T Nation

Too Much Water?

I drink between 5 and 10 L of water on non-workout days and more like 10-15 on workout days. This is not counting what goes into my protein shakes.

How does this compare to most of you other guys and gals?

I am lifting weights obviously on the workout days, and it IS the summer and I have a fairly active job. I work at a grocery store (without a/c) and am on my feet all day, walking around the store, stocking the shelves, carrying out groceries, plus other less physical tasks. Obviously some days are more physically taxing than others.

I am also eating very low carb to the point that I am in ketosis and can notice the acidosis at some points during the day (brown streaks on tongue occasionally, dry mouth, frequent urination).

I hit the bathroom about once every hour, sometimes I can go longer if I drink less water and take in a lot of salt but then I start feeling dehydrated.

I think I have an electrolyte imbalance (or an electrolyte deficiency maybe). I have tried to counter-act that by mixing sea salt, lemon juice, baking soda, potassium chloride, a trace mineral concentrate, or some combination of those into my water. I also try to get some of my water from natural mineral water during the day but those tend to be expensive.

I have not been entirely scientific but I have noticed some reactions:

sea salt = seems to relieve heart rate problem and sometimes improves erectile ability; on the down side it often leaves my mouth kind of dry, and sometimes seems to make my stomach bloated, possible cramps

lemon juice = leaves my mouth puckered and makes my stomach feel a bit uncomfortable sometimes, less problem when used in combination with salt

baking soda = when used in combination with salt and/or other items it seems to help retain water and keep my system less acidic; contributes to bloat too

potassium = upsets my stomach if doses are too high, causes muscle spasms, and tends to make me feel cold, seems to make my heart rate problem worse

trace minerals (high in magnesium) = seems to help with circulation, helps a little with the heart rate thing but not as much as salt, even small doses seems to upset my stomach and cause loose bowel movements

The sea salt seems to help the most but yet it seems to make me bloated sometimes and gives me the impression that I am dehydrated after drinking it, especially if I drink more than a coupe sips at a time.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Edit to Add:

It has occurred to me at times that perhaps I have too much sodium, that the reason the sea salt helps is because it retains some water and masks an imbalance of sodium to potassium. Yet when I have tried lowering sodium and upping potassium I seem to have problems (though I may not be toughing it out long enough (i.e. more than 3 or 4 days)).

Why is your carb intake so minimal?

I drink a gallon of water everyday, without fail. If you’re drinking mass amounts of water, you’re going to piss a lot, it’s just the way it is man.

[quote]B Scott wrote:
Why is your carb intake so minimal?

I drink a gallon of water everyday, without fail. If you’re drinking mass amounts of water, you’re going to piss a lot, it’s just the way it is man.[/quote]

Yeah, the pissing does not bother me, but I am concerned about pissing out electrolytes.

Doing the conversion, I am drinking more like 2-3 gallons of water.

I don’t remember having all of this trouble back 5 years or so ago when I was doing low carbs the first time. I keep wondering if I need to take more potassium and flush out some excess sodium, yet it seems that sodium helps.

I’m eating low carbs because that has been what has worked for me in the past to feel good and lose weight. A couple months ago I realized I was getting fatigued, and that I had let myself get out of shape. I decided the best way to bounce back from the fatigue, the insulin resistance, the weight, and whatever else might have been bothering me was to go on the Anabolic Diet. I transitioned to an even stricter approach when I saw a post Christian Thibaudeau made suggesting that one should adjust one’s carb ups and daily carb limit based on one’s weight and bodyfat level.

I am getting about 30-35 g of carbs per day, with 25-30 g of fiber, and a single carb up meal every 2 weeks. My calories each day tend to come out somewhere between 3200 and 3500 kcal.

i guess it depends on your size/caloric intake.

you can drink too much; i’ve almost done that.

i weigh about 185 and when i was 180 i was drinking about 6-8L/day and i got dizzy real easy.

be careful; no need to drink THAT much water. chew some gum instead.

im dealing with the same thing. im on a keto diet also. more info would be great.

10-15 litres of water a day?!?!?!?

Haven’t you heard about the people dying from doing exactly that!?

