Why Does Water Make Me Nauseous? Causes and Solutions

why does water make me nauseous

Many of us have experienced nausea after drinking a glass of water. But why does water make us feel so queasy and uncomfortable? Why does water make me nauseous?

While the exact cause of this issue is still unknown, a few theories may explain why water can make us feel sick. Whether it’s the lack of electrolytes or simply a psychological reaction, there are potential explanations for why water can make us feel nauseous. 

In this article, we’ll explore the potential causes of why does water make me nauseous. I will also discuss some tips for reducing nausea when drinking water.

Why Does Water Make Me Nauseous: Introduction

Although nausea does not cause any physical pain, it can be highly uncomfortable and may cause a person to feel the need to vomit.

Why does water make me nauseous? The intent of feeling nauseous is to prevent you from doing whatever caused the uneasiness again. Even though the physiology is yet to clarify, four pathways in the body create a feeling of sickness or throwing up:

  • Chemoreceptor Trigger Zone activation – The Chemoreceptor trigger zone in the brain but outside the blood-brain barrier can be easily outreach by toxins and drugs circulating through our bloodstream.
  • Vestibular System disturbances – The vestibular system in the inner ear can be disrupted by motions that lead to motion sickness and dizziness.
  • Central Nervous System (CNS) stimulation – A heightened intracranial pressure can rouse the Central Nervous System, disturb the meninges (e.g., blood or infection), and cause intense emotional responses such as worry.
  • Peripheral Pathways triggers – When toxins are present in the gastrointestinal lumen, they can alarm the gastrointestinal tract and other organs. An obstruction or malfunction of the bowels may cause the lumen to distend, which can also be a potential trigger.

When people ask why does water make me nauseous, the answer is that feeling nauseous is an indication that doesn’t point to a specific cause.

Why Does Water Make Me Nauseous: Reasons

why does water make me nauseous

Determining the cause of dizziness or nausea after drinking regular water is comparable to diagnosing fatigue – there may be multiple explanations. Nevertheless, certainly, gulping down H2O typically should not lead to uneasiness.

Having stated that, here is a compilation of grounds for consideration on why does water make me nauseous: 


You may have consumed water that is contaminated with bacteria. This is not uncommon in the United States, so the question is: Is there an amount of these germs that could make the drinking water hazardous?

Water near organic fecal matter could infect microorganisms and cause sickness when outside. However, even if you are not camping, you are still exposed to waterborne diseases in your home and in public.

For instance, giardia is a parasite that colonizes the small intestines. Giardiasis is the most common disease in the United States that triggers intestinal parasites. Nevertheless, signs and symptoms such as feeling sick and being sick may manifest 1-3 weeks after exposure.

Cryptosporidium is another parasite that can cause nausea and other signs. The effects last for a few days to a maximum of 2 weeks. If nausea goes away within a couple of hours, it’s a good indication. Both giardia and cryptosporidium are highly resistant to chlorine.

The only method to detect if your sample has been affected by bacterial contamination is to carry out testing. You can deliver the sample directly to a laboratory that has been certified or get a testing kit and do the analysis by yourself.

If your water test results reveal contamination, consider buying a water filter to protect your drinking water. It should be certified by an outside organization that has approved it by NSF standards for eliminating cryptosporidium and giardia.

Antimony & Cadmium

Antimony and cadmium, both metalloids or transition metals, can induce nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea if they are present in concentrations surpassing the EPA’s drinking water limits.

The United States government has established a legal limit of 6 ppb for antimony in the environment. Still, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment has proposed a much more stringent health guideline of 1 ppb.

why does water make me nauseous

The federal government has established a legal limit of 5 parts per billion for cadmium content in drinking water. However, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment’s regulation is much more stringent, at 0.04 parts per billion, which is 125 times lower than the federal government’s standard.

To provide additional information, the Environmental Working Group Tap Water Database indicates that in 2015, the Garden Acres Mobile Home Park in Calabasas, Oklahoma registered the most significant concentration of cadmium in its water supply, with an average of 13.7 parts per billion. 

