Too much of a good thing is never a good thing. This goes for water too. We’ve probably all heard you must drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. However, we aren’t all created equal. What works for one person may not work for another is also true for water consumption.
You’ll need more water, for example, on a hot day or when you are very active and sweating a lot. But drinking too much water can cause a condition known as hyponatremia. This is when the sodium in the blood becomes too diluted. If this happens, you might experience things like confusion, headaches, nausea, and bloating – all things which can be confused with dehydration.
In extreme cases, hyponatremia can lead to seizures, organ failure, and even death. So how is one to know if they are dehydrated or have overhydrated if the symptoms are similar? Here are some ways to tell if you’re drinking the right amount of water.
* Weigh yourself daily for a week. Yes, this goes against everything you have been told, but your body weight shouldn’t fluctuate too much from day to day. So by doing this, you will know if you’re getting too much water and are bloated.
* How’s your pee? You should have a large amount and check the color too. Pale to clear is the sign that you’re getting the right amount of water. If your pee is completely clear, then you’re overhydrating.
* Don’t wake up thirsty. If you wake thirsty, then you’re not drinking enough.
* If you are peeing a lot, consume more salt. Since there’s an imbalance of salt to water in your body, adding salt will help to balance things out. Similarly, if you’re not peeing enough, you should drink more water.
* Drink to quench your thirst. You might have heard that you should not wait until you’re thirsty to drink, as that’s too late. And that could be true, especially if you’re losing water rapidly, but it’s not always the case. So drinking when you’re thirsty and just until you have quenched your thirst is a good way to keep yourself from drinking too much water. But still, watch for symptoms in your body when you pee to know if you’re consuming the right amount of water.
* Drink sports drinks when working out instead of water. Watch that they don’t contain high amounts of sugar, though. The benefit of sports drinks is that they contain electrolytes and sodium. So you are balancing the water and sodium amounts in your blood, which will help to prevent overhydration.
All in all, listening to your body is very important to finding the happy medium to how much liquid is enough to keep you hydrated. You can make quick adjustments to help balance the sodium in your blood and keep it from becoming overhydrated. Most likely you have nothing to worry about with overhydration or even dehydration, so much time as you’re listening to what your body is telling you.
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