For decades you were told to drink 8 glasses of water every day. You were told that your body is made up mostly of water, up to 80%. Because of that number you were urged to drink until your urine is clear. What if the experts are giving you dangerous advice? Research now seems to say that the human body is more likely between 50 to 65 percent made of water.
Believe it or not, too much imbibed water is KILLING people. Too much water consumption has killed most notably, marathon runners and football players. It is sometimes human nature to believe that if some is good, a lot is better.
Too much water in the body upsets a delicate balance. When the amount of water consumed is higher than the body can release through urination or sweating, the body’s sodium levels get diluted. Sodium (Na+) isn't bad for your body. You need it to regulate several internal systems of the body for: 1. Normal cardiovascular function 2. Normal nervous system function so that neurons can send signals to other neurons and cells 3. Normal muscular mechanical movement
The symptoms of too much water include: 1. Headaches 2. Confusion 3. Seizures 4. Vomiting. The reason these things happen is because the brain is swelling and the body is unable to quickly handle the changes in body fluids. I want you to think seriously about this. Don't just blindly follow the next BIG magic bullet.
Now, it's not that the rule to drink 8 glasses everyday is a bad one. If it's right for you. What I see everyday are athletes of all stripes drinking far more than recommended. I see them carrying LITRES of the stuff and they're swigging it! And I'm telling them to STOP it. Like the professional football player I treated.
When he visited me, he would bring his water bottle with him to make sure he was hydrated. Well, the problem with that water bottle was that it was a 2-litre soft drink bottle filled with water. He said he drank 2 or 3 of these a day. So that's 16 to 25 cups! No wonder he was having problems in certain joints and feeling COLD! I had the window in my office opened and he told me it was blowing a cold breeze at him. So I shut the window.
Water has that kind of energy! It's naturally COLD, so it will cool down your body. You drink water to cool you down, right? Cold makes things contract. It contracts inside the body. In his case, it was one of a few reasons for his stiff joints.
Do you remember being told to drink before your get thirsty? That's wrong. You really should be listening to your body and drinking when you are thirsty.
When you're working out hard, of course you will be thirsty. It makes sense to drink more water before, during and after strenuous exercise. But be careful not to over do it. I stopped following the one-size-fits-all advice some time ago just because my body didn't get thirsty. I felt a lot better when I stopped taking in so much water. Drink when you feel thirsty. Don't drink just because you're told to. Remember this too: if you eat a lot of veggies, fruit and soups, count those into your water consumption! Your body is different from everyone elses, so experiment a bit. Pay attention to how YOU feel. Do you feel bloated after drinking water? Do you feel uncomfortable in any way after drinking water when you're not thirsty? How much water you need is just like everything else I talk about.
You have your own individual needs. So my advice is to go with how you feel, combined with activity and weather conditions.
Follow good sense not just one-size-fits-all and have a safe and fun spring (summer, fall, winter)! Dr. Joanny.