Is Excess Water Consumption Bad for Your Health?

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Just imagine that you are traveling on a sunny afternoon and are not carrying a bottle of water. You feel uneasy, dehydrated and fatigued. The only thing who need for a sudden boost of energy is a glass filled with plain water.

We are advised by health care experts, physicians and dieticians to drink more and more water on a daily basis. Drinking adequate quantity of water helps in getting rid of all ailments. It detoxifies all the toxins from the body. We lose water in the form of urination and sweating.

We start implementing this resolution in our daily life by drinking lots and lots of water. However, we still do not feel refreshed despite drinking litres of water. We feel fatigued and drained. This is mainly because over-consumption of water is not beneficial for health. It does not mean that we should keep drinking water at all time to be fit and healthy. We are supposed to drink only 6-8 glasses of water a day. This refers to proper water consumption.

Is excess water consumption bad for your health?

Drinking less quantity of water leads to dehydration which is a dangerous situation. When our body gets dehydrated, the essential substances in our body such as minerals, salts and nutrients are not maintained in a balanced proportion. On the same parlance, we also feel over-hydrated due to excessive water consumption. Over-hydration is also a serious condition of the body that results in negative effects like weakness, headache, and high blood pressure levels. Moreover, people who suffer from renal diseases may face worse issues. Ideally, a person should drink only 6-8 glasses of water in a day.

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It is true that our bodies need sufficient quantity of water for a smooth functioning of organs, tissues and cells. Water is an elixir for life! However, if water is not consumed adequately, it leads to serious issues such as dehydration. Let us now study what are the side-effects of excessive water consumption on our body.

Benefits of Adequate Water Consumption

  • If you drink more water, you will get rid of common issues such as constipation.
  • The risks pertaining to kidney stones are also reduced by proper water consumption on a daily basis.
  • Dermatologists also advise their patients to drink more water. Adequate consumption of water can help in reducing skin and hair related problems. Our skin receives nourishment and it looks fresh and pleasant.
  • Due to water consumption, our energy levels are boosted. Our brain also works effectively if we have sufficient water intake.
  • When we talk about water, it does not refer to only plain water. Other foods such as eggs, fruits, vegetables, fish, etc. are also comprised of water in substantial quantities. So, when we consume these foods, we are also consuming water.
  • Monitor your water intake for a couple of days. Observe the changes occurring in your body. Accordingly, you can make changes to your water intake by either reducing it or increasing it.

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Negative Effects of Excessive Water Consumption

Over-hydration is a serious condition in which a person may feel irritated and chaotic. The symptoms found in persons suffering from over-hydration are a headache, weakness, muscle cramps, fatigue, seizure, spasms, etc. Thus, it is also a worse situation. A person who suffers from over-hydration may also feel restless or experience general weakness in the body. Other symptoms include lack of appetite, vomiting, nausea, etc.

If the situation gets worsened, then the person may also be unconscious or may start hallucinating or suffer from a brain herniation. Also, the blood pressure levels of such a person may fluctuate at a higher rate. The worst possibilities of over-hydration are it may lead to the death of the person or it may lead to a coma.  Hence, it is always necessary to evaluate whether we are over-consuming water or not.

During over hydration, the balance of the quantity of minerals and salts, particular sodium in our body gets hampered. Take an example of an athlete or a sportsperson. He constantly has to undergo physical exertion, there is a loss of fluids in the form of sweat. Even though salts are thrown out of the body continuously, the athlete may suffer from dilutional hypnoatremia.

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Other categories of people who are susceptible to over-hydration are those who suffer from renal disorders. Persons suffering from kidney disorders cannot absorb large quantities of water in the body. This leads to increase in renal disorders, cardiovascular diseases or other serious situations in the body. Thus, if such as a person who suffers from a renal disorder undergoes over hydration has to be treated with medical procedures such as dialysis for discarding the excessive water intake from the body. Alternatively, the person can consume sodium-based medications or IV consisting of sodium solution to resolve this major concern.

What Should be the Ideal Water Intake by a Person?

Let us now answer this basic question. How much water should we drink on a daily basis? The World Health Organization (WHO) states that a human being needs varying quantities of water according to their levels of activity, metabolic rate and environmental factors. Thus, ideal water consumption by a person depends on various factors such as age, weight, activity levels and the current medication.

The experts have suggested that a person should drink at least 6-8 glasses of water on a daily basis. In other words, 1.2 litres of water should be the ideal intake of a person. It prevents the possibilities of dehydration of the body. Moreover, it also promotes the regular functioning of the bodily organs.

In order to prevent the condition of hypnoatremia, it is essential for striking a balance between salts and water intake. The most effective way of achieving this balance it to consume a hydration solution that consists of sodium. It is better to avoid drinking normal water while performing strenuous exercises. But this does not mean that one can go for a full liquid replacement solution as it may lead to gastrointestinal issues or other unnecessary challenges.

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One should also obey the water requirements of the body. The rule is simple: sip water if you are thirsty. In case you feel like drinking more than 8 glasses of water in a day, then simply avoid it. This is because drinking more water can lead to disorders such as diabetes and kidney issues.

Excessive water consumption results in lower levels of sodium in the body. The sodium levels may go below 120 mmol/litre. In normal situations, the sodium level is below 110 mmol/litre. Thus, if the sodium levels go down considerably, it will lead to symptoms such as chaos, cramps, spasms, etc. You may also feel drowsiness and can also result in coma conditions.

Kidneys can discard only half liter of water in one hour. Thus, if you are drinking more than one liter of water in an hour, just imagine how your kidneys must be handling the water overload. It is always better to drink 800 to 1000 ml of water in every hour.

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Thus, make a habit of drinking 6-8 glasses of water in a day to avoid issues relating to water consumption. When you feel thirsty, drink water and when not thirsty, avoid it. During summers and while undergoing strenuous physical activities, balance the water intake through effective ways.

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