One of the reasons you are peeing so much is simply a reflection of your carb intake. Each gram of carbs stores 2.7grams of h2O. Your concern about loosing electrolytes seems a little extreme. Simply put, if your body has more of something than it needs (vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, macronutrients) some of it will naturally be excreted.

Messing with your sodium potassium balance is a surefire way to be flat and can potentially lead to heart problems (the na/k pump keeps the ol’ ticker going). The only way to really know if you have an imbalance in electrolytes , minerals or anything is by blood work and trying to guess your way through your body chemistry will likely cause more problems than it will solve.

Here is a little more info on the sodium potasium pump from an abstract I thought you may enjoy:

The Na+,K±ATPase situated in the plasma membrane mediates active extrusion of Na+ and intracellular accumulation of K+. This transport system - the Na+,K±pump - is the major regulator of the transmembrane distribution of Na+ and K+, and is itself subject to regulation by a wide variety of factors in skeletal muscles.

The excitation of skeletal muscles is elicited by a rapid influx of Na+, followed by an equivalent efflux of K+ across sarcolemmal and t-tubular membranes. Due to their size and sudden onset, these events constitute the major transport challenge for the Na+,K±pumps. Skeletal muscles contain the largest single pool of K+ in the organism. During intense exercise, the Na+,K±pumps cannot readily reaccumulate the K+ into the muscle cells.

Therefore, the working muscles undergo a net loss of K+, causing up to a doubling of the K+ concentration in the arterial blood plasma in less than one min and even larger increases in the interstitial K+. This may induce depolarisation, loss of excitability and force, in particular in muscles, where the excitation-induced passive Na+,K±fluxes are large. During continuous stimulation of isolated rat muscles, there is a highly significant correlation between the rise in extracellular K+ and the rate of force decline. Fortunately, excitation increases the Na+,K±pumping rate within seconds.

Thus, maximum activation of up to 20-fold above the resting transport rate may be reached in 10 s, with utilization of all available Na+,K±pumps. In muscles, where excitability is reduced by preexposure to high [K+]o, acute activation of the Na+,K±pumps by hormones or intermittent electrical stimulation restores excitability and contractility.

In working muscles, the Na+,K±pumps, due to rapid activation of their large transport capacity play a dynamic regulatory role in the from second to second ongoing restoration and maintenance of excitability and force.

Excitation is a self-limiting process, that depends on the leak/pump ratio for Na+ and K+. Acute inhibition of the Na+,K±pumps with ouabain or downregulation of the Na+,K±pump capacity clearly reduces contractile endurance in isolated muscles. The Na+,K±pumps are a limiting factor for contractile force and endurance. This is in particular noted if their capacity is reduced due to inactivity or disease. For these reasons, tight regulation of the Na+,K±pumps is crucial for the maintenance of plasma K+, membrane potential and excitability in skeletal muscle. This is achieved in two ways:

  1. By acute activation of the Na+,K±pumps elicited by excitation, catecholamines, insulin, insulin-like growth factor I, calcitonins and amylin.

  2. By long-term regulation of the content of Na+,K±pumps exerted by thyroid hormones, adrenal steroids, insulin, training, inactivity, fasting, K±deficiency or K±overload.

In conclusion, the Na+,K±pump is a central target for regulation of Na+,K±distribution, important for the contractile performance of skeletal muscles, the pathophysiology of several diseases and for therapeutic intervention.

In a long winded way if you offset the K±/Na+ pump your workouts will suffer.

[quote]laroyal wrote:
One of the reasons you are peeing so much is simply a reflection of your carb intake. Each gram of carbs stores 2.7grams of h2O. Your concern about loosing electrolytes seems a little extreme. Simply put, if your body has more of something than it needs (vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, macronutrients) some of it will naturally be excreted.

Messing with your sodium potassium balance is a surefire way to be flat and can potentially lead to heart problems (the na/k pump keeps the ol’ ticker going). The only way to really know if you have an imbalance in electrolytes , minerals or anything is by blood work and trying to guess your way through your body chemistry will likely cause more problems than it will solve.

Here is a little more info on the sodium potasium pump from an abstract I thought you may enjoy:

The Na+,K±ATPase situated in the plasma membrane mediates active extrusion of Na+ and intracellular accumulation of K+. This transport system - the Na+,K±pump - is the major regulator of the transmembrane distribution of Na+ and K+, and is itself subject to regulation by a wide variety of factors in skeletal muscles.

