We all know humans can do a long time without food, but would barely last days without water, but can one take too much water? Water is a key component of the body and it is important that water level in the body is maintained at all times.
Researchers say that one should drink at least half of one’s body weight in ounces of water. For instance, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should drink 75 ounces of water daily. This is necessary for sedentary body functions. In a situation whereby more physical and vigorous activities are being done, more water is needed.
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It is easier and occurs more often that the body is dehydrated than having hyponatremia (over-hyrdation). Dehydration affects every cell of the body. When the body sweats, electrolytes are lost, sodium and chloride. All cellular communications revolve around sodium and potassium. Fatigue, headache, dizziness, lethargy and lack of strengthen are symptoms of dehydration. Urine is one of the best ways to know if you are taking enough water. Yellow or darker yellow urine means you need to drink more water. When your urine is clear, know you are taking enough.
So, when does hyponatremia or water intoxication occur? Recall that I said when we sweat and elimination, we lose electrolytes? Having too much water in the system in relation to sodium leads to an imbalance between water and electrolytes. Replenishing the body with just water would dilute the electrolytes and sodium levels can get so low enough to cause death.
Drinking too much water at once, when the kidneys can’t expel more than half a litre within an hour means the water will be retained in the body. When the sodium level is low, the body cannot balance the fluids in and around the cells, causing the water to move from inside the blood to swell up the cells. This can lead to swelling in the brain, seizures and coma.
Is there a way to prevent this though? Maintain this balance by adding half a teaspoon of sea salt to a glass of water.