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Overhydration danger: How much is too much?

CINCINNATI (Sarahbeth Ackerman) -- The death of a 17-year-old athlete in Georgia has many parents taking notice.
The high school football player died after drinking too many fluids during practice.  His family said overhydration led to massive swelling around the brain.
People are always told to drink plenty of water but can they overdo it?

How much water is too much water?  Is it possible to drink so much that a person becomes overhydrated?  Yes.
While it's vital to stay hydrated when a person is working out, they can actually overdo it causing life-threatening damage.

"In general it's recommended to not exceed a liter of fluid in an hour.  And that's about your typical Gatorade bottle that you'll have when kids are playing around or athletes are involved.  That's what you would see," said Dr. Spiro Tzetzis, a family practitioner.
Doctor Tzetzis goes on to say that those who are exercising under an hour should consume about three to eight ounces of water every 20 minutes.  Those who push it longer than an hour should switch to a drink with electrolytes and consume three to eight ounces every 20 minutes.
People may need a little more or a little less but it's all in moderation.

"If you use your body's signals to keep track of when you're thirsty, and drinking appropriate amounts and not overdoing it, the likeliness of this happening is extremely, extremely, rare," said Dr. Tzetzis

Too much of anything is usually not a good idea so learn what works for you and listen to your body to know when you've had enough.

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