I drank one gallon of water every day for the past 30 days. All this water drinking got me thinking, “how MUCH water is TOO much water?” and “Is this much water actually healthy?”
The short answer is yes AND no. Drinking a gallon of water in a day is not a problem at all. BUT drinking more than one liter in any one hour period can cause over-hydration and could lead to serious problems.
Fact: drinking water out of pretty water bottles leads to drinking more water.
First, let’s talk about some of the noticeable pros and cons I’ve experienced over the last 30 days while drinking a gallon of water every day. Besides obviously going to the bathroom a lot more frequently, which I’m undecided on whether is a pro or con. (I kind of like it because it makes me walk more which is a great thing at a 9-5 desk job!)
Some of the positive benefits I’ve noticed over the past 30 days:
- Increased energy levels
- Increased ability to concentrate
- Clearer skin
- Improved mood (most of the time)
With one big NEGATIVE!:
- I ate MORE food and craved sooo much salt
In hindsight, this might have been my body trying to restore equilibrium after the electrolyte balance was disrupted by too much water during any one period.
The schedule I was following was:
- Chug 1 liter before work
- Drink 1 liter between 9AM-1PM
- Chug 1 liter during my lunch break
- Drink 1 liter between 2PM-5PM
The problem with this schedule is the chugging. One gallon in one day is not a problem. But drinking more than one liter within one hour CAN be a problem. I’ve since adjusted my schedule to be:
- 1/2 liter before 8AM
- 1/2 liter between 8-9AM
- 2 liters between 9AM – 5PM
- 1 liter after 5PM
Trying to be conscious not to drink more than 1/2 liter in any one hour period.
Take-Home Message For YOU:
We’ve all heard about how important hydration is. We’ve also likely all heard “Don’t drink TOO much water though.”
Both are accurate. But just how much water is too much water? And how much is too little? The truth is it varies from person to person. But there are some general guidelines you can use to help you figure out your ideal water consumption, and help you make sure you’re not reaching toxic levels. I did some research and here are my top tips based on what I found:
- “Our kidneys can eliminate about 5.3–7.4 gallons (20–28 liters) of water a day, but they can’t get rid of more than 27–33 ounces (0.8–1.0 liters) per hour (14, 15). Therefore, in order to avoid hyponatremia symptoms, you should not drink more than 27–33 ounces (0.8–1.0 liters) of water per hour, on average (14). Bottom Line: The kidneys are capable of excreting up to 7 gallons (28 liters) of fluid per day. However, they cannot excrete more than 1 liter per hour. Therefore, drinking more than this is not a good idea.” Read more here
- Dr. Axe suggests you drink 25-50% of your body weight in pounds in ounces. For example, if you way 200 pounds, this formula suggests you should drink between 50-100 ounces of water per day. Watch more on this here
- If you’re training for a marathon, working out for longer than one hour, or excessively sweating, opt for MORE than just plain water. ie, coconut water, banana, or something to replenish electrolytes. (Btw, my favorite coconut water brand is Harmless Harvest )
HERE’S THE THING. As long you’re drinking water gradually throughout the day and not chugging it, listening to your body’s thirst signals, and not excessively sweating, you probably don’t need to worry about drinking TOO much water. But if you start feeling worse instead of better, or find yourself still thirsty after drinking a liter of water within an hour, switch to an electrolyte beverage like coconut water or eat a banana!
That’s all folks. I hope you enjoyed/were inspired/learned a little something. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