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How to drink water the right way?

Updated on September 9, 2016
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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

and

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
  • breathlessness
  • 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

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    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 11 months ago from Dubai

      Nadine May thank you. Drinking warm water with lemon is a great way to start the day.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 11 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Interesting post. Most people do not drink to much water, me included, so I started to drink three glasses of warm water with a slice of lemon each morning before I would have any breakfast.

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      Irek Janek stainless steel is the best for water bottles, thank you for stopping by.

    • Irek Janek profile image

      Irek Janek 2 years ago from Ardsley, NY

      Thanks for this hub. This topic is very close to my heart. I play soccer and need to drink lots and lots of water. I even created a water bottle review. Unfotunately I only believe in stainless steel.

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      Mary Norton 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I keep reminding myself to drink water. I am very conscious of the benefits of water but not of drinking too much. I do drink much especially after a trip as I try not to while on the road. I have to change that.

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      ladyguitarpicker thank you for reading and do let your husband know about this.

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      stella vadakin 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      Good information. I need to have my husband read this he drinks lots of water way more than required.

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      monia saad thank you.

    • monia saad profile image

      monia ben saad 2 years ago from In my Dream

      very important informations and advice

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      Frank Atanacio thank you and yes too much of anything can't be good.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      what a very interesting hub Vellur.. now water I thought it was the essence of life.. but I guess too much of anything can't be good.. great hub my friend :)

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      schoolgirlforreal (rose) thank you for your visit and comment, much appreciated.

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      schoolgirlforreal 2 years ago from USA

      I like this article. Thank you ! Up and sharing

      Rose

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      tazzytamar am glad you came to know about this, thank you for your visit and pin.

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      Anna 2 years ago from chichester

      Wow I literally had no idea that too much water could be so bad for you and even dangerous! Thank you for writing such an informative hub - pinned to my health board :)

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      Adventuretravels am glad you were okay then and do not drink too much water in one go, take care.

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      Giovanna Sanguinetti 2 years ago from London UK

      I drank too much water once when I was on holiday in a very hot country, and I became ill with very bad pains in my stomach -I felt very tired and all I wanted to do was sleep. I've never done that again!! Good hub.

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      word55 thank you for stopping by.

    • word55 profile image

      Word 2 years ago from Chicago

      Very well explained and put Vellur, Thanks for sharing!

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      Ahdilarum thank you and yes drinking water does require care.

    • Ahdilarum profile image

      Ahdilarum 3 years ago

      Drinking water also requires so much care, liked this hub.

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      Pawpawwrites thank you and yes it can be dangerous.

    • Pawpawwrites profile image

      Jim 3 years ago from Kansas

      Good information to have. Many people don't know it can be dangerous to drink too much water.

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      imti thank you for reading and leaving a comment. I hope your condition gets better, take care.

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      Imtiaz Ahmed 3 years ago from Dhaka, Bangladesh

      A very nice article Vellur. I never knew that excessive amount drinking water could be harmful. I have a problem which is known as the hyperhidrosis. I sweat too much and my other parts of the body sweats very highly. So I have to drink more water. From reading your article I have idea how should I drink water. Thank for sharing your knowledge. I am giving you a up vote. I will visit you often and know other things from you thank you :)

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      CelebrateUSA thank you and am glad you came to know about these facts.

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      Ken Kline 3 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

      Very well done and informative. I never knew these facts. Thank you for sharing "the other side of the story".

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      Denise Handlon many people do not know about this, that poor lady died trying to make her children happy. Thank you for your vote and share.

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      Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina

      Vellur-This is such an important article to share-thank you. I don't think people realize how crazy it is to over hydrate the body. I work with patients who will sometimes do this to wash the medications out of their bodies. In that case, we turn their water off in their rooms. I had one pt who actually started drinking out of the toilet just to keep flushing it out. He was on medication that stabilized his mania in a bipolar diagnosis.

      I've noticed a feeling of nausea if I drink too much water at one time, especially if it is done too quickly. That California woman was just not considering the life threatening risks, or was ignorant to them.

      UP/U/I and sharing.

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      ARUN KANTI thank you it is good to drink water over a period of time the danger comes in when you try to drink a lot of water at one go.

