Water intoxication overview

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


Water intoxication is a potentially fatal disturbance in brain function that results when the normal balance of electrolytes in the body is pushed outside of safe limits by a very rapid intake of water.[1] Normal, healthy (both physically and nutritionally) individuals have little to worry about accidentally overconsuming water. Nearly all deaths related to water intoxication in normal individuals have resulted either from water drinking contests, in which individuals attempt to consume several gallons over the course of just a few minutes, or long bouts of intensive exercise during which time electrolytes are not properly replenished, yet massive amounts of fluid are still consumed.


  1. Bird, Patrick J. (2000). "You Can Drink Too Much Water". University of Florida. Retrieved 2007-01-21.