Can You Kill Yourself Easily By Drinking Too Much Water?

Pankaj K. Choudhary

New Delhi: Our body is almost 60% water. But our body constantly loses it via urine and sweat. Hence, this ‘expert’ advice: drink adequate amounts of water to stay  hydrated.

Most of us follow 8×8 rule religiously.  This rule means you should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. That’s half a gallon of water (about 2 liters).

When it comes to drinking minimum amount of water, there is no dearth of advice. In fact, advises related to hydration are all over the internet.

Everybody advises us to keep water bottle by our side. We are told by ‘experts’ to drink, before we get dehydrated. There is no denying the fact that drinking adequate amounts of water have many benefits. It regulates body temperature, prevents constipation. Toxin gets flushed out from our body. All major bodily functions are in good shape.

What about Overhydration?

According to Stuart Galloway, an associate professor in physiology, exercise and nutrition at the University of Stirling, following 8×8 rule is not sensible any more. According to him, thirst is not necessarily a bad thing. Dehydration becomes a serious threat only when we get older. In a quest to be in best health, young and healthy adults tend to drink lots of water. Stuart Galloway advises against this habit.

Galloway says detoxing with water is “a load of rubbish. Your kidneys do a very good job of sorting out what you need to retain and what you need to get rid of.”

Drinking Too Much Water does not Protect Your Skin Either

Dehydration is surely not good for your skin. But, at the same time, excessive fluid intake is not good for the skin of healthy adults either. Don’t drink more than you can pee.

According to Amanda Burls, an emeritus professor of public health at City, University of London, excessive intake of water causes water intoxication. Water intoxication may lead to serious problems such as impaired brain function.

How Much You Need to Drink ?

In the US, 8×8 rule that actually originated from a recommendation by the nutritionist Dr Fredrick J Stare in 1974, is popular. In the UK, the NHS’s advice is more popular. According to the NHS, one should drink minimum six to eight glasses of water per day.

Reputed Harvard Medical School recommends that a healthy adult needs just four to six cups of water every day. And this counts all beverages including coffee, tea and booze.

Always remember, the so-called “8×8 rule” is not backed by scientific findings.

In 1974, the book Nutrition for Good Health, co-authored by nutritionists Margaret McWilliams and Frederick Stare, recommended that the average adult consumes between six to eight glasses of water a day.

It seems, everybody took this advice too seriously.

Feeling thirsty does not mean we are on the verge of dehydration. Most often, dehydration cannot be fatal for healthy adults.

Then, what should you do?

Your body gives you enough signal when it needs fluid. Follow this signal, and don’t think too much about hydration.

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