Diet and health experts around the world have always urged people to drink plenty of water every day to maintain good health. However, it is vital to know how much water your body really needs so that you avoid under or overhydrating, especially since both these conditions can be dangerous for you.
Two-thirds of your body weight is made up of water. Water, a simple, natural beverage has many critical functions within the body which include; maintaining optimal body temperature, acting as a cushion for organs and joints, extracting energy from food, and eliminating toxins from the body. It is, therefore, evident that an insufficient amount of water intake can cause much trouble.
On the other hand, a lesser known fact is that excessive hydration can also lead to numerous health issues. Hyponatremia, or water intoxication, a condition that arises from drinking much more than the appropriate quantity of water, causes sodium and potassium levels in the body to drop to dangerously low levels.
Look for these signs to see if you are at risk of water intoxication:
Midnight Urination – Have you been waking up from a deep slumber almost every night to go to the bathroom? If so, you might be drinking a tad bit more water than you need. Urinating up to eight times in a day is a healthy sign; however, any more than that can point towards overhydration.
Colorless Urine – While most doctors warn you about cloudy and dark urine as a sign of dehydration, it is also crucial to know that if one’s urine is devoid of any color and almost resembles water, then it is a clear indication of too much water consumption. Ideally, clear, yellow tinted urine is what you should aim for.
Muscular Spasms – When your drink much more water than what your body needs, there is a dilution of potassium in your body, which is needed for the proper contraction and relaxation of muscles. Dwindling potassium reserves in the body can lead to painful cramps and spasms.
Swelling – Too much water in your bloodstream can cause swelling all over your body. It can also trigger discoloration in your limbs as well as your face. This symptom is a sign of sinking sodium levels caused by overhydration.
Fatigue – Excessive tiredness is also an unsavory outcome of drinking too much water. Pumping too much water in your body overburdens your kidneys, creating a stressful situation in your body that can be felt in the form of fatigue.
Your body’s water requirement can vary depending on the type of physical activities you are involved in, your environmental conditions, as well as your current state of health. For instance, on a sweltering day, you may require more than the recommended eight glasses of water, while on a rainy day you may not find yourself seeking your water bottle very often. Whatever the case be, it is essential to listen to your body and the clues it gives you to ensure that you are neither dehydrated nor overhydrated.