We have heard that too much of a good thing (or of anything) is bad for you, but very few people probably know this also applies to water. More accurately, drinking too much water could be harmful to your health, especially if you do it during exercise, according to a study. In extreme cases, it could even lead to death.
Before you put down that cup, though, know that this is not a reason to give up water and switch to fizzy drinks. H2O is essential to better health, albeit in moderation.
There is a new set of guidelines that details the right and safe way to drink water, outlined in an issue of The Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine. This was officially presented to the International Exercise-Associated Hyponatremia Consensus Development Conference. While these guidelines are only recommendations, they are worth looking at.
Reportedly 14 athletes around the world have died due to exercise-linked (-associated) hyponatremia (EAH), which is caused by drinking too much water or sports drinks. EAH occurs when there is an excess intake of water or fluid, which overwhelms the kidneys from getting rid of the too much liquid. The excess water then dilutes sodium in the body, causing cells to swell. This swelling could put your life in danger.
Common symptoms of EAH include lightheadedness, dizziness, nausea, bloating, and sudden increase in weight due to the excess water. When the condition worsens, vomiting, headaches, confusion, and seizures may occur.
The study does not mean we should drink fewer glasses of water a day.
Drinking Just Right
So, how can you tell exactly if you have had enough water for the time being? The researchers say follow your instincts, particularly your thirst. Drink only when thirsty.
This innate thirst mechanism is a great way to avoid over drinking water and developing EAH while providing sufficient fluid to keep you from getting dehydrated. Athletes and those engaged in excessive physical activities are advised to drink 1.5 to 2 extra cups of water to rehydrate.
At home, the best precaution is still to have purified, clean drinking water for all. An undersink chiller and filter providing safe, cold water may even prove to be a worthy purchase. If you are doing exercises at home, the cold water helps regulate body temperature, keeping you from overheating.
At Clean & Clear, we know water is essential to life, which is why we provide top quality products and resources to help you and your family. Reach us today and we will be more than happy to provide the right products to ensure water safety.