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Drinking water, how much is too much?

Most people have heard and agreed that you should drink at least eight glasses of water per day, but in truth, there is no one standard. Everyone is built differently, has different health conditions, activity levels, metabolic rates, build up, and live in different climates. It is impossible to hold everyone to the same standard.

So how much should we drink daily?

I've read that a more accurate measurement is to try drink at least half your body weight in pounds, in ounces of water. This makes sense, since the human body is anywhere from 55% to 78% water depending on body size. That means 2/3 of our body is consists of water, and it is the main component of human body. This method, however, does not take into account how much sweat and urine you lose in a day.

I'm sure the previously mentioned 8 glasses per day would work just fine for most people, but my personal philosophy has usually been to listen to my body. There is a reason why people get thirsty, this is the body's way of saying that it needs to take in water.

How can I tell if I consume the right amount of water?

The easiest way to tell is to notice the color of your urine when you go to the bathroom. A healthy person's urine should be mostly light yellow or clear in color. If you find your urine is a dark shade of yellow, or smells quite strong, then you are not getting nearly the amount of water your body needs to function at its best.

Since our muscle consists of 75% water, brain consists of 90% of water, bone consists of 22% of water, blood consists of 83% water, and even our tissues and organs are mainly made up of water? We really need to keep our body hydrated.

The functions of water in human body are so vital that it can:

Transports nutrients and oxygen into cells

Moisturizes the air in lungs

Helps with metabolism

Protects our vital organ

Aids digestion

Helps our organs to absorb nutrients better

Regulates body temperature


Protects and moisturizes our joints

Every cell in your body needs water from head to toe. That is why it is so important to drink enough fluid. Take for example, brain consists of 90% of water, if you do not supply enough water to your body, your brain cannot function well, and you will get headache or migraine. Hence, next time, if you feel fatigue and headache, it may be the sign of dehydration.

Below are the symptoms of Dehydration:

Dark Urine – Dark Yellow or Orange in Color: Urine is generally pale yellow to clear when you have sufficient water intake. Dark color or strong smell indicates that you need to drink more water.

Dry Skin: Skin is the largest body organ and requires its share of water.

Thirst: Thirst is the most obvious sign that you're already dehydrated. It is always a good practice to drink more water when you are not thirsty, don’t wait until you're thirsty.

Hunger: Most people mistake hunger for the indication to eat more, whereas in actual fact, they may be dehydrated. So before you have your meal, grab a glass of water.

Fatigue: Water is a source of energy and gives you a boost in energy.

And here are the harmful effects result from Dehydration:

Tiredness, migraine, constipation, muscle cramps, irregular blood pressure, kidney problems, dry skin, and if 20% dehydrated - Risk of death

But is there such a thing as drinking too much water?

Yes, Hyponatremia is what it's called, also known as water intoxication. It may be strange to think someone could consume enough water to drink themselves to death, but it is possible. Hyponatremia is when the kidneys can't flush out the water fast enough, which leads to the salt levels in the blood becoming too low, so the water enters the cells instead, causing them to swell. This may sound like simple water retention, but consuming too much water could cause the cells in the brain begin to swell as well. There is absolutely no room in a person's skull to accommodate a swollen brain, and that is when death becomes a likely possibility.

The symptoms of hyponatremia include:

Fatigue, headaches, vomiting and confusion. More serious cases present symptoms of seizures, respiratory arrest and coma.

Although hyponatremia is possible, it requires taking in a large amount of water within a short amount of time without expelling it through sweat or urine. So unless you're actively consuming a lot of water in one sitting, or being forced to, you should be fine.

Besides all the how much to drink, to me when to drink are equally or even more important. Below are my suggestions on what is the best time in the day to drink water in order to maximize its effectiveness on your body.

1) After waking up

Drink one glass of water after waking up to help activate your internal organs. The water will help to remove any toxins before your first meal of the day.

2) Before a meal

Drink one glass of water 30 minutes before a meal to help digestion. Remember not to drink too soon before or after a meal as the water will dilute the digestive juices. Drink water an hour after the meal to allow the body to absorb the nutrients.

3) Before a bath

Drink one glass of water before taking a bath to help lower your blood pressure.

4) Before sleep

Drink one glass of water an hour before bedtime to replenish any fluid loss that can occur during the night.

All content within this article is provided for general discussion only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. Therefore and its employees or representatives are not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based on the content of this article.


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