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How Much Water Can You Process In An Hour? When Is It Too Much?

With 60-70 percent of the body composed of water, it is the main ingredient in the human body. Water is in every cell, tissue and organ. There's no question that water is necessary for optimal health: Water ...

  • keeps your urinary tract healthy,

  • keeps food moving along your digestive tract,

  • helps regulate your blood pressure and body temperature,

  • helps your kidneys remove waste from your blood,

  • keeps your blood vessels open, and

  • works to cushion and protect joints, organs, and other tissues.

You do need water, but how much? You may be drinking either too much or too little water. Depending on your gender, weight, diet, exercise and the weather, your body can processes only so much.

Why Do You Need To Replace The Continually Lost Water?

First things first... Your kidneys process much of the water you take in.

You lose water continually through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. In order for your body to work properly, you need to replace all the lost water by drinking liquids or eating food that contain water -vegetables and fruits. Your body processes all of it continually. And also don't forget! Alcohol, tea, and coffee are liquids that are all diuretics, meaning that they may end up increasing your dehydration if you don't drink enough to compensate for the additional loss.

How Much Water Can You Drink Maximum? What Happens If You Drink Even More?

According to a peer reviewed paper published by the National Institute of Health (NIH), a healthy body with normal functioning kidney can process a maximum of 27 - 33.8 ounces per hour (800 - 1000 ml per hour). Any amount over that may cause hyponatremia (most common electrolyte disorder) symptoms.

Gulping down too much water can lead to some pretty unexpected health issues. Overhydration symptoms include confusion, nausea, vomiting, headache, irregular heartbeat, difficulty concentrating, and disorientation.


When you drink too much water (more than 27 - 33.8 ounces per hour), your kidneys cannot perform swiftly enough. Water builds up in your body, especially in the lungs (Remdesivir effect), extra water to goes into your cells and cause them to swell. This condition is also very dangerous for the brain as the cells in your brain have nowhere to go because the brain can't expand beyond the skull.


Water intoxication also causes rapid electrolyte depletion. Excessive amount of water in the body dilutes the electrolytes in the blood (minerals that perform important body functions).

According to the December 2014 Journal of Clinical Medicine study, the sodium level in the blood drops below normal. Your body needs sodium for fluid balance, blood pressure control, nerves and muscles. According to the NKF, the normal blood sodium level is 135 to 145 milliequivalents/liter (mEq/L). When your mEq/L goes below 135, hyponatremia can occur. This is a very serious medical condition and has to be treated swiftly with IV fluids and other fluids containing sodium.

How Much Water Should You Drink Ideally?

You've probably heard the advice to drink eight glasses of water a day. You may wonder if that's how much the human body needs in the course of a day. That's reasonable goal. Nevertheless, for some people, fewer than eight glasses a day might be enough. But other people might need more. There's no exact rate at which your body processes water. The rate of your water loss is based on several factors; you may lose water quickly through perspiration if you're outside on a hot, humid day, especially if you're working or exercising.

  • Exercise. You need to drink extra water to cover the fluid loss before, during and after any activity that makes you sweat.

  • Environment. Hot or humid weather and high altitudes can cause faster dehydration.

  • Overall health. Your body loses fluids when you have a fever, vomiting or diarrhea. Drink more water or follow a doctor's recommendation to drink oral rehydration solutions. Other conditions that might require increased fluid intake include bladder infections and urinary tract stones.

  • Pregnancy and breast-feeding. If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, you may need additional fluids to stay hydrated.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) follows the 2004 National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine recommendation that an adequate daily fluid intake is:

About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters or 125 ounces) of fluids a day for men
About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters or 90 ounces) of fluids a day for women

These amounts are recommended by the CDC and the National Kidney Foundation (NKF), and also listed in the 2017 Mayo Clinic report.

Most healthy people can stay reasonably hydrated by drinking water and other fluids whenever they feel thirsty. Your fluid intake is probably close to adequate if:

  • You rarely feel thirsty, or

  • your urine is light yellow. Drink enough to keep your urine light yellow. If your urine is dark, you're not getting enough water. If your urine is clear, then you are drinking too much!

  • You don't need to urinate roughly every two hours, you may not be drinking enough.

According to the CDC, best way to replace the lost fluids is to drink clear water because your liver and kidneys do not need to deal with the filtration of other ingredients, and pure water has no calories.

In closing, we would like to refer you to another great article on "Dangers Of Drinking Too Much Water"!

Drink wisely!

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