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Why being attentive to how much water you drink is important

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Sun, November 25, 2018  /  05:08 pm
Why being attentive to how much water you drink is important

Drinking a lot of water is one of the ways to ease dehydration. (Shutterstock/File)

Drinking water is good for you, everyone knows that. However aside from drinking too little, drinking too much water can also have negative effects on your body.

Here is what can happen to your body, as well as your brain, when you drink too much or too little water:

More water: More energy, better control 

Our bodies are 75 percent water; which means water is essential for several bodily functions, such as the transportation of nutrients to your cells. 

According to Reader’s Digest, based on a review of research conducted by scientists at the University of North Carolina and Tufts University, lack of water hampers the flow of nutrients, which affects how well both your brain and body function. 

Losing as little as 2 percent water content (for athletes, this can be as high as 6 to 10 percent), can lead to fluctuating body temperature, loss of motivation and increased fatigue. According to Healthline, optimal hydration is shown to help prevent these symptoms, and reduces muscle strain; as muscles are 80 percent water.

Hydration is also essential for balance within the body. Without water, or even with slight dehydration, muscles can be prone to cramping as your sodium, potassium and magnesium levels become out of balance.

Read also: 10 tricks to lose water weight

Too much water: Not enough salt

Despite the benefits of water, there is the danger of a condition known as overhydration. According to another article by Healthline, overhydration is caused by two different things: water intake and water retention.

Too much water intake is drinking more water than the kidneys can remove from your bloodstream, while water retention is the body’s inability to remove water effectively. Both kinds of overhydration will cause several problems.

A study authored by associate professor of the Department of Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Brenda Davy, and student Shaun Riebl, recommended that the average adult should drink between 9 to 13 cups of water a day.

Overhydration by water retention can be caused by conditions such as kidney problems, liver disease, diabetes and congestive heart failure, and by medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, diuretics and medication for conditions such as schizophrenia.

Water needs will differ depending on each individual, with age, sex, weather, level of physical activity and overall health needing to be considered to determine how much water is too much and how much is too little. However, the color of urine is usually a reliable indicator as to whether an individual is suffering from dehydration or overhydration.

Despite what coaches often say, clear urine is actually a sign of overhydration, while darker urine indicates dehydration. Pale yellow urine that is neither clear nor dark is a sign of good water intake.(acr/kes)