    • ARUN KANTI profile image

      ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE 3 years ago from KOLKATA

      @Vellur -As my family physician has advised we should take about 4 liters of water daily to flush out toxic substances through urine and to ward off constipation. Our inclination for water goes up during summer when there is an absolute need for sufficient water intake so as not to feel dehydrated. One should better obtain a qualified physician's advice for optimum water consumption as how much to take decision appears to vary from person to person. I do agree one should sit down and drink water for health reasons. Thank you very much for an informative hub well written.

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      Torrs13 am glad you came to know about this. It is good to keep yourself hydrated but in moderation. Take care, thank you for your visit.

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      Tori Canonge 3 years ago from California

      I try to drink water throughout the day so that I don't feel dehydrated - that's usually when I get the desire to drink too much at once. Also, I like to workout frequently so I have to be careful not to drink much water during my workout because that will make me feel worse. I carry around a water bottle everywhere I go so that I constantly have water available to me and that helps to not overdo it. Thanks for bringing this information to light!

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      Nadine May it is good to drink water over a period of time as you do rather than at one go. Thank you for your visit and share.

      suzettenaples thank you and am glad you came to know about this. As you have aptly put it - too much of a good thing can be harmful!

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 3 years ago from Taos, NM

      Interesting and informative article. I had no idea too much water was harmful to the body. I have never been able to drink 8 glasses of water per day, maybe four at the most and perhaps this is why. I guess too much of a good thing can be harmful, too.

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      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      You give a great explanation here about drinking to much water and why its not good. I've been drinking a liter of warm water with a slice of lemon first thing in the morning for years now, but I drink this over a period of an hour. During that time I either read or edit my chapters I've written days before while still in bed. when I have an early appointment I do not drink water first thing but then I usually do not get my one L of water that day. I will share your hub.

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      Daisy Mariposa thank you for your return visit and the share.

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      Daisy Mariposa 3 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Nithya,

      I returned to read you very helpful article and be reminded of the important information you've shared.

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      lisavanvorst thank you and am glad you came to know about this.

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      Lisa VanVorst 3 years ago from New Jersey

      Wow, I did not know this. This was a very informative article. Thank you for writing it.

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      Hackslap thank you and am glad you came to know.

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      Harry 3 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Very informative arrticle...I too wasn't aware drinking too much water can be fatal ..and I do consume a lot of water and green-tea throughout the day and regardless of season...though I'd generally drink warm to hot water...

      Yoga experts suggest drinking water should be done while sitting down to facilitate maximum absorption..

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      DeborahNeyens am glad you came to know of this. Thank you for your visit.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 3 years ago from Iowa

      I did not know that drinking too much water could be dangerous and lead to death. Thanks for sharing this information.

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      vespawolf thank you for reading and am glad you came to know about this. Yes, it is really sad.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

      That's very sad about the wife and mother from California. Tank you for warning us about the dangers of drinking too much water.

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      Lady_E am glad you came to know, thank you for your visit.

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      Elena 3 years ago from London, UK

      Very useful tips. I didn't know drinking too much water could actually be harmful. We need to have knowledge about every simple thing we do. Thanks.

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      kidscrafts thank you for your visit. Yes it is really sad that they lost their mom who wanted to win a gadget for them.

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Interesting article, Velluyr! I had heard about the case of the lady who died because of a contest. What a sad story. Now those children have to grow up without a mom!

      You explain the process very well! Very informative hub! Thank you!

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      LadyFiddler thank you for stopping by, drinking water is good, drinking too much at one go is not good. I hope you are okay now take care.

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      Joanna Chandler 3 years ago from On planet Earth

      LOL hold your wee for wii lush what other contest will people really invent come on! Yeah i have a bladder problem of visiting the washroom to often i have checked it out medically but only hope now is GOD. The doctors tried but still have the problem. Anyhow i love to drink water which isn't to good for me with my present condition. I have this habit whenever i open a tap my hand automatically goes to my mouth to drink.

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      Linda (Sunshine625) thank you for sharing the information. I never knew that chemo required drinking a lot of water.

