Is It Possible To Drink Too Much Water?

Published: February 05, 2021
Dear TeenHealthFX,
Is it possible to drink too much water? I drink a lot and am still always thirsty why?
Signed: Is It Possible To Drink Too Much Water?

Dear Is It Possible To Drink Too Much Water?,

Drinking too much water is possible, but rare. The amount of water a person should drink each day varies depending on age, sex, and some health conditions. For example, check out this chart below from the Healthline:

                Children ages 1 to 3: 1.3L (44oz)

                Children ages 4 to 8: 1.7L (57 oz.)

                Females ages 9 to 13: 2.1L (71 oz)

                Females ages 14 to 18: 2.3L (78 oz)

                Females ages 19 and older:  2.7L (91oz)

                Males ages 9 to 13: 2.4L (81 oz.)

                Males 14 to 18: 3.3L (112 oz)

                Males 19 and older: 3.7L (125 oz)

Remember, a glass of water is 8 ounces to help you measure it in cups. On average, males tend to weigh more than females which is why their water intake is higher. The kidneys are able to filter approximately 1 liter of water an hour safely. Studies have shown that a healthy person with healthy kidneys can drink 17 liters of water at a slow rate without impacting their health.

However, if a person were to drink much more than this or a very large amount of water in a short amount of the time, the kidneys will not be able to filter it properly. In rare occasions, a person who drinks an extremely large amount of water can develop a condition where the electrolytes and sodium (salt) in the body is depleted and can cause some side effects.

Try to be mindful of how much water you are drinking and make sure it is over the course of an entire day. Drinking a liter of water first thing in morning and none the rest of the day may make you feel thirsty as the day goes on. Since we cannot diagnose over the internet, it is always a good idea to let a parent or trusted adult know what is going on. If you experience light headedness, confusion, dizziness, or weakness, it is extremely important to get checked out immediately as it could be a sign of severe overhydration.

Signed: TeenHealthFX