Just when exactly did drinking water so much water go so bad?…I wouldn’t know cause it shouldn’t in the first instance, but then a handful of death cases had been reported as a result of excess intake of water. Under normal circumstances, accidentally consuming too much water is exceptionally rare. Almost all deaths associated with excess water intake had resulted either from water drinking contests in which individuals attempt to consume large amounts of water, or from long bouts of exercise during which excessive amounts of fluid were consumed.
Water is considered the least toxic of chemical compounds but just like any other substance, can be considered a poison when over-consumed in a specific period of time. Water intoxication mostly occurs when water is being consumed in a high quantity without giving the body the proper nutrients it needs to be healthy.
Risk factors of water intoxication are:
Low body mass in infants; because of their small body mass, it is easy to take in a large amount of water relative to body mass and total body sodium stores.
Endurance sports; marathon runners are susceptible to water intoxication if they drink too much while running, thus leading to hyponatremia, which is when sodium in blood becomes too diluted.
Overexertion and heat stress; Persons working or even resting quietly in extreme heat or humidity may run the risk of water intoxication if they drink large amounts of water over short periods for rehydration.
Competitive eating training; competitive eaters often train for their sport by drinking large amounts of water in a short period of time in an attempt to stretch their stomach to increase their food intake capacity.
So how do you know how much water you need?
Exercise physiologist Stacy Sims, Ph.D., a hydration researcher at Stanford University suggests the following:
1. Weigh yourself daily for a week, to check hydration; your body weight shouldn’t fluctuate too much.
2. Notice how much you pee and its color in the morning; it should be a copious amount and pale or clear.
3. Aim to wake feeling hydrated; if you’re thirsty when you get out of bed in the morning, you may not be consuming enough fluids.
4. When choosing sports drinks, search for labels with low sugar (5grams per 8-ounce serving). Even natural drinks like coconut water have too much sugar and potassium to hydrate.
5. Coffee, tea, and watery fruits and vegetables count toward fluid intake. Caffeine is not a diuretic, it’s about volume, and so if you drink five cups, you’ll pee more.
6. Start slowly; sleep is a 6 – 8 hours fast, so if you drink three cups of juice or water right away, you’ll trigger the volume response. Sip instead.
7. Drink one thing a day that’s not water; a low-carb electrolyte drink in the afternoon can pop you up, as can hot tea with a pinch of salt and lemon, it will increase your core temperature, and the tiny amount of salt can help you absorb fluid.