How to drink water the right way?
Did you know that drinking excess water over a short period can be dangerous? Drinking excess water over a short period leads to many complications and in some extreme cases untimely death.
Your body is programmed to handle water as and when it enters the body. The body receives water in two ways –
Ø the water that you drink directly
Ø water from fruits and vegetables that you eat
When the body is suddenly pumped with excess water, it is shocked and does not know what to do.
What happens when you drink too much water?
Blood runs in blood vessels throughout your body. When you drink excess water (more than what is needed) the volume of your blood increases. When the volume of blood increases the pressure exerted on the walls of the blood vessels increases proportionately.
Kidneys flush out water and other impurities on a daily basis. When you drink too much water, the kidneys will not be able to flush out excess water easily, and this can strain and damage the kidneys.
Blood consists of water and electrolytes. The surrounding cells also have water and electrolytes in them.
The electrolytes in the blood and the electrolytes in the cell are well balanced.
When you drink too much water in a short time, the blood becomes diluted and increases in volume. When this happens, electrolytes in the blood decrease when compared to the electrolytes in the cell.
To maintain the balance of electrolytes present in the blood with the electrolytes present in the cells, the excess water seeps into the surrounding cells making them swell.
If this swelling occurs in the brain cells the pressure on the brain increases. This is because the cranium (the cavity that holds the brain) does not expand to accommodate the swelling of the brain cells. If the swelling continues, it can lead to the rupture of brains cells that can be life threatening.
The swelling and rupture of cells due to an excess of water intake over a short period can occur in any vital organ or any other part of the body and can lead to death.
Symptoms of drinking too much water over a short time
Depending on how much water you drink in a short period, there could be varied changes in the body.
Drinking excess water over a short period can lead to the following symptoms
- mild headache
- swelling of body parts
- death in extreme cases
On January 12, 2007, a 28-year-old Californian wife and mother of three children died from drinking too much water. She took part in a “Hold Your Wee for a Wii” contest. A free Wii game board was the prize for this contest. (source drbenkim.com)
Do not take part in such contests. Inform children about the dangers of drinking excessive water all of a sudden.
Listen to your body and drink when you feel thirsty. Stick to 6 – 8 glasses per day. If you sweat excessively, then increase your intake of water but do not overdo it.
Drink sips of water when you are exercising to keep your body hydrated. During summer time increase your water intake depending on how much you sweat. Drink as and when you feel thirsty.
Drink water wisely and stay healthy