Can you drink too much water?

Some of the most common health advice is to stay hydrated – and for the most part, this is excellent advice. Staying hydrated is important for regulating blood pressure, plays a role in food digestion and regulating fluid/electrolyte balance during exercise and training.  

But is it possible to drink too much water? The answer is yes! Drinking water in excess can lead to bladder issues such as incontinence (as the bladder is not designed to full all the time) and can also lead to issues with force production and muscle cramping (as too much water disrupts the sodium/electrolyte balance in the blood and disrupts normal signal conduction to the muscles).

  • Bec Patterson, Exercise and Sport Scientist
hydration water drinking

There is no concrete recommendation for how much fluid you should drink in a day as this will be impacted by a number of factors including your body mass, activities of daily living, amount and intensity of exercise. For most adults, drinking 2-3L of water will put you in a healthy range (your urine should be a light straw colour if you are adequately hydrated).

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