PULLMAN, WA - OCTOBER 13:  Powerade containers on the sidelines before the start of the game between the California Golden bears and the Washington State Cougars at Martin Stadium on October 13, 2012 in Pullman, Washington.  (Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images)
Health - Wellness
When You Drink Too Many Electrolytes, This Is What Happens
Electrolytes are beneficial to the body, especially for active people, but despite their importance, it is not a good idea to have too many. Sports drinks are not the only potential culprit, as drinking too much water can lead to an electrolyte imbalance.
Drinking too many electrolytes can lead to an excess in potassium, which causes muscle weakness and — in severe cases — may lead to abnormal heart rhythms and eventually cause the heart to stop beating. Signs of overhydration include spasms, cramps, headaches, nausea, and cloudy thinking.
People with mild cases of overhydration can stop drinking fluids for a few hours, but severe symptoms like seizures or fainting need immediate medical attention. To prevent overhydration, men and women should get 3.7 and 2.7 liters per day, respectively, and not drink more than 1 liter of fluid in an hour.