Is there such a thing as drinking too much water?

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

I’ve heard a lot of people talking about “aquaholics” – people who drink too much water in an attempt to lose weight, detox etc. Is there such a thing as too much water? And how does one know how much you should be drinking per day?


Our health expert, Dr Graham Duncombe, answers:

“Yes, it is in fact possible to overdo it and drink too much water. The general “rule” is to try and consume at least two litres of water per day, but a more realistic goal is to try and consume one litre of water for every 30kg’s of body weight that you carry. Also bear in mind that if you are an athlete and you lose a lot of water every day due to the amount of activity you do, it’s absolutely fine to take in a bit more water to compensate for this. If you take it completely overboard and you drink far too much water every day, you run the risk of diluting your electrolytes, diluting your stomach acid, flushing your vitamins and minerals, and not allowing them to be properly absorbed. This can result in cramping, pain, dizziness, and poor nutrition as you’re not allowing your body the proper environment to be able to properly absorb anything. If this persists over time, it could lead to much more serious issues, starting with poor gut health and impaired digestion, from which a whole host of other problems arise, including: the inability to control your weight, fatigue; poor stress management; acne starts manifesting on the skin (along with other skin irritation); some people develop pigmentation on the skin; leaky gut syndrome; impaired immunity; inflammation and unexplained pains in the body… to name but a few!”

Would you like to ask Dr Duncombe a question about your health? Ask him here.

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  1. Zama Omuhle

    I drink about 2 litres of water. Not everyday, but in summer it has to be 2 litres everyday.

    4 years ago •

  1. Pseudo_kate

    This makes a lot of sense. I train every day so what I do is drink 800ml of water over a half an hour period from the time I wake up to when I get to gym. I then train and do yoga and sip more water during my practice. That’s already over a litre before I get to work.
    Then I just take frequent small sips during the day and only really increase my intake as soon as I get home.
    I find that this is great for my skin and energy levels.
    My only rule is that I do not drink anything before or after meals for at least half an hour, and I also don’t drink during meals. It’s just something my grandfather taught me as a toddler and it’s stuck ever since.

    4 years ago •

  1. Ashleigh Hein

    This is a really interesting article. I didn’t realise you could actually drink too much water.

    4 years ago •

  1. Chantelle Smith

    I can’t go without water everyday. I keep a 1.5L bottle with me. It’s amazing for your skin. This is good to know though.

    4 years ago •

  1. Mel DelaCroix

    Some days I feel like I drink too much water LOL. I can do like 3 litres, sometimes 4 litres. But I’m very active.

    4 years ago •

  1. Kenastacia Asia

    I’ve always wondered if I was drinking too much water, and this article has helped me. Too much water is definitely not a good thing.

    4 years ago •

  1. grantlekeur

    Very informative. I will take this into consideration because I usually overdo it with drinking water.

    4 years ago •

  1. Kariwo

    I drink between 2 litres and 4 litres of water everyday. It’s made easier by simply having a 1.5 litre of bottle on my desk which I sip on throughout the day and refill when empty.

    4 years ago •

  1. Rashmee Bagirathi

    1 litre per 30kg body weight is an interesting and new way of doing it, but it must be remembered that this should be in the absence of any health issues.

    4 years ago •

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