with brain, heart, and muscle function.

According to the experts at iVillage, consumption of large amounts of water is often associated with obsessive-compulsive behaviors. When a person consumes too much of this good thing, essential electrolytes in the blood stream become diluted and affect the control of the heart beat.

Healthy adults require approximately three quarts of fluid each day, half of which comes from food and half from beverages. Drinking 8 to 12 glasses a day should have your body working on all cylinders.

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