On Saturday, an interview with Guardians of the Galaxy and Parks and Recreation actor Chris Pratt caught everyone's eye.
Pratt told Vanity Fair that part of his fitness routine involved drinking a glass of water for every pound he weighed, daily, adding that he was "peeing all day long, every day" and that "that part was a nightmare."
Now that is a lot of water, prompting the medical community and X's (formerly Twitter's) community notes to warn the public about water intoxication.
Water intoxication, or water poisoning, is the occasionally fatal result of drinking too much water in too short of a time period without replacing electrolytes, and minerals like sodium, calcium, and potassium necessary for normal function. It can also result from medical conditions, such as liver disease and kidney problems, which cause you to retain water.
"Water intoxication provokes disturbances in electrolyte balance, resulting in a rapid decrease in serum sodium concentration and eventual death," one case report into the death of a 64-year-old woman who compulsively drank 30-40 glasses of water on the evening before she died explained. "The development of acute dilutional hyponatraemia [low sodium] causes neurological symptoms because of the movement of water into the brain cells, in response to the fall in extracellular osmolality."
As water moves into your brain cells they swell, with symptoms of intoxication including confusion, disorientation, nausea, and vomiting. If not treated, it can result in seizures, delirium, coma, and sometimes death.
Water poisoning is rare, and fatal water intoxication even rarer. While it sounds scary, for healthy individuals water poisoning is easily avoided by drinking usual amounts of water, and very much not trying to drink a glass of water for every pound you weigh.
It's difficult to pin down the exact amount of water individuals should drink, but intoxication is unlikely to occur when drinking usual amounts of liquids. Intoxication and health problems are usually the results of extremely excessive drinking during prolonged exercise, psychogenic feelings of extreme thirst, and water-drinking competitions.
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The content of this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.