If you’ve finally made it past the 8-glasses rule, it still might be too early to start patting yourself on the back, according to our friends at Marie France Asia. Global studies have shown that the benefits of water, such as glowing skin and heightened detoxification, have been oversold and that drinking too much of it can be detrimental to our health.
But what about the non-caloric, appetite-curbing, muscle-energizing, organ-helping, properties of the world’s most vital drink? Well, everything has its limits. And while all of these benefits are great, the key to consuming water is drinking enough, not too much.
If you’re guilty of drinking too much water, here are the risks you face:
We know that too much of a good thing is bad, but it’s still a surprise to hear that you can become overhydrated. Called hyponatremia, it’s a condition where there is a lethally low level of sodium in the blood, and it’s a direct result of drinking too much H20 for the kidneys to filter out. Watch out, gym bunnies!
Speaking of gym-goers, over-drinking can cause hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating. No, it’s not the I-burned-a-lot-of-calories level of sweat; it’s the pouring, streaming-down-your-sides kind of sweat you need to watch out for.
Before we sleep, our bodies release a chemical called ADH (anti-diuretic hormone) to slow down kidney function and prevent our urge to pee during sleep. By drinking too much before bed, you hinder ADH from doing its job and end up waking up in the wee hours of the morning to go pee. And nothing says waking up on the wrong side of the bed like a sleepless night…
HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH?
Albeit the current scientific claim of two litres per day, the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK recommends 1.6 litres. Endocrinologist Stanley Liew of Raffles Hospital, Singapore, supports the claim.
“It is not a minimum requirement to stay healthy,” he says. “On average, water intake of 1.5 litres or six glasses a day is adequate.” Unless you’re in a desert, anything more than 1.5 litres consumed in a day is bad.
How do you tell if you’ve had too much? The next time nature calls, look at the colour. The ideal shade is a light, straw colour. If it’s darker, it’s a signal you need to drink more. But if it’s diluted or almost clear, lay off the H20 for a little while.