Now and again, most of us crave a nice detox - tons of water, fresh-squeezed juices, raw fruits & veggies, the works. Maybe we overindulged, or simply like to give our bodies some TLC. With all that liquid going in, can there be too much of a good thing? Possibly.
Here's some things to consider:
Over-hydration can occur, but it's very rare; you'd have to drink a truly excessive amount of water. If it does happen, the kidneys become unable to pass all of the excess fluid. This causes an imbalance between water and electrolytes in the body, which can lead to an arrhythmia, kidney failure, or heart attack.
Electrolytes are electrically-charged ions in the blood required for important body processes, including nerve and muscle function, hydration, blood pH, blood pressure and more. A balance of electrolytes, including sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium, are crucial and must be replenished through food and drink.
According to Blisstree.com, healthy kidneys, on average, will pass about 1 liter of fluids, either through sweating or using the restroom, per hour. If you’re drinking more than that, and, say, exercising vigorously or not being careful about what you eat, it's possible to exceed the amount you’re able to eliminate–which can lead to overhydration.
To avoid this very-preventable situation, especially on a cleanse when the risk of electrolyte depletion is higher, read further.
Sodium, an electrolyte that helps maintain cell function and fluid balance, is an important one to watch on a detox. There's very few foods, apart from those sourced from the ocean, that naturally contain sodium. It must be obtained through table salt, or foods with added salt. If you're being extra-clean with your diet, you may be lacking in sodium. Try adding some broth to your detox, or eat fish to get the sodium you need.
Electrolytes like potassium, calcium and magnesium are easily obtained through dark leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, beans and certain fruits. If you're pounding lots of water, however, this may not be enough to keep your body balanced and kidneys operational. Be sure to eat (or drink) lots of nutrient-rich fruits and veggies, and consider coconut water, "nature's electrolyte" with natural sodium and potassium.