Beware! Too much water can also intoxicate you

Deccan Chronicle.  | Kaniza Garari

Lifestyle, Health and Wellbeing

Drink 2.5 to 3 litres of water everyday as it is safe and healthy.

Alkaline water does away with acidity in the blood but studies have found that there is no major difference in plain and alkaline water hence is not recommended for all. (Representational Image)

Hyderabad: Drink only as much water as you need, just enough to quench your thirst. Too much consumption of water can lead to water intoxication causing fluid overload in the body and imbalance in the blood. Those who drink more than three to four litres of water per day are found to be water intoxicated as the sodium levels in the body become low. Low sodium levels lead to nausea, vomiting, fainting, cramps and in worse cases even brain swelling which can prove fatal.

Dr Anil Ballani, consultant physician explained, “In summers drinking 2.5 to 3 litres of water per day is sufficient. More than this is not recommended for the general public. Some people are found to drink more than four litres of water per day. Issues of dehydration can also be dealt with by eating fruits like water melon, grapes, raspberry, banana, pineapple and other fresh seasonal fruits and juices.”

He added, “The best way to check if the body is dehydrated is to check the colour of the urine. If the colour is dark yellow, it means the person requires more water. It also means that the salt intake in the body is less and hence it has to be properly replaced.”

In normal people, experts state that thirst is the guiding factor for water intake and people must go by that factor alone. If there is increased physical activity with a lot of sweating, then more water is required to balance the electrolytes.

Dr L. Vaishali, consultant internal medicine specialist explained, “Water intake is different for those who are suffering from kidney or heart disease. They must follow the instructions of the doctor as they are at risk of getting breathless due to water logging in the lungs. Those who are into outdoor works in summer or carrying out physical exercises must take water at regular intervals. But it must also be remembered that fruits also provide water for the body hence, the consumption of water has to be calculated.” Kidneys flush out 1 to 1.5 litres of water every day as urine, hence, people who drink too much of water are actually overloading the kidney which has to work harder.