Vomit After Drinking Water: Why Water Make Me Nauseous?

Are you throwing up after drinking water?

You wake up feeling dehydrated and decide to drink a few glasses of water to re-hydrate.

However, you feel nauseous and vomit after drinking water.

What’s going on?

Why does drinking water sometimes make us vomit?

In this article, we will discuss the various reasons why water can cause nausea and make you vomit after drinking water and some ways to prevent it.

This article aims to answer the following questions:

  • Why is drinking water makes me nauseous?
  • Why drinking water makes me feel bloated and sick?
  • Why does drinking water make me feel sick?
  • Why am I throwing up water after drinking water?
  • Why do I throw up when I drink water?

If you are facing the above problems, keep reading to learn more!

What is Nausea?

Nausea is a feeling of uneasiness or sickness, often accompanied by vomiting. Various factors are responsible for nausea, such as food poisoning, motion sickness, or pregnancy. Nausea can also be a side effect of certain medications or radiation therapy.

Interestingly enough, the purpose of nausea is to prevent you from repeating whatever caused you to feel nauseous in the first place.

If you are feeling sick after drinking water, then nausea stops you from drinking more. Although the physiology behind this reasoning is yet to be clarified, there are four pathways in our bodies that are responsible for the sensation of nausea.

  1. Disturbing the vestibular system: The vestibular system is the apparatus of the inner ear which plays a role in balance. And its disturbances vestibular system that is causing motion sickness and dizziness.
  2. Stimulating the central nervous system: There are many reasons why stimulation of the central nervous system can cause nausea. Some of these reasons include getting sick, migraines, vertigo, and extreme emotional triggers like anxiety.
  3. Activating the chemoreceptor trigger zone: The chemoreceptor is a trigger zone in our brains outside the blood-brain barrier. The consistent exposure to substances like toxins and medications circulating through our blood makes the chemoreceptor easily triggered.
  4. Triggering the peripheral pathways: Within the gastrointestinal tract and other organs lie our peripheral pathways. Triggering the peripheral pathways could mean toxins in our intestines from a blockage of the bowels.

The Science of Nausea

Nausea is a common symptom that can occur for many reasons. It can be caused by motion sickness, viral infections, pregnancy, and many other factors. In the case of nausea after drinking water, the cause can be more complex.

One possible cause of nausea after drinking water is overhydration. Overhydration occurs when a person drinks too much water, and their body cannot process it all. The excess water can dilute the body’s electrolytes, which can lead to nausea, vomiting, and other symptoms.

On the other hand, dehydration can also cause nausea. When a person is dehydrated, the body may produce more stomach acid, which can cause feelings of nausea. Dehydration can also cause the stomach to empty more slowly, leading to a feeling of fullness and nausea.

Tap water quality can also be a factor. Some tap water may contain contaminants such as bacteria, viruses, and chemicals, which can cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.

People with sensitive stomachs may also be prone to experiencing nausea after drinking water. This can be due to various factors such as an underlying medical condition, food sensitivities, or a history of gastrointestinal issues.

Causes of Vomiting After Drinking Water

Here are causes of vomiting after drinking water:


Bacteria from contaminated water may cause one possible explanation for your sudden trip to the bathroom toilet. Bacteria lives everywhere – yes, even in water – however, in this case, the bacteria are harmful to our bodies and cause us to get sick.

Bacteria in water is a common occurrence in water supplies within America, but it depends on where you are getting your water from. Here are three examples of ways you can drink contaminated water:

  • Vacation in a foreign location: I’m sure we’ve all been told at some point, “don’t drink the tap water when you go away! Only drink bottled water!” And to be honest, that does have truth to it. So often, when we go to a foreign country on vacation, our stomachs do not adapt to the bacteria that live in that water, so we get an upset stomach.
  • Camping trips: The great outdoors is home to lots of things, one being unsafe drinking water. As always, bringing your own bottled water or carrying a water-filtering system with you is best to avoid any unfortunate mishaps. There are many living (and dead) things in natural waterways, which causes unsafe bacteria to grow. Moreover, if water is too close to fecal matter, it can be contaminated with disease-spreading microorganisms.
  • Home or public water supplies: Sometimes, harmful bacteria contaminate water from our faucets or public sources. This is usually due to old or rusty pipes, which can introduce iron and lead into the water. It’s important to note that not all vomit-inducing bacteria will make you sick – some might give you an upset stomach.


Although not as common, sometimes the culprit behind your vomit sessions may be due to parasites. Parasites are tiny organisms that live off of other creatures – including humans.

Ingesting contaminated water is one way you can contract a parasitic infection. These infections are more common in underdeveloped countries where water sanitation is not up to par.

A few examples of water-borne parasites include:

  • Cryptosporidium
  • Cyclospora cayetanensis
  • Giardia lamblia

Each of these parasites can cause various gastrointestinal issues like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss.

Often, these infections will go away on their own. However, it’s best to see a doctor if you experience severe symptoms or vomit for longer than two days.