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      Linda Bilyeu 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

      We recently learned how important it is to stay hydrated while on chemotherapy. Chemo dehydrates the body and the more water the better.

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      Harishprasad do spread the word and tell them about the danger of drinking a lot of water at one go. Thank you for stopping by.

    • Harishprasad profile image

      Harish Mamgain 3 years ago from India

      Vellur, this hub has given such unique information about water that I was stunned to read about it. One of my colleagues used to drink a lot of water without actual need thinking that it would cause him all good. I will surely apprise him of the harmful effect of excess consumption of water. Thank you for such informative and useful hub.

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      srsddn excessive water intake can be dangerous, thank you for your visit and the vote up.

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      srsddn 3 years ago from Dehra Dun, India

      vellur, thanks for sharing this useful information. I have seen one of my family member suffering because of excessive water intake. It was a full jug and we had to postponed our programme because of the problems he faced due to this intake. Useful and voted up and shared.

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      manatita44 thank you for stopping by and reading.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 3 years ago from london

      Interesting article on drinking water. Good to know. Thanks.

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      JPSO138 thank you and am glad you came to know of this. Thanks for the vote up.

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      JPSO138 3 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

      Pardon my ignorance. I never thought that drinking to much water is not good for health. Now I know and thanks for the knowledge. Up for this hub!

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      tillsontitan you said it right, everything in moderation is the key, thank you for your visit.

      jonmcclusk thank you and am glad you came to know about this.

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      Jonathan McCloskey 3 years ago from Cinnaminson, New Jersey

      Very interesting, never knew this about water so I'm glade I stopped by.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      Everything in moderation! Well done Vellur. I am sure many think you can never have enough water.

      Voted up and useful.

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      rebeccamealey thank you for stopping by.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Wow, this is very interesting. I have heard that this could happen. Thanks for outlining this info for us!

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      girishpuri you are so right, water is life. Thank you for your visit.

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      Girish puri 4 years ago from NCR , INDIA

      Water is life, how to drink water is very important, thanks for the value information. Nithya.

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      skin-care natural thank you for stopping by and yes you are so right.

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      MrsBrownsParlour thank you for stopping by.

    • MrsBrownsParlour profile image

      Lurana Brown 4 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

      Very helpful information, thank you! ~Lurana

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      vocal coach many do not know about the effects of drinking water too much. Thank you for stopping by, thanks for the share and the vote.

      Joanne M Olivieri thank you, am glade you came to know about this.

      Nell Rose, it is really unbelievable and it is so sad that the mother died. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your views.

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      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Hi, I remember about that competition, you would have thought someone would have checked out the amount of water you could drink before the comp started! unbelievable! I know a lot of the problems with kids taking e tabs at parties are actually rushed to hospital because of the excess water they drink after the tablet. that's what caused the harm as much as the tablet! great advice!

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      Joanne M Olivieri 4 years ago

      Wow! I had no idea that drinking too much water could cause so much damage. Very useful information and voted up.

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      Audrey Hunt 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      I'm so pleased to learn about drinking water the right way. I concern myself about not drinking enough water (very dry skin) and have never even thought that drinking too much water could be detrimental to my health. I will share this for sure and voted up +++. Pinned also :)

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      KoffeeKlatchGals thank you. As you say some people have no idea. Thanks for the vote too.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 4 years ago from Sunny Florida

      What a great article about the other side of drinking water. Many people have no idea that over drinking can cause such an adverse effect on the body. Up and awesome.

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      agusfanani thank you for reading and leaving a comment. Much appreciated.

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      agusfanani 4 years ago from Indonesia

      Very useful information. Why we should take the volume of water we drink into account has been scientifically explained here. Thank you for sharing.

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      SidKemp thank you for stopping by and reading. Please do link to my hub.

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      Sid Kemp 4 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach)

      Thanks for this valuable health caution. There have been cases of marathon runners drinking too much, then being mis-diagnosed fatally for dehydration when the problem was over-hydration, too. May I link to it when I write about healthy ways to drink water?

