Water is kind of a big deal. Humans are composed roughly of 60% water, which makes consuming it all the more important. I’ve touched on this in previous posts, namely Some Watered Down Information (Yes, I reference my own posts! Wanna make something’ of it?) But how we consume that water is almost as important as how much.
How much water you need to consume in a day depends on varying factors, including weight, age and certain medical conditions. But the agreed amount these days is to drink half your body weight in ounces. So for example, if you weigh 200 pounds, you should consume 100 ounces (or 2.84 litres) of water a day. That amount can increase, especially in the warmer months or if you’re physically active.
Now that we’ve covered that, what if you were to chug 3 litres of water within the first few hours of your day. Would you need to drink more later on, or have you reached your quota and you’re good to go? Believe it or not, chugging or sipping makes a difference.
According to an online article posted by ScienceABC, “When we have consumed more water than the body needs to operate, it responds by flushing out excess water to ensure that the correct amount stays within the body.” In other words, if you chug water in mass amounts, it may sate your thirst in the immediate moment, but you’ll urinate the excess and won’t hit your daily limit.
This is also confirmed in the article, where they say, “[…] any excess water in the body is flushed out through the urine, which is more likely to happen with gulping.” So if you gulp large amounts, your body will just get rid of the excess anyway. Gulping too much water, which in turns causes the excess to be urinated, will force the kidneys to expel necessary salts from the body along with it. The loss of these salts can cause fatigue, headaches and tissue swelling. It’s a condition called Hyponatremia.
Other problems with chugging or consuming too much water include upsetting the proper balance of electrolytes in the body and water intoxication. These can be accompanied by a number of symptoms including but not limited to fatigue, weakness, irritability and confusion. Seems like a bit of a pain in the ass, just for drinking too much water, eh?
So, the best practice in order to stay properly hydrated throughout the day without causing issues is to simply sip consistently. There is no “optimal” temperature; whatever temperature of water gets you to stay hydrated is ideal. For Diabetics especially, some of that excess consumption can happen when we have very high blood sugars, which cause increased thirst. This becomes a prime example of how the body will flush out excess water.
No matter what, be sure to keep a bottle of water with you at all times, especially during the summer months, and sip from it consistently in order to stay hydrated. Remember that your hydration needs will increase if you’re out in the summer heat and/or exercising. ☯