Monday, November 30, 2009

Drinking Too much of Water is DANGEROUS

We even need water to breathe: our lungs must be moist to take in oxygen and excrete carbon dioxide. Water is the element most necessary for survival. We can go without food for almost two months, but without water only a few days.

Drinking too much water can lead to a condition known as water intoxication also known as hyper-hydration or water poisoning.

Water intoxication is a potentially fatal disturbance in brain functions that results when the normal balance of electrolytes in the body is pushed outside of safe limits by over-consumption of water.
  • Ingesting more water than you need can increase your total blood volume. And since your blood volume exists within a closed system - your blood circulatory system - needlessly increasing your blood volume on a regular basis puts unnecessary burden on your heart and blood vessels.
  • Your kidneys must work overtime to filter excess water out of your blood circulatory system. Your kidneys are not the equivalent of a pair of plumbing pipes whereby the more water you flush through your kidneys, the cleaner they become; rather, the filtration system that exists in your kidneys is composed in part by a series of specialized capillary beds called glomeruli. Your glomeruli can get damaged by unnecessary wear and tear over time, and drowning your system with large amounts of water is one of many potential causes of said damage.

The kidneys of a healthy adult can process fifteen liters of water a day! You are unlikely to suffer from water intoxication, even if you drink a lot of water, as long as you drink over time as opposed to intaking an enormous volume at one time. That is, If you force large amounts of water into your system over a short period of time, your kidneys will struggle to eliminate enough water from your system to keep the overall amount at a safe level.

As your blood circulatory system becomes diluted with excess water, the concentration of electrolytes in your blood will drop relative to the concentration of electrolytes in your cells. In an effort to maintain an equal balance of electrolytes between your blood and your cells, water will seep into your cells from your blood, causing your cells to swell.

By not drinking enough water, many people incur excess body fat, poor muscle tone and size, decreased digestive efficiency and organ function, increased toxicity in the body, joint and muscle soreness and water retention.

As a general guideline, most adults need about three quarts of fluid each day. Much of that water comes from food, so 8-12 eight ounce glasses a day is a common recommended intake. ie., The minimum for a healthy person is eight to ten eight-ounce glasses a day. Beverages such as tea, coffee and fruit juices also count towards fluid intake, and may bring with them other nutrients or benefits.
You may need more water if the weather is very warm or very dry, if you are exercising, or if you are taking certain medications.

How to maintain fluid levels:

* Start as you mean to go on, with a glass of water when you wake.
* Find time to make yourself regular drinks during the day - don't forget that tea, coffee and juices can count. Just watch out for the amount of sugar consumed in some soft drinks.
* Keep a bottle of water in your bag, as it's a convenient way of providing fluid if you're travelling or exercising.
* Get into the habit of having a glass of water with every meal.
* The sensation of thirst is not triggered until you're already dehydrated, so it's important to drink before you get thirsty.
* Increase your intake of fresh fruit and vegetables, as they have a high water content.


Correct timing to Drink Water

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