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      suzettenaples yes moderation is the best in whatever we eat or drink. Thank you for stopping by.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 4 years ago from Taos, NM

      How interesting! Moderation in everything, even water. I guess too much of a good thing like water can hurt the body also. This is so informative and I never thought to see it in this specific way you explain it. Great hub and thank you for sharing your knowledge with us.

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Nellieanna thank you for taking the time and sharing your views. Much appreciated. A warm cup of water with freshly squeezed lemon is very good for health.

      Thank you for sharing my hub and for the vote.

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      Nellieanna Hay 4 years ago from TEXAS

      I've voted this up, useful and interesting! It's the first hub I've recommended on Facebook, as well. It's really vital information, in my opinion.

      By the way, many of the comments here are useful, too.

      Please excuse my typo misspell of knowledgeably. My fingers can be too glib!

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 4 years ago from TEXAS

      Excellent, well-founded advice and caution. We sometimes feel we're not drinking enough water, but seldom consider the possibility of overdoing it! I've noticed feeling bloated and light-headed immediately after 'guzzling' water if I discover I'm neglecting my normal intake. This helps explain why.

      I drink a cup of warm water with fresh lemon squeezed into it first thing in the mornings, for its benefits as a mild natural diuretic and general detoxifier. It also counts in the liquid intake of the day!

      Sufficient water is critical and now I'm more knowledlgably aware that too much is equally critical & that all sources must be counted. I've always thought that 8 glasses of plain water are needed for optimum health, no matter what other liquids one gets. They may be the best source of liquids, but there are definitely other considerations of things needed for health which belong in the liquid 'diet'. For instance, I take in a lot of fresh fruits & veggies, which, as you point out - have high water content. I also drink herbal and regular tea and coffee at times during a day, so those need to be figured in. Overdoing those beverages is unwise too, especially those with caffeine, though I'm a bit of a caffeine junkie, I guess. As someone who is aware of and intent upon healthy living, I need to watch that.

      Thank you for a valuable article, information & reminder; - and for your follow and fan mail. I look forward to getting to know you & your work, vellur.

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      stuff4kids you are so right, it is very important not to overdo it. Thank you for stopping by.

      expertscolumn yes drinking way too much water is not good, thank you for stopping by.

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      Stanley Soman 4 years ago from New York

      I know of a story of a person who drank a gallon of water and it caused problems

    • stuff4kids profile image

      Amanda Littlejohn 4 years ago

      My oh my! That is very important information to have. Especially given all that you hear about using drinking water to aid dieting and weight loss. It is important to be properly hydrated but also important not to overdo it, isn't it?

      I believe that for most people who do reasonable daily exercise, a good amount of water to drink is about 6 to 8 normal sized glasses every day.

      Thanks for this fascinating hub. Bless you :)

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      lovedoctor926 thank you for stopping by, am glad you came to know about this.

      teaches12345 thank you, drinking water is very important for a healthy body.

      Arun Kanti thank you for stopping by, yes water should be taken as required by the body.

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      ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE 4 years ago from KOLKATA

      Water should be taken in moderation and as per the requirement of the body.Thank you for the useful hub.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      What a fascinating topic and you have really brought out this important fact through your share. I drink lots of water all day in order to keep my body healthy.

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      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      I drink about three liters of water daily. I found this hub useful and informative as well. thanks for sharing. I wasn't aware of this.

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Eiddwen thank you for stopping by, have a great day.

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      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Well informed,interesting and useful. Have a wonderful day.

      Eddy.

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      dreamseeker2 thank you, yes it does make sense. We should all know about this,specially children.

      Tonipet thank you. Am glad my hub was informative. All the best to you too.

    • Tonipet profile image

      Tonette Fornillos 4 years ago from The City of Generals

      Very useful information and reminder. I've been drinking 3 glasses of water first thing in the morning for years now, should I say 15 years... however, I don't get the 8 glasses of water a day. I really like this article, it reminds me of the importance of getting the right amount of water everyday. Thank you vellur, I've learned a lot more. I am voting up and sharing. All the best!

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      dreamseeker2 4 years ago

      Wow, good to know Vellur! I never knew that! But, it certainly makes sense. : ) Great hub and informative. I voted it up and useful.

    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      beingwell thank you for reading and sharing a tip. Thank you for the vote and the share.