It is believed that warm weather and longer days have inspired remainders to “stay hydrated”. So, people think that drinking 8 glasses of water or about two liters of water every day is good for their bodies.
But there is this one fact that also states that drinking too much water could actually kill even healthy people.
Though it is extremely rare for people to die from consuming too much or less fluid. Still, water and sodium balance is essential to life.
Water in, water out
There are many hydration challenges that take place across schools, sports and workplaces. These heavily hydrated and friendly challenges are conducted to ensure that we drink compulsory amounts of water throughout the day.
It is also seen that the amount of water our body needs is basically based on how much water people lose. It mainly depends on three factors:
- Body Weight– Bigger people need more water.
- Environmental temperature– When it’s hotter, people sweat and lose water.
- Physical activity levels– Increased exercise intensity increases sweat water losses.
This proves that drinking 8 glasses of water per day is inappropriate for everyone.
The U.S. Food and Nutrition Board and the 2017 European Food and Safety Authority recommends the daily water consumption includes all beverages plus the moisture contained in foods.
This means moisture which is found in food items, especially fresh fruits, sods, juices, soups, milk, coffee. These items contribute to the recommended water requirement. And also, additional cups of plain water of course.
An important note – Alcohol contains diuretic properties, ethanol acts directly on the kidneys to make us pee more. Moreover, caffeinated beverages like coffee and tea do not increase urinary losses.
You must be wondering about a certain saying. After all, you’ve heard it from a lot of people that you are supposed to drink more and more water.
The total body water balance or homeostasis what scientists say, is complicated.
That’s why when it comes to hydration, our kidneys are the king.
Within each kidney there is an undercover network of aquaporin-2 (AQP-2) water channels. It responds to a hormone called arginine vasopressin.
This is the body’s main water retention hormone. It is secreted by the posterior pituitary gland in response to nerve signals sent from specialized brain sensors which detect subtle changes in water balance.
So, the kidney makes molecular adjustments to both dehydration as well as overhydration within 40 seconds in response to any imbalance in water level.
Therefore, when we drink more than our body requires (above thirst) we immediately have to pee out the excess water.
Is there anything good to come out of this?
Drinking loads of water may improve skin complexion, kidney function and constipation, but this fact too is not scientifically proven.
Also, superfluous drinking can be harmful for the body. Because chronic overdrinking or “social polydipsia” causes chronic peeing (polyuria). This may lead to bladder distention, ureter dilation, hydronephrosis and renal failure.
Hence, if you still believe in drinking 8 glasses of water a day would help, you should think about it. Although it will not offer superior health benefits but probably is not super harmful either.