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Overhydration causes a reduction in your body’s levels of sodium and glucose - maybe that's why you're feeling so tired. See point 5 below. Photo: 123RF

6 Signs You’re Drinking Too Much Water

1. You drink when you’re not thirsty

That’s probably a sign that you’re overhydrating. Don’t force yourself to drink one gallon (about 3.8 litres) of water a day just because many articles have instructed you to. Our bodies are programmed to combat dehydration, so drink only when you’re thirsty. And drink water, not diuretic beverages like tea or coffee that cause you to pee more frequently.

2. Your pee is as clear as water

If you’re healthy and well hydrated, the colour of your urine should be light transparent yellow. Colourless and transparent pee indicates you’re drinking too much water. Such overhydration over a long period of time can lead to serious health complications such as hyponatremia. This is when the imbalance of water and sodium in your blood leads to blood intoxication.

3. You pee frequently

If you’re over-hydrated, you tend to pee a lot more frequently - that means visiting the loo more than 10 times a day. Cut back on the water stat! You’re overworking your kidneys. A normal person pops into the loo between six to eight times a day. Even worse if you’re getting up in the middle of the night to take a whizz. Limit your last drink of water to an hour or so before bed.

4. You have headaches

Headaches aren’t caused just by dehydration, they can also be the result of overhydration too. The reason: when the salt concentration in your blood is reduced from drinking too much water, the cells in your organs - including the brain - begin to swell. The pressure of the expanding brain on your skull is the cause of those throbbing headaches.

5. You feel tired

Overhydration causes a reduction in your body’s levels of sodium and glucose, which means your body can’t produce energy efficiently. As a result, that puts a brake on your metabolism, causing you to feel fatigued.

6. You get muscle cramps

Drinking too much water could cause a drop in your electrolyte levels, leading to painful muscle cramps. Reduce the amount of water you drink and replace a glass or two with coconut water or an isotonic drink instead.

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