We’ve been told for the longest time that you should drink eight cups of water a day, which is approximately two litres. Is this right? Could you possibly drink too much water?
Well, let’s start with the hypothetical first. Yes, you totally can drink too much water. In fact, you can even die. This isn’t a joke. I’m not kidding.
If you drink too much water in a certain amount of time, your internal balance is thrown off and to put it simply, things goes wrong. A lot of it has to do with your internal chemistry and your body.
Now that everyone’s gone and started googling how much water is safe to drink, I can tell you that it’s extremely rare and hard to do. There are only a few cases where water poisoning has (unfortunately) occurred.
One of the only recorded cases are people at water drinking contests (because of course that’s a thing) drinking absolutely ridiculous amounts of water and – here’s the important thing – not being allowed to pee.
Another case is when people participate in endurance sports, while drinking a lot of water and not peeing.
Your body regulates a lot of things and normally, if you let it does what it needs to do you should be fine. Plus, it’s unlikely you’ll be drinking the amount needed to reach that vague threshold anyway – you’d need to drink about one litre for every 12.5kgs you weigh to get to that point. So if you’re 70 kgs, it would take about 5.6 litres of water to kill you. That’s 19 lattes or 9 large cokes from Maccas.
So, what about those two litres a day? Well, the average person does need about two litres per day. The thing that people forget to mention is that this doesn’t include water from food – from soup, fruits, vegetables, stuff like that. It’s two litres of water in any form . If you drink diuretics (like coffee), you’ll need more, and likewise if you exercise.
But overall? Just drink when you’re thirsty, and keep tabs on where the nearest toilet is. If you do that, you’ll be fine. Don’t sweat it.