You’re probably sick of hearing the amount of problems people think water can solve. Have a headache? Drink water. Your leg’s cramping? You’re dehydrated, drink water. Not doing so well at work or college? Drink water. Your toddler’s throwing an uncalled for fit? Drink water.
It’s like hydrate-hydrate-hydrate! is people’s mantra nowadays. And they’re not wrong – staying hydrated is important to your overall, good health. It helps maintain your temperature, removes waste from your body, prevents infections, delivers nutrients to cells, and keep organs functioning properly. Being well-hydrated also improves sleep quality, cognition, and mood. And let’s face it, in the stressful life that we all lead, we need all the extra help we can get to stay sane.
I have always preached my clients and followers alike to stay hydrated but it’s much more than the passive act of chugging water from a glass or a bottle. Take the time to align your mind, body and soul, think positive thoughts and then drink your water. I know it sounds crazy but the energy that you give impacts and translates itself onto the water, changing its molecular structure. It’ll only take a minute and I’m sure you could use that minute to pull away from your desk to recharge and re-energise yourself,” preaches Rashi Chowdhary, nutritionist and inch loss expert, based in Dubai.
However, the problem arises when you have too much of something – good or bad – it has consequences. Water is the primary source of life but is there something called water overload? Surprise – there is! Water overload caused a condition called hyponatremia and it develops when there’s excessive amounts of water present in the body. This, in turn, causes sodium (a crucial electrolyte required from proper functioning of the body) levels to drop, drastically, also causing your cells to swell.
Away from all the sciency stuff – how do you know if you could have hyponatremia? Symptoms range from nausea, vomiting, headaches, fatigue, confusion, all the way to the much more serious cases of seizures, coma and even death.
Exercise and hot weather can lead to people overdoing their water intake. Hyponatremia is often developed as a result of excessive intake of water while sweating or during prolonged sports of over an hour and not replacing electrolytes like sodium with food or properly formulated sports hydration drinks (that aren’t just a pile of sugar dissolved in a liquid and then bottled).
So, how much water is too much water? Drinking more fluid than the kidneys can eliminate could be a potential cause of hyponatremia. On average, your kidneys are capable of eliminating around 25 litres a day, so as long as you stay within that parameter, it’s safe.
“Be mindful of the fact that your body is getting fluids from sources besides water like the foods you eat and the beverages you consume like tea, coffee, juice. The water requirements for your body are catered individually to the lifestyle you lead, your daily activities and life events, state of health. For example, a pregnant woman will need to increase her water intake to make up for the water requirements of her foetus too. If you’re unsure, it’s always best to visit a nutritionist to check up and make sure you’re headed down a stable, healthy route,” advises Moti Khan, a nutritionist working at The Aga Khan Hospital.
And there you have it! Now you can clap back at all those hydrophilic friends of yours that preach hydration as their mantra and hit them with the facts. It’s true what they say, too much of anything, be it good or bad, is always bad. Stay in moderation and cheers to happy drinking.