Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Drinking Five Pints of Water Could Shorten Your Life

The formula — weight (lbs) / 2 = H2O (oz)

Your weight (in pounds) divided by two, equals water intake (in ounces)

Essentially, this should be your daily intake of water, which works out to approximately eight glasses.

NOTE: It’s a recommendation.


Water is the elixir of life and remaining hydrated is a key component of a healthy lifestyle. The important thing to remember is that these formulas are generic and we know that no two human bodies are identical, so like everything else in life the quantity of water we consume has its pro’s and cons. One hears more and more about the pros of drinking water, keeping hydrated, flushing your system.  There are some cons too, excessive water in your system can cause havoc to your body.

Over-consumption of water may lead to problems in your body a term called Water Intoxication.

Drinking too much water can cause a problem to your system; it dilutes the salts in our bloodstream and causes an imbalance. Symptoms such as headaches, vomiting, and mental disorientation all lead to a condition called Hyponatremia. The kidneys can’t flush the water out of our system quickly enough causing the excess water to enter cells and cause the cells to swell. If this reaches the brain cells, it can cause seizures, comas or even death.

CAUTION: Whilst exercising, guzzling water is not advised; small sips at intervals are preferred.

— Look, Listen and feel for signs.

Excessive Sweating


Muscle Cramping

Frequent Urination

Fatigue and Tiredness

Skin Discolouration or Swelling

Loss of Appetite

Sleep Interruption


  • Professor Mark Whiteley, a consultant vascular surgeon and founder of The Whiteley Clinic in London is an expert that has expressed concerns about excessive water consumption. It is the body’s way of draining excess fluid. He states, “Excessive Sweating could be linked to over drinking of water, in some cases so severe that patients consider removal of sweat glands.”
  • Undefined Headaches are signs of both overhydration and dehydration. While it is seen that drinking water can cure headaches and hangovers magically, sometimes when you drink too much water, the salt consumption in your blood reduces causing the cells in the organs throughout your body to swell bringing on undefined headaches for a long period and needs your immediate attention of curbing the over-drinking of water habit.
  • When you drink too much water, your electrolyte levels drop and the balance is compromised. Low electrolyte levels can cause symptoms like Muscle Spasms And Cramping. Drinking too much water for a constant period may cause a sudden muscle cramp. Drinking more than enough water can drop the electrolyte level from your body, and that causes to weaken muscle functioning in the human body.
  • Drinking lots of water does bring about Frequent Urination. What really happens is the kidneys do supply the required fluid to the cells, anything over and above that needs to be flushed out of the body, filling the bladder constantly and forcing frequent urination.

TIP: When you go for a sonography, you do not need to guzzle two liters of water, start the water or any liquid consumption two hours prior to your appointment. A glass every half hour is a good pace. Do not urinate till you are done with the sonography. This fills the bladder slowly and there is no pressure build-up.

  • Excessive water consumption can cause Fatigue and Tiredness. Your kidneys are responsible for filtering the water through your body and making sure the fluid levels in your bloodstream are balanced. Excess water will compel your kidney to work harder, leading to the emission of some stressful hormones in your body. These hormones cause a drop in our normal energy level and fatigue. Excessive water consumption may lead to depletion of potassium, which is an essential nutrient for well-being.
  • Over-hydration can sometimes cause noticeable Swelling and Discolouration in hands, lips and feet. Keep a watchful eye.
  • Loss of Appetite: In the name of weight reduction, very often people admit to drinking a glass of water when hungry. In fact studies prove that when we drink more water than our bodies need, it gives us a feeling of fullness, leading to loss of appetite. This eventually leads to a nutrient deficiency condition.
  • Sleep Interruption is another condition of drinking excess water, especially two to three hours prior to bed-time and we all know that seven-eight hours of uninterrupted sleep is vital for humans to revive energy, as well as for effective organ function. Professor Whitely also says, “Drinking a lot of water at the end of the day can disrupt sleep. When we fall asleep, our brain releases an anti-diuretic hormone (ADH), to slow down kidney function and stop us feeling the need to urinate during the night. If we have extra fluid in our system then it can override the effect of ADH, fill our bladder and then we need to get up in the middle of the night. He recommends that it’s best not to drink fluid for two or three hours before bed and that if sleep is a problem then to have a warm bath just before bed, which will encourage you to sweat and dehydrate slightly, making it less likely for you to need to get up at night.”

Enough of bad mouthing over drinking of the most essential ingredient of life, there are huge benefits of drinking ample water too…

  •   Water flushes out toxins.
  •   Regulates body temperature.
  •   Aids digestion and constipation.
  •   Reduces frequency and severity of headaches and migraines.
  •   Speeds up weight loss and acts as an appetite suppressant.
  •   Promotes healthier skin.
  •   Relieves tiredness.
  •   Faster recovery from hangovers.
  •   Improves your mood.
  •   Reduces bad breath.

In the end, neither less nor excess of water is advisable, drink the perfect amount of water every day to keep healthy. Research says, that almost 3.7 liters of fluid for men and 2.7 liters of fluid for women are essential to run a human body functioning properly.

CHECK-1—The best way to check if your body is dehydrated is to check the colour of your urine. If it is dark yellow, there is a chance you may need more water.

CHECK-2—Thirst is another guiding factor for water intake and people must go by that factor.

CHECK-3 —In summertime it is important to ensure that you are well hydrated; however, it is also important to know that excessive water consumption can reverse the good effects.

Just make sure your intake is sensible and the issues of excess won’t be a problem. All this answers the question —

Is Water The Elixir of Life or Potentially Lethal in Excess?

Vinita Alvares Fernandes
Vinita Alvares Fernandes is an Economics graduate, a writer and a Trinity College certified public speaker and communicator

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