Intense Exercise

Sometimes, nausea after drinking water can be due to over-exertion during intense exercise. When we push our bodies to the limit, sometimes our bodies can’t handle it, and we end up feeling sick.

Dehydration is one possible explanation for this vomit-inducing sensation; when we are severely dehydrated, our body temperature rises which causes us to feel nauseous and sometimes vomit.

It’s essential to listen to your body during a workout and take breaks when needed. Also, drink plenty of fluids – especially water – to stay hydrated.


Usually, we wouldn’t think overhydration causes nausea, but sometimes, it’s the case. We’re mainly concerned about dehydration, but overhydration can be just as dangerous.

Overhydration leads to water intoxication.

This happens when our healthy salt and electrolytes become too diluted due to too many fluids. Overhydration can cause what’s called hyponatremia. Hyponatremia is a condition caused by an unhealthy low amount of sodium in the body.

A Full Stomach

Sometimes it’s that easy. A full stomach is all it takes is a full stomach to make you feel sick. This is typically the case after eating a heavy or rich meal. To avoid this, try to drink water before meals rather than forcing water into a full tummy.

In addition, sometimes our stomachs have a hard time emptying their contents. So, if you can, try to avoid drinking large amounts of water in one go. It’s important we give our stomachs the time they need to release fluids before we fill them back up.


Pesticides are commonly used in farms to protect crops from insects, weeds, and fungi. Although these chemicals are necessary for agriculture, they can also pose a risk to our health if we’re not careful.

Pesticides-contaminated water can cause several health issues like nausea and vomiting. Pesticide poisoning usually occurs after eating contaminated food or water. In severe cases, it can lead to organ damage and even death.

If you think you may have consumed contaminated water, it’s essential to see a doctor immediately.

Algae Blooms

Algae blooms are water contamination caused by an overgrowth of algae in freshwater systems due to hot weather, rain, and chemical runoff. Chemical runoff? Yes, sometimes chemicals from sewage treatment plants and other facilities can leak toxic chemicals into our waterways. These chemicals encourage the growth of algae blooms which are unsafe to humans and can make people and animals sick. One good thing to mention, however, is that not all algae outbreaks are toxic to humans.

Symptoms of algae poisoning include:

  • Nausea
  • Sore throat
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Liver pain

Transition Metals in Water

Two transition metals that cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are antimony and cadmium, and these metals will make us sick when their content in water is above the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) water limits.


Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE) is a gasoline additive used in an attempt to make gas burn clearer and to reduce the impact of carbon emissions in our atmosphere.

Unfortunately, MTBE is a toxic water hazard that is a known animal carcinogen and is possibly a carcinogen to humans as well. In the past, MTBE has contaminated the tap water of millions of Americans and made the water undrinkable.

MTBE is a volatile chemical that’s vapors absorbed by water readily and contaminates large quantities of water. It easily contaminates groundwater during its migration and has forced numerous public water providers to put a seal on drinking water well.

Nausea is one of the most common symptoms associated with MTBE exposure. Other symptoms include:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Loss of coordination
  • Shortness of breath

Sensitive Stomach

People with sensitive stomachs may also be prone to experiencing nausea after drinking water. This can be due to various factors such as an underlying medical condition, food sensitivities, or a history of gastrointestinal issues.

If you have a sensitive stomach, you may want to avoid drinking water that is too cold or too hot, as extreme temperatures can irritate the stomach lining. Drinking water at room temperature can be more comfortable for people with sensitive stomachs.

Medical Conditions: Underlying Causes of Nausea After Drinking Water

In addition to the possible reasons mentioned in the previous section, there are several medical conditions that can cause nausea after drinking water. These medical conditions can range from mild to severe and require proper diagnosis and treatment by a healthcare professional.

  1. Gastrointestinal Disorders:

Gastrointestinal disorders such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can cause nausea after drinking water. These conditions can cause inflammation and irritation in the gastrointestinal tract, leading to nausea, bloating, and other symptoms.

If you have a history of gastrointestinal issues or suspect that you may have a gastrointestinal disorder, it is essential to seek medical attention to receive a proper diagnosis and treatment.

  1. Gallbladder Disease:

Gallbladder disease, including gallstones and cholecystitis, can cause nausea after drinking water. Gallbladder disease can cause pain in the upper right abdomen, bloating, and nausea, particularly after consuming fatty or greasy foods.

If you suspect that you may have gallbladder disease, it is important to seek medical attention promptly. Treatment options may include medication, dietary changes, or surgery.

  1. Pregnancy:

Pregnancy can cause nausea, particularly during the first trimester. This type of nausea, known as morning sickness, can be triggered by various factors, including drinking water. Women who experience persistent nausea or vomiting during pregnancy should seek medical attention.

  1. Medications:

Some medications, including antibiotics, pain relievers, and chemotherapy drugs, can cause nausea as a side effect. If you are taking medication and experience persistent nausea after drinking water, it is essential to discuss your symptoms with your healthcare provider.

Nausea after drinking water can be a symptom of various medical conditions, ranging from mild to severe. If you experience persistent nausea after drinking water, it is important to seek medical attention to receive a proper diagnosis and treatment.