The excitation of skeletal muscles is elicited by a rapid influx of Na+, followed by an equivalent efflux of K+ across sarcolemmal and t-tubular membranes. Due to their size and sudden onset, these events constitute the major transport challenge for the Na+,K±pumps. Skeletal muscles contain the largest single pool of K+ in the organism. During intense exercise, the Na+,K±pumps cannot readily reaccumulate the K+ into the muscle cells.

Therefore, the working muscles undergo a net loss of K+, causing up to a doubling of the K+ concentration in the arterial blood plasma in less than one min and even larger increases in the interstitial K+. This may induce depolarisation, loss of excitability and force, in particular in muscles, where the excitation-induced passive Na+,K±fluxes are large. During continuous stimulation of isolated rat muscles, there is a highly significant correlation between the rise in extracellular K+ and the rate of force decline. Fortunately, excitation increases the Na+,K±pumping rate within seconds.

Thus, maximum activation of up to 20-fold above the resting transport rate may be reached in 10 s, with utilization of all available Na+,K±pumps. In muscles, where excitability is reduced by preexposure to high [K+]o, acute activation of the Na+,K±pumps by hormones or intermittent electrical stimulation restores excitability and contractility.

In working muscles, the Na+,K±pumps, due to rapid activation of their large transport capacity play a dynamic regulatory role in the from second to second ongoing restoration and maintenance of excitability and force.

Excitation is a self-limiting process, that depends on the leak/pump ratio for Na+ and K+. Acute inhibition of the Na+,K±pumps with ouabain or downregulation of the Na+,K±pump capacity clearly reduces contractile endurance in isolated muscles. The Na+,K±pumps are a limiting factor for contractile force and endurance. This is in particular noted if their capacity is reduced due to inactivity or disease. For these reasons, tight regulation of the Na+,K±pumps is crucial for the maintenance of plasma K+, membrane potential and excitability in skeletal muscle. This is achieved in two ways:

  1. By acute activation of the Na+,K±pumps elicited by excitation, catecholamines, insulin, insulin-like growth factor I, calcitonins and amylin.

  2. By long-term regulation of the content of Na+,K±pumps exerted by thyroid hormones, adrenal steroids, insulin, training, inactivity, fasting, K±deficiency or K±overload.

In conclusion, the Na+,K±pump is a central target for regulation of Na+,K±distribution, important for the contractile performance of skeletal muscles, the pathophysiology of several diseases and for therapeutic intervention.

In a long winded way if you offset the K±/Na+ pump your workouts will suffer.
[/quote]

so do you recommend taking a potassium supp pwo? sorry if that is a stupid ? i think Coach Thib recommends taking extra potassium when on a low carb diet to keep muscles full. (i dont remember where i read that)

and another thing… for me, taking only 5 grams of creatine a day really really dehydrates me. like cottonmouth really bad. my ? is is if im drinking a lot of water… like 2-3 gallons a day or more and im pissing and still thirsty all the time, can i overdose on water? even if my body is telling me i need to drink more water? or do you have to keep drinking so much water to where you are so full and sick of water that you cant drink anymore? does that make sense?

[quote]duddy wrote:
and another thing… for me, taking only 5 grams of creatine a day really really dehydrates me. like cottonmouth really bad. my ? is is if im drinking a lot of water… like 2-3 gallons a day or more and im pissing and still thirsty all the time, can i overdose on water?

even if my body is telling me i need to drink more water? or do you have to keep drinking so much water to where you are so full and sick of water that you cant drink anymore? does that make sense?[/quote]

That really summarizes how I got where I am now I think. I was thirsty so I drank a lot of water, and drinking a lot of water made me more thirsty and something (lots of water and/or low carbs) made me have other problems.

I started this thread because I was not really sure if I was getting too much or too little water, too many or too few electrolytes, or the wrong mix.

Last night I tried restricting my water intake while mixing in some sea salt. I only sipped occasionally on it. Despite being a little thirsty (mostly psychologically though) I don’t think I became dehydrated and I seemed to feel better than usual.

