Yom Kippur/ Tisha Bav Warning! (no mussar enclosed)

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    a few years ago i drank massive amounts of water Erev Yom Kippur (maybe 8 liters)

    i had a very severe headache the next morning. turns out it was ‘hyponatremia” a dilution of the concentration of sodium (and other critical atoms) in the bloodstream.

    worst headache i ever had

    turns out hyonatremia can be FATAL, lo aleynu, even if caused (it has many causes) by drinking too much water.

    i once read a case report in the medical literature of a man who drank water all day long, for a few days, because it helped his toothache. he died from hyponatremia

    this is not an urban legend


    Feivel, How much water did you consume that Erev Yom Kippur?



    from last post:

    “(maybe 8 liters)”

    but i really dont remember

    i just recall forcing more and more water down, as much as i could stand, about every hour. i didnt measure it.

    if someone tries to drink Erev Yom Kippur much more that usual but stays within reason, i dont think there would be a problem. i was clearly acting beyond the realm of reasonableness.

    anon for this

    Feivel wrote that he drank around 8 liters; since a liter is about a quart he drank about 2 gallons.

    Of course hyponatremia, also called water intoxiaction, is not an urban legend. A woman died of it about two years ago after participating in a contest held by a radio station (contestants were encouraged to drink as much water as possible without using the bathroom).

    Thanks for this warning.


    I think he said, close to one gallon (since they don’t use liters in Queens County).

    Pashuteh Yid

    Was told by a physician that if you try to drink extra water before a fast when you are not thirsty, you will excrete it all and then some shortly thereafter, so not a good idea.


    since people are interested:

    it was many years ago

    trying to reconstruct it in terms of gallons

    was probably between 2-3 gallons

    pahuteh Yid

    according to my recollection of kidney physiology, i disagree with what your physician said

    most will be excreted within a few hours, but it will not pull extra water with it, and some of the water will oversaturate the tissues and its excretion will be much later. anecdotally also, i believe it does help (not a proof)


    Water intoxication (also known as hyperhydration or water poisoning) is a potentially fatal disturbance in brain functions that results when the normal balance of electrolytes in the body is pushed outside of safe limits by over-consumption of water.[1] Normal, healthy (both physically and nutritionally) individuals have little to worry about accidentally consuming too much water. Nearly all deaths related to water intoxication in normal individuals have resulted either from water drinking contests, in which individuals attempt to consume more than 10 liters (3 gallons) of water over the course of just a few minutes, or long bouts of intensive exercise during which electrolytes are not properly replenished, yet massive amounts of fluid are still consumed.

    the rest is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_intoxication

    Feif Un

    There was a case of this last year that was highly publicized – a radio station held a water-drinking contest, and someone died. A doctor said it was because of the electrolyte balance being off. All you have to do is drink something with electrolytes, such as Powerade, and you’ll be ok.


    The right answer would be BALANCE. e.g. chase your water with a little power-ade type of drink.


    They say to drink water with lemon juice before the fast. Apparantly the lemon keeps the fluid in the body for a long period of time.


    Also drinking a HUGE amount of water probably won’t do you a a lot of good, your body will just get rid of it in the normal way. But do drink some extra!


    This is a great point to bring up, because many people don’t think you can “over” drink fluids. A fast is going to be hard, whether you drink a lot or not, but to make it a bit more bearable, make sure the day Before Yom Kippur, you eat sufficient amounts of nutrients that your body needs. Also, take in extra electrolytes (sodium or potassium)(many sport drink companies started selling sugar free sport drinks, although sport drinks don’t contain as much electrolytes as one thinks), B-vitamins , and healthy Carbs (brown rice, whole grains).


    In honor of Tisha B’Av:


    Say i Bumbed it™!


    MODS: Maybe you can change the title to “Yom Kippur?Tisha B’Av Warning!”?



    “MODS: Maybe you can change the title to “Yom Kippur?Tisha B’Av Warning!”?”

    I second that.


    You had your finger on the SHIFT key when you pressed /


    Yes I did. Lets try again:

    MODS: Maybe you can change the title to “Yom Kippur/Tisha B’Av Warning!”?

    And The Chassidishe Gatesheader agrees!

    Rough Rider

    poland spring not poland summer


    Thanks Mod(s?)!! You’re the greatest!!!



    Yup, I was also told by a nutritionist that if you want to be totally hydrated for a fast, you should start drinking the proper daily amounts two weeks in advance. Chugging a ton of water erev-fast is counterproductive because you can’t absorb it fast enough, and it causes you to wash out your electrolytes that conduct nerve impulses from the brain.

    YW Moderator-42

    Interesting side note, some people nowadays have started using pills that supposedly make fasting easier. This year, it might be problematic to take that pill before the fast since that could be hachona on Shabbos for after.


    Mods – maybe you can make this thread sticky until after Yom Kippur?


    Mods – maybe you can make this thread sticky until after Yom Kippur?

    I like that idea. Mods please sticky this.


    The Chassidishe Gatesheader: I don’t like sticky threads. Nobody notices them! Before Y”K we can Bump™ the thread again!



    If you would drink powerade or gatorade, which contains sodium and electrolytes, along with the water I would imagine that would help avoid hyponatremia (though I have absolutely no medical experience, only guessing).


    mw13: It helps, but too much of those can cause it also. I believe the experts say don’t drink more than 3 times your normal water intake. And if you drank a ton and start to feel thirstier every time you drink, do NOT drink more and call a doctor immediately.


    Sam – I don’t drink excessively before a fast and not really any more than normal. Chazal/Torah got it right -they said to eat Erev YK. And this principle would apply to other fasts. Foods contain water. Some people eat pasta and/or other complex carbs that take a long time to digest. As these things are slowly digesting they release water. Excessive drinking beforehand can cause Health problems. But I do drink a lot after the fast. I try to start with a Powerade/Gatorade. But this year -I’m gonna start with a Beer!



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