It is also essential to stay hydrated and listen to your body, adjusting your water intake accordingly.

How to Get Rid of Nausea After Drinking Water

Nausea after drinking water could be a sign of an underlying medical condition, or it could be due to drinking water too quickly or in large amounts.

Here are some tips that may help get rid of nausea after drinking water:

  1. Cut back your water intake: If your issue is the result of overhydration, cutting back on fluids will help bring your sodium and electrolyte levels to a healthy amount.
  2. Sip water slowly: If you drank water too quickly, take a break and sip water slowly. Avoid gulping down large amounts of water at once.
  3. Take small sips: Try taking small sips of water rather than drinking a large amount at once.
  4. Replenish your salts and electrolytes: Sometimes our bodies mistake dehydration for craving salt. Strange, right? If you’re finding yourself really thirsty, and drinking water doesn’t help, try eating something salty or having a drink with electrolytes and see if that does the trick.
  5. Drink at room temperature: Cold water may shock your system, which could lead to nausea. Drink water at room temperature instead.
  6. Avoid carbonated water: Carbonated water can make nausea worse, so try to avoid it.
  7. Ginger: Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and can help relieve nausea. You can try drinking ginger tea or taking ginger supplements.
  8. Peppermint: Peppermint also has anti-inflammatory properties and can help relieve nausea. You can try drinking peppermint tea or taking peppermint supplements.
  9. Rest: If you feel nauseous, lie down and rest for a while. Avoid any activities that may make you feel worse.

If the nausea persists or is accompanied by other symptoms, it’s best to consult with a doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions.

How to Prevent Nausea When Drinking Water

If you experience nausea after drinking water, there are several steps you can take to prevent or reduce this symptom. Here are some tips:

  1. Sip Water Slowly

Drinking water too quickly can lead to nausea, particularly if you are dehydrated. To prevent this, sip water slowly throughout the day, rather than chugging it all at once.

  1. Avoid Drinking Cold Water

Drinking cold water can sometimes trigger nausea, particularly if you have an underlying medical condition. Instead, try drinking water at room temperature or slightly warm.

  1. Try Drinking Flavored Water

If plain water triggers your nausea, try adding a slice of lemon or cucumber to your water to add flavor. You can also try drinking coconut water or other electrolyte drinks to help hydrate you.

  1. Take Breaks When Drinking Water

If you’re drinking water during physical activity or when you’re outside in hot weather, take frequent breaks to avoid over-hydrating and triggering nausea.

  1. Avoid Drinking Water With Meals

Drinking water while you eat can sometimes lead to nausea. Instead, try drinking water between meals or 30 minutes before or after eating.

  1. Consider the Timing of Your Water Intake

Drinking too much water too quickly can lead to nausea. To prevent this, space out your water intake throughout the day and avoid drinking large amounts of water right before bedtime.

In short, experiencing nausea after drinking water can be uncomfortable, but there are steps you can take to prevent or reduce this symptom.

By sipping water slowly, avoiding cold water, and drinking flavored water, you can stay hydrated without experiencing nausea. If your symptoms persist, it is important to speak with your healthcare provider to rule out any underlying medical conditions.

FAQ on Why Water Makes Me Nauseous

1. Why is drinking water making me nauseous?

There could be various reasons, such as the water being contaminated by bacteria, overhydration, or drinking the water when you are in full stomach.

2. Can I drink water when nausea?

Yes, you may drink a small amount of water to keep hydrated, but ensure your water is clean and free from harmful contaminants, such as reverse osmosis water.

3. What are the home remedies for vomiting after drinking water?

You may drink a small cup of water mixed with salt to replenish the sodium content in your body.

4. Can drinking too much water cause nausea?

Yes, drinking too much water too quickly can lead to overhydration, which can cause nausea, bloating, and other symptoms.

5. Can dehydration cause nausea after drinking water?

Yes, dehydration can cause nausea after drinking water. When you are dehydrated, your body may respond to sudden hydration by triggering nausea.

6. How can I prevent nausea after drinking water?

To prevent nausea after drinking water, you can try sipping water slowly, avoiding cold water, spacing out your water intake, drinking flavored water, and taking breaks when drinking water.

7. When should I see a doctor about my nausea after drinking water?

If you experience persistent or severe nausea after drinking water, it is important to speak with your healthcare provider. This is particularly important if you have underlying medical conditions or are taking medication that could be causing your symptoms.

Conclusion on Vomit After Drinking Water

Experiencing vomit after drinking water can be uncomfortable and alarming, but it is usually not a cause for concern. In most cases, this symptom can be attributed to drinking water too quickly, overhydration, or an underlying medical condition.

To prevent or reduce vomiting after drinking water, it is important to sip water slowly, avoid cold water, space out your water intake, and take breaks when drinking water.

If your symptoms persist or worsen, it is important to speak with your healthcare provider to rule out any underlying medical conditions and to receive appropriate treatment.

Remember, staying hydrated is essential for maintaining good health, but it is important to do so in a way that is comfortable and safe for you.

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