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Water Balance in Body: Is Excess Water Intake Harmful?

Not having a check on the water balance in the body can have as many adverse effects as dehydration in extreme cases.

                        “Consume plenty of water to prevent dehydration throughout the day.”

You must be knowing that excess of everything is bad. The same is the case with water intake. There is no denying the fact that water is fuel for our body but it is important to understand how much water is too much for your body. For this, you must understand the concept of water balance in body. Excess water in the body may lead to overhydration. This blog aims to teach you how much water is good for your body. So if it is something that you are eager to explore, take out some time to read this blog thoroughly. Let’s begin.

Introduction: The Benefits of Water Balance in Body

The human body contains up to 60 percent water, and we know that water plays a crucial role in our health! We take this to heart by carrying reusable water bottles to work, school, and play, and hydrating our bodies at all times. Drinking as much water as possible is easy to think, but in fact, there are some limits to this. However, not having a check on water balance in body can have as many adverse effects as dehydration in extreme cases. Therefore, let’s see why is water balance in the body important.

1. Balancing Body Fluids

A body’s water content is about 60%. In addition to digestion, absorption, circulation, and creation of saliva, the fluids also transport nutrients and maintain body temperature. The brain triggers the thirst response when your body is low on fluids. If you are thirsty, do not drink alcohol, unless you are taking medications that make you thirsty. Furthermore, you can drink water, juice, milk, or coffee instead.

2. Control Calories

Dieters have been consuming lots of water as a weight-loss strategy for decades. Water does not magically help you lose weight, but substituting it for higher calorie drinks can certainly make a difference. You can lose weight by drinking water or non-caloric beverages over caloric beverages and/or eating a diet rich in water-rich foods that are better, more filling, and cut your calorie intake.

Generally, foods with high water content tend to be larger, require more chewing. Also, your body absorbs these foods more slowly, making them feel more filling. Among the foods high in water are fruits, vegetables, broth-based soups, oatmeal, and beans.

3. Good for Skin

Water is abundant in the skin, which serves as a protective barrier against fluid loss. Don’t expect excess water in the body to erase wrinkles or fine lines. Water balance in the body can improve your skin’s appearance by making it less dry and wrinkled. Eventually, however, the kidneys will take over and excrete excess fluids.”

4. Water Balance in Body Helps Your Kidneys

In and out of cells, body fluids transport waste products. A toxin in the body is blood urea nitrogen, a water-soluble substance that excretes in the urine. As long as your intake of fluids is adequate, your kidneys do an amazing job of purifying and eliminating toxins from your body.” When your body is getting enough fluids, your urine flows freely, is light in color, and does not smell. When your body is not getting enough fluids, urinary concentration, color, and odor increase as your kidneys need extra fluid to function.

Therefore, these are the major benefits of water balance in the body. The question that might strike your mind is does overhydration really affects your body? Let’s see.

 The Effects of Overhydration

Drinking too much water can result in water poisoning, intoxication, or a disruption of brain function. When there is too much water in the cells (including brain cells), they swell. The swelling of the brain cells causes pressure in the brain. It is possible to experience confusion, drowsiness, and headaches. Therefore, a rise in this pressure can lead to conditions like hypertension (High Blood Pressure) and bradycardia (Low Heart Rate).

Overhydration causes hyponatremia, a condition characterized by the depletion of sodium. Sodium plays a crucial role in keeping fluids flowing into and out of cells. Moreover, if water levels drop in the body due to a high volume of water, fluids move inside the cells. As a result, your cells swell and you may suffer seizures, coma, or even death.

Therefore, it is clear that the excess of water in the body is dangerous. Now, the question arises of how must water is enough for your body per day. Let’s see.

How Much Water Intake is Enough?

Daily, we lose water through breathing, sweating, urination, and bowel movements. Consuming beverages and foods that contain water can help your body function properly.

In a temperate climate, how much fluid does an average, healthy adult require? According to the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, a daily fluid intake of adequate intensity is as follows:

  • A man should drink about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day
  • Women need about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluid per day

Fluid recommendations include water, other drinks, and food. Also, food provides about 20% of the fluids we consume each day, while beverages provide the remainder.

Final Thoughts

For healthy, well-nourished adults, drinking too much water can be problematic. Alternatively, some athletes may drink too much water during long or intense exercise in an attempt to avoid dehydration. Overhydrating your kidneys make them unable to remove the excess water. Diluting the sodium in your blood occurs. It refers to hyponatremia, and it can be life-threatening. So you must maintain a water balance in the body to avoid the effects of overhydration.

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