Drinking of water, no doubt, does a lot of good for the body. It prevents so many diseases. Some of the many health benefits of drinking water include: flushing out toxins, regulating temperature, aiding digestion and constipation, reducing headaches and migraines, aiding weight loss and appetite suppression, ensuring healthier skin, relieving tiredness, aiding recovery from hangover and reduction of bad breath.
Due to the many health benefits of drinking water, many people tend to abuse it, hence drinking it rather excessively. This, in turn, posses some danger to their health.
Some of the potential problems of excessive water consumption are:
- Excessive sweating: Excessive water consumption is linked to extreme sweating problems. In some cases, this is so severe, that it could be called for surgery to remove sweat glands in some patients.
- Sleep disruption: Excessive water consumption at the end of the day can disrupt your sleep. This is because when we fall asleep, our brains release ADH, an anti-diuretic hormone, to slow down kidney function and stop us feeling the need to urinate during the night. But if we have extra fluid in our system then it can override the effect of ADH, fill our bladder and then we need to get up in the middle of the night. Therefore, it is best not to drink fluid for two or three hours before bed. But if sleep is a problem then try to have ‘a warm bath just before bed, which will encourage you to sweat and dehydrate slightly. This will make it less likely you will need to get up in the night’.
- Water Intoxication: A research conducted in 2015 stated that at least 14 people have died from drinking too much water while participating in sport. The risk, according to the research, can come from pre-loading with excessive water and then drinking too much whilst exercising. It hasn’t just affected this group of people however; a 40-year-old mother in Huddersfield was on a weight loss programme and died of water intoxication after drinking 4 litres of water in a couple of hours. The problem is that too much water dilutes the salts in our blood which causes water intoxication with symptoms such as headaches, vomiting and mental disorientation. The kidneys also can’t flush the water out of our bodies quickly enough and this excess water enters the cells in our body and causes them to swell. When the brain cells start to swell then the condition can lead to seizures, comas and potentially death.
How much water should you drink?
It’s clear that there are pros and cons associated with drinking water so as with most things in life, drinking water should be done in moderation.
As a rough guide you can calculate your recommended intake by taking your (lbs) and divide it by two to get an estimate of the quantity of water you should drink daily, essentially:
Your weight (lbs) ÷ 2 = Water intake in ounces measurement.
If eight ounces is approximately one glass of water and the average human weight being around 130 lbs then this will mostly mean a recommendation of eight glasses a day.
Remaining hydrated is a key component of a healthy lifestyle, just make sure your intake is sensible the issues of excess won’t be a problem.