What's The Opposite Of Dehydration

The opposite of dehydration, here's what happens when you're over-hydrated.

2 Min Read

Being dehydrated is one thing; but there is a polar opposite which fortunately enough is a lot less common and this condition is known water intoxication or Hyponatremia. This is a medical condition that if not treated promptly in a clinical environment can lead to a very quick death.

Basically what’s happening here is where somebody consumes too much water in too short a time, diluting the concentration of electrolytes, particularly sodium which leads to a dangerous fluid/electrolyte imbalance within the intracellular fluid compartments (in the cells).  

Now what happens next is why it is so dangerous. You see; electrolytes are transported to our cells via our fluids and if the cells require more electrolytes in order to restore homeostasis, then they will keep absorbing more fluid in the pursuit of these electrolytes. They will keep doing this until the cells practically start popping and at this point it can be all over red rover.

This condition is rarer in the general population but it is a real danger to the puritan athlete who believes that they can support their electrolyte needs by eating a sensible diet backed with green juices and trail nuts. When you’re losing a couple of litres of sweat an hour then forget managing your fluid and electrolyte needs with just good old water and any kind of diet irrespective of how mineral rich your food may appear to be.

This mineral concentration and more importantly; The bioavailability of minerals in food is a very important topic that I will address at a later date. But you will be surprised to find that the most mineral rich foods are not necessarily the most bioavailable either.