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Does drinking too much water cause a headache?

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I'm drinking about 3-4 litres of water over a day which I don't think is excessive, but this past day or two I've had a dull headache- do you think its related? I'm not a pill-popper so don't take painkillers for headaches if I can help it, but I can reduce the water if thats whats causing it?

Edited May 16 2014 23:58 by coach_k
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Drinking too much water can lead to a condition called hyponatremia, where basically the sodium concentration in your blood gets too low.  It's one of those things they discovered in marathon-racers who were drinking only water on their runs, and why the track-side tables no longer serve *just* water.  One of the symptoms is headache.

However, 3-4 liters a day does not sound excessive to me, especially if you are eating normally and drinking the water over the entire day (as opposed to just all at once).  The human body is pretty good at maintaining the sodium/water balance.

Unfortunately, a dull headache can be a symptom of about a zillion different things.  If it continues to day three I'd at least call your doctor's office about it.

Is the water particularly cold?  Iced drinks can cause headaches. 

Thanks guys for your reassurance, it's not particularly cold (out of the fridge) and I didn't think it was an excessive amount. I guess its just one of those things?

If you think it's the water, try drinking less tomorrow.  You really only need a litre or 2 extra.  If the headaches clear up you've got your answer.  If they don't then it's something else.

drinking too much water or just a lot of water at one time makes me feel really weird. out of it. probably because i flush out nutrients. that's my guess.

but it's never given me a headache.

I don't think your drinking too much water- unless you are drinking a water that has had much of it's minerals removed- like RO (reverse osmosis) water.  In some countries each bottle of RO water has a warning label on it warning that it is not for drinking.

As a water specialist I worked in  Ultra Pure Water Plant for years as an engineer.   We never drank the RO water.  Never!   It will pull the mineral out of you body.    Some bottled water is in fact RO water.   Not all but some - usally says on the label.    If you are drinking this water you will suffer from loss of mineral unless you are taking in larger amounts of minerals to replace what you have lost.  

If you are perspiring a lot you'll need to be sure your diet has the mineral packed vegetable and fruits it' needs.   See your nutrional listings on here on this site.  

If you are cleaning out (eliminating poisons via bathroom) and replacing coffee with lots of water - you'll most likely get a headache for a couple of days.   That happend to me.  It lasted 3 days.    After that I was fine.   I drink nearly a gallon of water a day and have done so for half a year now.    But it is ionized alkaline water and it has some minerals in it from the tap water it was created.  It also has some calcium added to it. 

I don't do a lot of perspiring cause I don't don't run marothons.  So I don't loose a lot of minerals.     I urinate about every two hours.    And I feel great and in fact before I started drinking this water and lot of if I was very ill and could not even walk around the block.   I was dehydrated and did not know it.   Now I can exercise and walk a couple of miles with no problems.

So I doubt 3 liters of water is hurting unless its the wrong water.    Check the ph of it.  If the water is below 7 pH it's acidic and will make you feel ill.  If it is carbonated it's acidic!   Don't drink carbonated water.   Dont' drink RO water.  Don't drink water with chlorine or flouride. 

I just read a report on fluoride that might scare the dickens out of a lot of people if they saw it.   We don't have fluoride in the tap water in my town.   I'm glad of that.    (My teeth are fine)   Wink



I absolutely hate water, but force myself to drink it anyway. ugh.
Anyway, when I drink cold water semi-quickly, I get a really bad headache. Still not exactly sure why, but that's my experience.
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water washes out your system of both the bad stuff and the good.  This means when you greatly increase your water intake you loose water soluble vitamins and minerals.  I have had the same problems with dramatically increasing my water intake. I went from 8oz a day to over a gallon and the more I drank the worse I felt (headache, heavy muscles, dry skin, low energy, even depression).  It turned out that my sodium levels were dangerously low.  A little more salt in my diet and I was fine.  This may or may not be the same for you. The next time you down water and it gives you one of those symptoms try taking a hit of sodium, potassium, or a multie vitamin, if your symptoms relent or momentarily disappear you know the cause.  If this is the cause try adding a little more salt to your diet or cut your water with Gatorade or coconut water, both will help replace the good stuff you are washing out of your system.

this post finished SIX years ago....?

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