The first place was taken by a company from New York, which produced a result of 17.21 parts per billion – substantially higher than the acceptable amount of 8 ppb. The runner-up was the Crown King Water Company from Glendale, Arizona, measuring 8.49 ppb.

In 2015, the Quail Valley Water Dist-westside System in Tehachapi, CA, had the highest antimony level, with an average of 11.3 ppb. Following that, the Hanson Water Department in Hanson, MA, had the second-highest average, at 9.00 ppb.


Between 2010 and 2015, a pollutant produced from oil refining (MTBE) was present in the drinking water of millions of people in the USA. Its awful smell made the water unfit to drink. Fortunately, the levels of contamination did not exceed the safety standards.

It is surprising to note that there is still no national standard for drinking water.

An additional problem with MTBE is that it moves through underground water and does not break down easily. This has resulted in widespread groundwater pollution all over the U.S. and has even caused some public water suppliers to shut down public drinking wells.

In addition to causing nausea, MTBE has also been associated with feelings of giddiness, headaches, and confusion. It is quickly taken in by the digestive system.

A Full Stomach

The most likely explanation for why you feel unwell is overeating. After having an indulgent meal, it’s not a good idea to try to consume more liquid.

Your stomach may have difficulty digesting. Consume a substantial quantity of water in one go. Allow your digestive system to secrete liquid into your small intestines before drinking another cup. Consult a medical professional.

Algae Outbreaks

When high temperature combines with rain and pollutants from sewage processing facilities or agricultural drainage, it can result in harmful algal blooms in lakes and rivers that supply the water to your towns and cities. The result is poisoned drinking water.

Ingestion and skin contact of short-term duration is associated with throat ache, nausea, vomiting, and loose stools and causes harm to the liver.

Additionally, algae blooms are increasing at an alarming rate. In 2010, only three outbreaks were reported, but by 2017, that number had risen to 169.

The only positive announcement is that not every algae bloom produces toxins.


Chlorpyrifos results in sickness, migraines, and lightheadedness when taken in small doses. It originates from farming as one of the leading causes of contamination in our drinking water.

In August 2018, the 9th Circuit court of Appeals in the United States determined that the Environmental Protection Agency needs to forbid chlorpyrifos within 2 months from that point.

So, these are the reasons why does water make me nauseous. Now comes the solution!

Why Does Water Make Me Nauseous: Solutions

If you experience dizziness or nausea after drinking plain water, it is probably because your stomach is full. Do not be concerned, because this is not a significant problem. Here are the solutions to why does water make me nauseous:

  • Just remember to let your stomach have more time to digest the water before drinking again.
  • Speak to a medical professional if your self-care techniques don’t provide relief. 
  • Additionally, it’s advisable to have your drinking water tested for any potential contaminants, such as bacteria or toxins. If your water test results are positive, you should purchase bottled water or use a water filtration system.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) On Why Does Water Make Me Nauseous

1. Why can’t I drink water when I wake up?

Instead of having a glass of water in the morning, wait until you have breakfast and sip the water slowly while eating. You may also want to include a slice of lemon in your water to help settle your stomach.

2. Is there such a thing as drinking too much water per day?

Yes! You only need 2 liters of water daily, so it’s pretty impossible to over-drink. Consuming over 20-28 liters of liquid in a single day can result in a medical condition called hyponatremia, which occurs when the kidneys cannot expel the surplus water.

Summary: Why Does Water Make Me Nauseous

why does water make me nauseous

Although nausea does not cause any physical pain, it is highly uncomfortable. If you are experiencing this symptom after drinking water, it is essential to determine the cause.

Most of the time, nausea signifies that a person has consumed contaminated water. The primary source of these bacteria is fecal-contaminated water. You must seek a physician’s assistance before drinking the water if you have an open wound or compromised immune system.

In addition, you should always drink from a properly maintained, safe source unless advised otherwise. If you’re concerned about bacteria in your drinking water, you can use a filter to remove these harmful organisms from the water.

I hope this article on why does water make me nauseous sounds helpful!

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