Can you overload your kidneys if you drink too much water, or is it filtering mostly a passive process?


I always really liked drinking water. Not an insane amount, about 2 liters (100 fl oz) a day. So I always wondered whether I’m overworking my kidneys or if they are just passive filters benefiting from the water passing through.

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8 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

I know that if you go too long without emptying your bladder, you run the risk of acute liver intoxication, which can be fatal.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Your kidneys aren’t the problem drinking too much water. Your brain is and drinking 2 liters of water/day isn’t an excessive amount of water. The blood flows through your kidneys anyway and it’s a “passive process”. Drinking too much water can cause an ion imbalance in your brain which can cause water intoxication due to the sodium imbalance.

Anonymous 0 Comments

You *can*, but hyperhydrosis is really, really hard to pull off. You basically have to be suffering from one of only a handful of diseases or your body will prevent you from doing so (puking, nausea, etc)

Anonymous 0 Comments

100oz is more like 3L but it’s not excessive unless you drink it all in one sitting. As long as you can maintain an electrolyte balance you’re good to go. In hot climates, having salty snacks can help.

Anonymous 0 Comments

You can kill yourself if you drink too much water. It’s called Water Intoxication.

The kidneys job is to filter stuff out of your blood. Some of it’s waste product, there is some salt and other stuff that gets flushed out, and water.

Normally, if you take in the right amount of water, your body stays balanced. Because the things you eat and drink have electrolytes in them, and then you are flushing out some of those electrolytes with your urine.

If you drink too much water without replacing the electrolytes, you get water intoxication. Essentially you body has issues because there is not enough electrolytes, you have heart problems, other issues, and you can die.

In fact, there was a runner in a marathon years ago that died because all they drank was water. And it caused a rule change that every other drink station that the runners visit has Gatorade or something.

It isn’t a matter of overloading your kidneys, it’s a matter of the kidneys flushing out too much of what you need, with all the extra water you didn’t need.

It is recommended to get 8 x 8 oz glasses of water per day, so 64 ounces. Don’t drink it all at once. And you’ll be good. As always, talk to your doctor about medical issues.

Anonymous 0 Comments

>I always really liked drinking water. Not an insane amount, about 2 liters (100 fl oz) a day.

Excessive thirst can be caused by a number of things. If you live in a warm climate and youre outdoors often or if you get major exercise daily then it’s probably no big deal.

Can also be a side effects from some prescription medications. Increases thirst is one of the most common side effects of lithium, for example. If you’re taking one or more prescriptions check the side effect listings.

Depending on your age ypu may wish to get your A1C level checked to see if you have consistently high blood sugar (I.e. hyperglycemia). One of the ways the body deals with chronic hyperglycemia is the kidneys and liver work to increase urine output, in an attempt to flush the excess blood glucose out. This also ends up causing dehydration and loss of electrolytes, sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium and phosphates.

>So I always wondered whether I’m overworking my kidneys.

Thats a lot but not excessive especially if you regularly drink that much. The pituitary senses the levels of salts in the blood and produces hormones that increase urine output, and also reduce uptake of water in the intestines.

Main issue with consuming a large amount of water in a *short time* is hyponatraemia or hypokalaemia. Meaning low blood sodium or low blood potassium. Symptoms of hyponatraemia are quite similar to heat exhaustion and dehydration. They include headache, high fatigue, nausea, elevated heart rate, chills, inebriation or difficulty concentrating, vertigo.

>or if they are just passive filters benefiting from the water passing through.

No, they aren’t a passive system. Very much they contrary. They actively maintain the levels of a large number of chemicals in the blood like electrolytes, glucose, creatinine, various trace amines. Short chain peptides, as well as nutrients absorbed by the intestines. When your kidneys fail completely, you don’t tend to live long.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I was working as a cart attendant at Sam’s club. Missouri summers are brutal. They were only giving us water. I told them, you gotta give us some sports drink too as it replaces electrolytes, they refused as my manager claimed, that’s what water is for. Ended up getting Hyponatremia. Yes you can definitely drink too much water.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Deaths due to hydration imbalances during marathons are not from dehydration, but from over hydration. People are told they need to drink x ounces at each water station and so they do. They over hydrate , get hyponatremic, brain swells, and coma or death. Drink when you’re thirsty, listen to your body.