How excessive hydration and liquid diet can harm you?

By Mr. Rohit Khetan on 06 Jul 2017


 

Water is the essence of our being, it is one of the major constituents of our body and it is essential for our body’s balance. Every fitness advice you would have ever heard would have begun with or have been followed by “make sure to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated” so much so that is perhaps the most cliched fitness advice ever (there is merit to it though but we do understand how you would feel when you hear it from practically everyone!) However, we intend to bring to light something that is very important about hydration. How much water is good for you and what is the right quantity to consume exercising and even daily?

Overhydration and what it is all about

Did you know that there is something called overhydration which simply means your body has excessive water?

Imagine gulping down gallons of water only to feel its ill effects on your body all the while thinking that you are doing something great for it. We feel you and therefore we’ve chosen this topic – to help you understand how much water is good for you and what the ill effects of overhydration and excessive reliance on liquid diets are.

Coming back to overhydration, it is simply excessive water in your body either because of excessive consumption or due to water retention. (Water retention could be due to a variety of medical conditions and we will bring them to you in a different blog.) When we mean excessive consumption, it is not only in the form of water, it could also be other liquids such as juices, smoothies, health drinks and much worse liquid diets that seem to be the fad today. As per medical guidelines, an average adult requires only as much as 10-13 cups of fluids a day (this is an average estimate for a normal person).

If you are into sports or are a health nut, you are at more risk because you could end up consuming more liquids than you require and this could cause many problems from confusion, nausea, headaches, dizziness, bloating and so on. In severe cases, it could even lead to seizures and multiple organ failures. We don’t mean to scare you with this information, severe complications might arise owing to complications from medicines that are being consumed for certain conditions.

So, what is the right amount of fluids to drink?

Even though there is an average medical guideline (that we have stated earlier in the article), there is no strict rule of thumb. Let your thirst be your guide and never be under the impression that you can simply go on a liquid diet to lose weight or it is better to have juices and smoothies than actual food. No, it is not! Losing weight is about consuming lesser calories than you expend in a day and keeping your food balanced to get the right amount of carbs, fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals. It simply won’t do any good to go either on crash diets or liquid diets. On an average, you might need more fluids when there is extreme heat, fever or illness and when you are working on something that is physically taxing. Even then moderation is the key!