Does Drinking a Lot of Water Increase Blood Pressure?


About high blood pressure 

Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood around the body. Ideal blood pressure would be 120/80 mmHg. High blood pressure 140/90 mmHg. For individuals over 80 years old, high blood pressure is 150/90 mmHg.

Risk factors

Being overweight, high salt intake, low fruit and vegetable intake, not enough exercise, smoking and drinking too much alcohol and caffeine. Lack of sleep for those over 65, family
history of HBP, Black African or Black Caribbean descent and living in a deprived area. 


Those with high blood pressure often have rarely noticeable symptoms, but if left untreated, it can increase your risk of severe problems like heart attacks and strokes. 


High blood pressure strains your blood vessels, heart and organs such as the brain, eyes and kidneys. This can lead to more life-threatening health conditions if you have persistently high blood pressure, such as:

Heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, heart failure, kidney disease, vascular dementia, aortic aneurysms, and peripheral arterial disease. 

Excessive water consumption 

What happens when you drink excessive amounts of water?

Drinking too much water can lead to overhydration as there is too much water in the cells, causing them to swell and therefore causing pressure on the brain. This can cause headaches, confusion, water poisoning, drowsiness, or disruption of brain function. 

Signs that you are drinking too much water

Colour of urine

The colour of your urine says a lot about your health and hydration levels. It usually ranges from dark orange to pale yellow/ almost transparent due to the combination of the pigment urochrome and the water level in your body. If your urine is clear, that is a sign you are drinking too much water.

Many trips to the bathroom 

If you go to the toilet more than usual, you might be drinking too much water or more water than you averagely consume. Up to 10 trips to the bathroom per day are normal for those who drink more than they may need or people who regularly consume caffeine or alcohol.

Drinking water even if you are not thirsty

If your body is dehydrated, your body will send you signals to drink more water. A sign of thirst is your body fighting against dehydration.


Drinking too much water means your kidneys cannot remove the excess liquid, so it collects in the body, leading to nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Symptoms of overhydration can look like those of dehydration.


Headaches are a sign of both dehydration and overhydration. All the excess water will cause your body’s salt levels to drop, and the cells will swell. As the cells swell, those in the brain will put pressure against the skull and cause a throbbing headache and trouble breathing which may lead to brain impairment.

Discolouration of hands, feet and lips

Overhydration can lead to discolouration in your hands, feet and lips. Also, as the cells swell up, so will your skin and your hands, feet and lips.

Weakened muscles 

Drinking too much water can cause your electrolyte levels to drop as your body balance decreases. Low electrolyte levels can lead to muscle spasms and cramping.


Overhydration can cause your kidneys to be overworked to remove the excess water. It can make you feel stressed and tired and struggle to get out of bed because your kidneys are overworked from the excess water.

What is the recommended amount of water intake?

According to a study, assuming body weight is between 50 to 80kg, the water that should be consumed is between 2 to 3.2 litres. This is rough guidance, depending on your physical activity levels, climate, body weight and sex. 

How can I lower my blood pressure quickly?

Stay calm

Relax! Take deep breaths. This can be through breathing exercises, putting your phone down or going for a walk. Stress will likely contribute to high blood pressure, so please do relax.

Lie down

Elevating your legs can help lower blood pressure as it allows your blood that pooled to drain away. Take deep breaths; this technique helps bring blood pressure down.

Get enough rest

It can affect your blood pressure if you don’t get enough sleep or are well-rested. You need a regular sleeping pattern with 7 to 9 hours of sleep; anything more or less will increase your rate of high blood pressure. Ways to get a better night’s sleep: 

Set a regular sleep schedule, spend time relaxing before bedtime and stay off any devices, exercise during the day, avoid daytime naps, and make your bedroom comfortable.

Eat dark chocolate

Yes, chocolate can be good for you. Dark chocolate has been shown to lower blood pressure quickly. The dark chocolate should be 60 to 70% cacao. Eating one to two squares daily should help reduce the risk of high blood pressure and inflammation. There are flavonoids in dark chocolate that help dilate and widen blood vessels.

Drink hibiscus/camomile tea

Camomile tea can have a slight effect on lowering blood pressure. Hibiscus tea can lower systolic blood pressure as effectively as some anti-hypertensive drugs. Green tea can also help lower blood pressure as its anti-inflammatory properties reduce inflammation in the heart tissues. But these should not be taken with blood pressure-lowering medications.

Regular physical activity

Getting active and taking part in regular exercise can lower blood pressure by keeping your heart and blood vessels in very good condition. Research has shown that resistance training or weight training, more commonly known as moderate intensity, can reduce blood pressure. Regular exercise can be in the form of walking, cycling, lifting weights, gardening, sports and any moderate-intensity aerobic activity that should be done for 150 minutes per week.

Can not drinking enough water also increase my blood pressure?

Yes, not drinking enough water can cause your blood pressure to rise. Water benefits your blood pressure by keeping the correct electrolyte balance. When you don’t drink enough water, your kidneys will reabsorb water and the toxins it has cleansed, and this will cause your blood vessels to restrict.


Overall, drinking lots of water will not immediately increase your blood pressure, but it is not recommended. Drink as much water as you need, everyone needs different amounts of water, but the recommended average should be 2.6 litres. Overhydration can lead to light-coloured urine, headaches, vomiting, weakened muscles, fatigue and many trips to the bathroom. Too much water can cause your cells to swell, which may cause your heart muscles to work harder to pump blood through your blood, increasing blood pressure. Drink when you are thirsty, but ensure you are not dehydrated as that will also increase your blood pressure. 


  1. Contributors, WebMD Editorial. ‘What Is Too Much Water Intake?’ WebMD, Accessed 27 May 2022.
  2. How Can I Lower My Blood Pressure in Minutes?’ MedicineNet, Accessed 27 May 2022.
  3. Dai B, Chen RC, Zhu SZ, Huang CY. A fuzzy recommendation system for daily water intake. Advances in Mechanical Engineering. 2016 May;8(5):1687814016649937.
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Siya Mistry

Masters of Science - MSc Health Psychology, Birmingham City University, England
Siya is a MIND Volunteer who supports clients one-to-one in a non-judgmental way in the local area with mental health problems and engages in social activities.

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