Bruce Lee may have died from drinking too much water, new study says

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Bruce Lee was known for saying, "Be water, my friend," but the martial arts legend may have died from drinking a large amount of it, according to a new study.
Lee died on July 20, 1973 at the age of 32 from cerebral edema, or brain swelling. Spanish kidney specialists now claim the edema was caused by hyponatremia, which occurs when sodium is diluted in the body after drinking too much water.
In the research paper Who Killed Bruce Lee? The Hyponatremia Hypothesis, published in the December 2022 issue of the Clinical Kidney Journal, the authors say the 'Enter the Dragon' star died because his kidneys were unable to remove excess water.
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"To date, the cause of Bruce Lee's death remains unknown, although numerous hypotheses have been put forward, ranging from his assassination by triad gangsters to a more recent 2018 suspicion that he died of heat stroke," the newspaper said.
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A normal human brain weighs about 3 pounds, but Lee's was nearly 3.5 pounds, the Los Angeles Times reported.
"We hypothesize that Bruce Lee died from a specific form of kidney dysfunction: the inability to excrete enough water to maintain water homeostasis, which is primarily a tubular function," the researchers concluded. "This can lead to hyponatremia and cerebral edema and death within hours if excessive water intake is not matched by urinary water excretion, consistent with the timeline of Lee's death.
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"The fact that we're 60% water doesn't protect us from the potentially deadly consequences of drinking water faster than our kidneys can excrete excess water," the researchers added.
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Lee's wife, Linda Lee Caldwell, previously noted her husband's all-liquid diet of "carrot and apple juice," according to the New York Post.
Matthew Polly, author of Bruce Lee: A Life, often mentioned Lee's water consumption throughout the day in his book.
"I think we had some water... that probably made him a little tired and thirsty. After a few sips, he seemed a little dizzy... Immediately after feeling faint, Bruce complained of a headache," the author wrote.
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Featured image via Getty
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Bruce Lee
Hong Kong American actor and martial artist (1940–1973)

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