Health

Is too much water detrimental to your health?

Human beings drink water for hydration and, most importantly, to quench their thirst. However, research shows that too much water consumption can be detrimental to your health by causing a water intoxication problem/water poisoning, or hyponatremia.

Drinking too much water is detrimental to the human body because it can cause impaired brain function, confusion, nausea, headaches, vomiting, and in severe cases, even death. Other effects of too much water include chlorine overdose, risk of coma, and heart failure.

This article will take you through the importance of drinking water, recommend how much different categories of people are supposed to drink daily/hourly, and, most importantly, explain the effects of drinking too much water.

Importance of drinking water

A couple of benefits come about from drinking water besides just quenching thirst. For example, research states that water is beneficial for;

  • Acts as body, muscle, and joint lubricants.
  • Safeguarding the spinal cord and other delicate organs.
  • Maintains a healthy body temperature.
  • Removing the waste through urinating, sweating, and bowel movements.

Water also helps in

  • Preventing dehydration.
  • It is good for the skin.
  • It helps the kidneys to function well.
  • Aids in keeping the fluid balance in the body.
  • Prevents constipation.
  • It makes digestion easy.
  • It helps to fight illnesses such as kidney stones.
  • It helps the physically active people to regain lost water and electrolytes.

The right amount of water to consume daily and hourly.

Many say that water is life and that lack of water can lead to loss of life in humans and plants. However, as it is customary, too much of something is dangerous, and this also includes the water consumption rate in people of all ages and gender.

When you drink too much water, your kidneys may find it hard to get rid of all of it, which might cause health issues. As a result, you could start to ponder how much water is too much to consume in a day or perhaps an hour. If you are not sure just how much water you are required to drink to avoid health problems, then you are at the right place.

Various factors determine how much water a person should drink each hour or even each day. This includes a person’s age, gender, and their physical activities.

1. AGE

Age is one of the determinants of how much water someone should drink.

too much water
A child drinking water

Children.

Obviously, the amount of water that is too much for a child could not be enough for an adult. Nevertheless, the amount of water children are supposed to drink varies as they age. According to a study, infants and young children under the age of six months are typically not supposed to drink any water because breastmilk or infant formula suffices to keep them hydrated.

Children should only consume the recommended amount of 8-ounce water cups for their age, up to 64 ounces for those over 8 years old. If they drink more than that, it can be too much for them and throw off the balance of their electrolytes.

Note: Always see your family doctor or a pediatrician for advice if you are unsure of your child’s individual needs.

Adults.

too much water

Adults require more water than children do to get dehydrated. For some people, consuming 3 liters (100 ounces) or more of water at once may be excessive since it could throw off your body’s electrolyte balance and result in hyponatremia.

Your kidneys have a daily water excretion capacity of about 20–28 liters, yet they can only process 3quarter to 1 liter of water per hour. So, taking more water than that can cause unforeseen health problems.

2. GENDER

This is another determinant of how much water males and females should consume to avoid water intoxication. To be on the safer side, men should typically consume 15.6 cups of liquids daily, whilst women should only consume 11.4 cups.

3. PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES.

Physical activities people may engage in include sports. It is another determinant of how much water one requires. Usually, the amount of water a non-athlete should consume is different from that of an athlete. This can be explained as follows;

Athletes

too much water
Athletes

Physical activity typically results in sweating, which causes water loss. Because of this, there are many varied viewpoints on how much an athlete should drink. However, athletes are generally aware of how important it is to be hydrated at all times, and even if they forget, their bodies constantly remind them when they become dehydrated.

You might be surprised to learn that excessive water consumption is discouraged even among athletes due to potential health dangers. However, the following factors may influence how much water athletes need. They are as follows:

  • Body type.
  • Gender.
  • Age.
  • Weight.
  • Body size.
  • Height.
  • Type of exercise.
  • Athletic ability.
  • Weather conditions.
  • Time of day you exercise.
  • Sweat level.
  • Other fluids the person consumes throughout the entire day.

Water consumed before, during, and after exercise counts toward the total quantity of an athlete’s water consumption needs.

Non-athletes

People who are not physically active should take the recommended water consumption based ion their age and gender.

Water consumption before exercise.

Athletes should drink 17–20 fluid ounces of water about two hours before working out, and perhaps another eight fluid ounces around 30 minutes before starting.

Water consumption during exercise.

An athlete should stop during activity and drink water to prevent excessive fluid and electrolyte loss that comes about through sweat.

Water consumption after working out.

An athlete’s goal after exercise is typically to replenish all of the fluids and electrolytes lost during activity. Usually, eating watery fruits such as blueberries or oranges also helps.

Effects of drinking too much water

There are so many effects that come about as a result of drinking too much water. These effects are as follows;

Immediate/short-term effects of too much water

  • Headaches.
  • Nausea.
  • Cramps.
  • Vomiting.
  • Fatigue.
  • Many trips to the toilet.
  • Tiredness.

Long-term effects.

  1. Too much water consumption results in chronic urination, which can cause bladder distention and other internal plumbing problems.
  2. May result in hyponatremia, which is a drop in blood serum sodium levels below 135 mEq/L.
  3. Acute renal damage might result from consuming too much water. Your kidneys will overwork if you consume more water than they can filter and expel.
  4. Hyponatremia from drinking too much water can have an impact on the brain. This occurs when sodium deficiency is in the blood, which causes brain enlargement. Effects on the brain can manifest in a variety of ways, including impaired speech, confusion, unsteadiness when walking, insanity, and even death.

Minor effects

  • Frequent bathroom visitation.
  • Nausea.
  • Urine changes.
  • Weakness in the muscle.
  • Mouth and lip dryness.
  • Headaches.
  • Feeling fatigued.
  • Muscle cramps.

Fatal effects

  • Chlorine overdose if your water treatment method is chlorine.
  • Coma.
  • Death due to brain swelling and edema.
  • Heart failure due to overburdening of the heart.

Wrapping up.

In this article, you have learned that much as water is essential, drinking too much of it has repercussions. Therefore, to avoid drinking more water than you require, stop drinking water when not thirsty and also try to track your water consumption levels.

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