Urogenital & Reproductive

Excess of Drinking Water is Dangerous

We're constantly being told the benefits of regularly drinking water, and more often than not, these benefits stand true, From boosting your immune system to clearing your skin, you'd be hard-pressed to find something water doesn't help with. But, unfortunately, it is possible to drink too much water.

You would have got numerous advice’s about drinking adequate water. Did you ever thought whether your body is getting adequate water or your are abusing your body with huge quantity of water.

Water is absolutely necessary to survive. But what we don’t often get told is that you can have too much of a good thing, water included.

“We’re constantly being told the benefits of regularly drinking water, and more often than not, these benefits stand true,” Morgan Statt, Health and Safety Investigator at ConsumerSafety.org. (source)

“From boosting your immune system to clearing your skin, you’d be hard-pressed to find something water doesn’t help with. But, unfortunately, it is possible to drink too much water.” Statt warns against drinking more than 27-33 fluid ounces (about three and a half to four cups) per hour.

Excess of Drinking Water is Dangerous

This may cause life threading situation due to hypothermia (less sodium in body), this is due to when you’re taking in more water than you can pee out a lot. and the sodium content in your body gets washes out from your body leading to hypothermia.

Impact of water intake in the prevention of urinary system diseases such as uroli- thiasis, urinary tract infections, chronic kidney disease (CKD), autosomal dominant poly-cystic kidney diseases (ADPKD) and bladder cancer were studied recently (source) but many few stress on having impact on your body when excess amount of water is taken.

The dangers of having low sodium content and excess water drinking include (The side effects of excess water drinking includes):

  • Fatigue,
  • Vomiting,
  • Swollen Hands And Feet
  • Confusion,
  • Headaches,
  • Sometimes death.

Are there different types of over-hydration?

There are two main types of over-hydration:

  • Increased water intake

This occurs when you drink more water than your kidneys can remove in your urine. This can cause too much water to collect in your bloodstream.

  • Retaining water

This occurs when your body can’t get rid of water properly. Several medical conditions can cause your body to retain water.
Both of these types are dangerous because they throw off the balance between water and sodium in your blood.

Here are some signs that you could be drinking too much water or other fluids

1. You’re Peeing A lot :

If you’re peeing more than seven times day, then you have to keep a note on your water consumption and see if the problem goes away once you have limited your water consumption. Before that one have to rule out other medical causes of increased frequency of peeing like diabetes mellitus, which is associated with increased frequency of mituration.

2. Your pee is clear :

urine has its own particular color due to the pigments present in it. the more darker and yellow your urine and the more colorless your urine, both are said to be bad signs. Your pee should be light yellow color.

3. You are having body pains:

not only the sodium , there are various electrolyte disturbances can occur in your body, if you are taking huge amount of water. like that of loss of potassium, a mineral that helps your body contract and relax your muscles. Decreased amount of potassium may cause easy cramping.

4. You may feel weak:

Since you are stressing your body with lots of water and additional electrolyte disturbance can cause adrenal fatigue, and leads to rise in stress hormones in your body

5. You’re Not Thirsty:

Thirst is the best indicator that you need water.

One study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that our swallow reflex diminishes once we’ve had enough to drink. So, lack of thirst likely means you’ve hydrated enough.
If you’ve over-hydrated, avoiding water and instead having a sports drink, which can replenish your electrolytes.

avoiding water and instead having a sports drink

Long term effects of drinking excess water:

Increased cancer risk:
In various countries, chlorine is used in tap water to disinfect it. According to the experts, excessive drinking of chlorinated water for the longer period of time increases the risk of the bladder as well as testicular cancer. The risk gets more elevated through beverages which are made by the chlorine-induced tap water, according to the experts.

Increased heart at risk:

Drinking excess water may cause additional strain on your heart as well as on blood vessels. This condition is considered fatal as it can cause seizures in some cases.

You couldn’t drink yourself into pulmonary edema if you had a normal heart and kidneys. It would be virtually impossible. If you have heart failure, however, or kidneys that are not functioning normally, then definitely you can get pulmonary edema from too- a condition where water enters the lungs.

Headaches:
Drinking excess water can also cause headaches, according to the experts as it can negatively impact on your brain. Excessive drinking water leads to decrease in the percentage of electrolyte in the body. This result into entering of more water in your cells including the cells in your brain area.

Affects The Brain:
Hyponatremia or low-sodium in the blood can cause the brain to swell up. And this, in turn, results in speech disability, disorientation, walking instability, psychosis,

Coma:
The brain and visceral organ damage that your body goes through ultimately lead to coma and death. Therefore, you must drink water carefully. Do not drink too much water within a short window of time.

How much water should you drink each day?

There is no simple answer and it is not easy to answer.
There have been number of studies in past years and shown that the individual water needs depend on many factors, including your health, how active you are and where you live.

No single formula fits everyone. But knowing more about your body’s need for fluids will help you estimate how much water to drink each day.

When you have no enough water in your body , -this can lead to dehydration – which leads to drain of your energy and you may feel tired.

Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is:
About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids for men
About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women
These recommendations cover fluids from water, other beverages and food. About 20 percent of daily fluid intake usually comes from food and the rest from drinks.

You’ve probably would have been advised, “Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.” That’s easy to remember, and it’s a reasonable goal.

drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day

Health benefits of water

The human body can last weeks without food, but only days without water. The body is made up of 55-75% water. Mature adults are about 70% water; this drops to about 60% in the elderly and continues to drop into very old age. Water forms the basis of blood, digestive juices, urine and perspiration.
80% of blood is made up of water
73% of lean muscle and brain tissue is water
25% of fat is water
22% of bones is water.

Water has various functions in our body like

  • Gets rid of wastes through urination, perspiration and bowel movements
  • Keeps your temperature normal
  • Lubricates and cushions joints
  • Protects sensitive tissues

But water can also be lethal to body, when taken in excess amounts.

Factors that influence water needs

There are several factors that influence the amount of water uptake and about how much amount of water you need:

Exercise.

If you do any activity that makes you sweat, you need to drink extra water to cover the fluid loss. It’s important to drink water before, during and after a workout.

If exercise is intense and lasts more than an hour, a sports drink can replace minerals in your blood (electrolytes) lost through sweat.

Environment.

Hot or humid weather can make you sweat and requires additional fluid intake. Dehydration also can occur at high altitudes.

Overall health.

Your body loses fluids when you have a fever, vomiting or diarrhea. Drink more water or follow a doctor’s recommendation to drink oral rehydration solutions. Other conditions that might require increased fluid intake include bladder infections and urinary tract stones.

Pregnancy or breast-feeding.

Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding need additional fluids to stay hydrated. The Office on Women’s Health recommends that pregnant women drink about 10 cups (2.4 liters) of fluids daily and women who breast-feed consume about 13 cups (3.1 liters) of fluids a day.

How can you avoid over-hydration?

At the 2002 Boston Marathon, a study found that 13% of participants demonstrated the symptoms of hypothermia, proving that, while serious results are extremely rare, the issue is still common – especially at sporting events.

The steps to avoid reaching the point of over-hydration involve some relatively obvious reversals of normal practice.

If you’re monitoring the color of your urine, as some people do, you should be aiming for a light yellow color, rather than shooting for as clear pee as possible – which many people assume means the peak of hydration.
Urine shouldn’t be entirely clear and, if it is, you might be drinking more water than you need. Hignett says the ideal shade for most people is “a pale straw color”.

People who drink too much water while taking part in marathons, ultra marathons, triathlons and other long-distance, high-intensity activities are at an increased risk of hypothermia, so if you’re dehydrating after exercise, consider taking it slower than usual.

NHS guidance advises that we drink six to eight glasses of fluid a day, although food can also contribute to this total.
It makes sense, therefore, that drinking 15 cups of water a day might not be sensible. A safe limit is one liter of liquid per hour, as this is roughly what your kidneys are able to process normally.

safe limit is one liter of liquid per hour

Here are a few ways you can stop drinking too much water:

  • If you have medical conditions like diabetes or kidney problems, talk to your doctor to find out how much water you should consume.
  • If you exercise regularly, you may drink 2-4 cups of water per hour while exercising. If you need more water, drink sports drinks as they contain electrolytes that help balance the salts in your body.
  • Endurance athletes should measure their weight before and after a race to determine how much water they lost from the body. The lost water can be replenished without running the risk of overhydration.

People Prone To Over-hydration

You might end up drinking too much water if you:
Run marathons or ultra-marathons.
Are a hiker or a biker.
Are a triathlete.
Are an elite rower.
Are an endurance cyclist.
Are a soccer player.
Are in military training

CONCLUSION:

We’re constantly being told the benefits of regularly drinking water, and more often than not, these benefits stand true, From boosting your immune system to clearing your skin, you’d be hard-pressed to find something water doesn’t help with. But, unfortunately, it is possible to drink too much water.

People who drink too much water while taking part in marathons, ultra marathons, triathlons and other long-distance, high-intensity activities are at an increased risk of hyponatremia (low sodium).

The dangers of having low sodium content and excess water drinking include Fatigue,Vomiting,
Swollen Hands And Feet Confusion, Headaches, Sometimes death.

Educating yourself about how much amount of water you have to take and about monitoring the amount you are taking helps to prevent the condition.

As per the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is:
About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids for men
About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women
These recommendations cover fluids from water, other beverages and food. though the amount can be varied in small extent depending on various factors like exercise, pregnancy etc

You’ve probably would have been advised, “Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.” That’s easy to remember, and it’s a reasonable goal.

Any thing exceeding the limit could probably put your body at risk.

For More Related Articles about physical and mental well being:

Diabetes & Diet: Few best foods to control diabetes
How to reduce weight in a healthy way?
Foods that can make your child sleep!
Diabetic food alternatives & Foods to be avoided

Self life hacks

Doctor by profession and blogger by passion

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