Growing up, there was probably some jerk/wet blanket who told you that there can be too much of a good thing. They told you not to eat all your Halloween candy in one night because you’ll get a stomach ache; don’t play that song over and over again, you’ll get sick of it; don’t forget to list three things, because only listing two things isn’t funny. But is there any truth to this? At what point is too much of a thing that’s actually good for you? What happens when you chug ten gallons of water? Or take fifteen vitamin supplements a day for three months?
As it turns out, bad things happen. All those jerks/wet blankets were right—there can be too much of a good thing. Now before you put that Halloween candy down, just hear me out—I’m not talking about Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, or those gross Tootsie Rolls that keep getting handed out. (Seriously, who likes Tootsie Rolls? Any amount of Tootsie Rolls is too much.)
I’m talking about water. That clear, wet stuff that you’re supposed to drink six cups of a day according to some study sometime. (Or maybe you aren’t supposed to drink that much? Jury’s out on that one.) Either way, at a certain point, it becomes too much water. And the result of drinking too much water isn’t just that you have to sit in your seat squirming anxiously, wondering if it’s too soon to go to the washroom again because you just went ten minutes ago so, will everyone think you’re weird if you go again? In fact, too much water can be downright deadly. It’s called water intoxication, or hyponatremia if ya nasty. It causes the levels of sodium in your blood to plummet, which is important in maintaining the proper level of liquid in your cells. Without sodium, your cells start to swell—which, in the case of your brain, is very dangerous.
But what else can you get too much of? Vitamin overdosing is also a real and messed-up thing. Too much Vitamin D can give you a lot of stomach issues and can even result in dangerous heart abnormalities. The B vitamins (did you know there are 8 B vitamins? Who came up with this?) can cause a whole mess of problems. B6? That can cause nerve toxicity. B3? Nausea, jaundice, and liver problems. And if you think that sounds bad, steer clear of Vitamin A overdosing—that can just straight up kill you. It can also give you dry skin and make you lose your hair, so any hopes of leaving behind a pretty corpse are out the window.
But before you throw out your water bottle and those expensive multivitamins, stop worrying. It takes a tremendous amount of water or vitamins to get these symptoms. It takes gallons of water in a short period of time for your kidneys to start falling behind, and it takes nearly forty times the recommended dose of any given vitamin every day for a while before those symptoms kick in. So as long as you aren’t religiously chugging water or chewing vitamins like candy (which, come on, we all did as kids—Flintstones vitamins were tasty) you should be able to avoid these Issues. Don’t use this as an excuse to skimp out on (what I’m told are) important parts of a healthy lifestyle.
Ian Mitchell is a pro-wrestling fan who also happens to be in the second year of the Professional Writing program. When not telling his friends about how he would run the WWE, he can be found playing video games, doodling, and writing a rules system for a pro-wrestling tabletop roleplaying game.