I have all the respect for coach Thib in the world, he really is one of the best guys out there. I do not ever supplement potassium sepperately though, I mix pedialyte in my post workout drink instead.

It is possible you simply need more H2o because of heat, lifestyle etc. Personally I go with .8oz H20/lb bw minimum and do not count additional h2O from shakes.

Hope this helps.

i sweat incredibly easy, as soon as the temp is above 25 celsius or humidity aboev 75% i sweat easily even when sitting still

for actual water consumption i have ~ 3 liters regardless of training or not training

other sources would be my PWO shake (half a liter) as well as water from veggies (about a lb a day)

I am glad this thread is here, as I have a question, and I hope this doesnt create too much of a hijack but I didn’t want to start a new thread on such a silly topic.

To get at the OP’s question, my water routine is as follows.
32oz water for breakfast.
one between breakfast and snack 1
one between snack 1 and lunch.
one at lunch
one between lunch and snack 2
one between snack 2 and 6pm
one between home time and bedtime.

This routine keeps me going to the bathroom usually about the same time as I need to refill my nalgene.

So here comes my other question. I have been “bulking” for almost 2 months now. This has lead to a little more junk on the weekends. This has led to a lot more water retention than before.

For example, Monday I weighed in at 203. Mid week I was at 196. Monday I had a crazy amount of bathroom breaks, even though my water intake was half what it usually is. Today my water intake is up, bathroom breaks down, and I weighed 199 this morning.

So my question, did I really piss out like 4 pounds of water yesterday? Is this a major way the body expells retained water?

Just curious.

[quote]johnward82 wrote:
I am glad this thread is here, as I have a question, and I hope this doesnt create too much of a hijack but I didn’t want to start a new thread on such a silly topic.

To get at the OP’s question, my water routine is as follows.
32oz water for breakfast.
one between breakfast and snack 1
one between snack 1 and lunch.
one at lunch
one between lunch and snack 2
one between snack 2 and 6pm
one between home time and bedtime.

This routine keeps me going to the bathroom usually about the same time as I need to refill my nalgene.

So here comes my other question. I have been “bulking” for almost 2 months now. This has lead to a little more junk on the weekends. This has led to a lot more water retention than before.

For example, Monday I weighed in at 203. Mid week I was at 196. Monday I had a crazy amount of bathroom breaks, even though my water intake was half what it usually is. Today my water intake is up, bathroom breaks down, and I weighed 199 this morning.

So my question, did I really piss out like 4 pounds of water yesterday? Is this a major way the body expells retained water?

Just curious.[/quote]

I would have to say yes.

I know that in a day or two’s time I can drop 5 lbs if I switch to drinking plain water instead of mixing in some electrolytes to help with retention.

[quote]poona wrote:
10-15 litres of water a day?!?!?!?

Haven’t you heard about the people dying from doing exactly that!?[/quote]

I wouldn’t drink it all at once, like they probably did.

I have a new theory about what my problem may be.

Perhaps I am drinking so much water that it is going right through me and I am not benefiting from its absorption into my system?

The salt is helping this but at the same time is not really the problem, so that is why it is not fixing all of my problems and why it i having some side effects.

Hopefully if I slow down on the water consumption even in the face of perceived thirst I will retain the water long enough to normalize electrolytes and raise blood volume if it is low.

[quote]Moon Knight wrote:
I have a new theory about what my problem may be.

Perhaps I am drinking so much water that it is going right through me and I am not benefiting from its absorption into my system?

The salt is helping this but at the same time is not really the problem, so that is why it is not fixing all of my problems and why it i having some side effects.

Hopefully if I slow down on the water consumption even in the face of perceived thirst I will retain the water long enough to normalize electrolytes and raise blood volume if it is low.[/quote]

I have the same problem as you when doing a ketogenic or even lower carb diet and tried slowing down on the water. Didn’t work for me. Felt very dehydrated and flat. But then again no matter how much water I drank I always felt dehydrated and couldn’t stop pissing.

I just can’t seem to hold water in the muscle but sometimes I do under the skin. I was also very acidic. Even walking up a flight of stairs caused a huge lactic acid burn in my thighs. Please let me know if you come up with a solution.