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YES, YOU CAN DRINK TOO MUCH WATER!!!


Thursday, June 27, 2013

This has become my rally for the past several summers...as the temps start to rise, the need for people to drink more also rises. But many people also resort to drinking more than their bodies need just to help keep hunger at bay--true hunger cannot be squashed by drinking more water. Hunger is your body's cue telling you that it needs fuel--food. Thirst is your body's cue of telling it needs water--fluids.

What got me started was reading a blog on the health website that my husband's company uses to help their employees stay healthy. One of the suggestions written by a blog writer was to "Drink as much water as you can."

Well, I am here to tell you that you can drink too much water--remember your body gets fluids from more than the water we drink--food such as fruits and veggies provide us with hydration, as well as coffee, tea, juices, diet sodas.

A few years ago when I was taking my Road Runners Club of America Running Coaches certification course the instructors stressed to us the need to get the word out to endurance athletes regarding a very serious condition--hyponatremia. This is when an individual drinks more than their body needs which can lead to a dangerous drop in sodium levels as well as affecting the hormones regulating fluid levels, therefore the kidneys don't function as they should and if the condition evolves swelling of the brain can occur which could lead to coma and in some cases death.

The idea is to drink to thirst---I know, I know, I have heard it a million times that when one is thirsty they are already on the verge of dehydration--but the reality is, thirst is our body's cue to drink--we do not have to force fluids, nor can we stay ahead of our hydration--that is NOT how our bodies work.

Think about it--if you have a pet--say a cat or dog and it's really warm outside, do you force your pet to drink? Do you shove a water bottle in her mouth? --probably not--the reason, your pet knows when she needs water and will search for it. We do not have to force fluids--and in doing so you may actually be creating more issues than you need to. So a little lesson I am here to share--DRINK TO THIRST and allow your body to be your guide--not the little thought that if some is good, more must be better.

RUN HAPPY and RUN STRONG!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post:
SPARKFRAN514 7/24/2013 12:26AM

    emoticon

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ACTIVE_AT_60 7/9/2013 9:02PM

    For the geeks - read Tim Noakes book 'waterlogged' - it is very scientific ... and an eye opener.

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WOODSYGIRL 7/8/2013 10:46PM

    I think this is a wonderful blog, Nancy. I work with a lady who drank so much water in a short span of time (she had a UTI and assumed she needed to keep flushing fluids) that she ended up in the hospital because her electrolytes were completely out of whack. I've always heard that the "8 glasses a day" does not take into consideration a person's weight and that if you are bigger (like me) that you need to drink more. I wonder if that's true or not, but I've taken to listening more to my body for cues. Water is the main thing that I drink, but I'm learning not to guzzle it down so fast so s to reach my "quota." Thanks so much for the wonderful insight.

Shannon

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SLIMMERKIWI 7/7/2013 5:47AM

    I get rather tee'd off when I see various members pushing 'drink as much as you can', as if that is the answer to everything. A person posts re depression - the response - "drink the water" - a person is hungry and light-headed from not enough food. The response is often "drink more water", ............ :-(

It is as tho' water is supposed to be the answer to everything. It isn't - it is only the answer to survival, and mainly showers/baths, sometimes cooking, laundry and swimming.

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PASTAFARIAN 6/29/2013 7:48PM

    Yes, people get into trouble with overhydration. I'll agree with you on that but ...

I don't think thirst is a good guide for endurance athletes (and you explicitly say that's who you are talking about). For example, anyone running an HM or marathon should be drinking by mile 2 but few runners would naturally say they feel thirsty at that point. After all, even experienced runners easily run 10Ks without water. But if you run a marathon and wait until your first 6 miles before you get thirsty and drink, you're going to have problems with dehydration soon after.


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LIGHTNINGRUNNER 6/28/2013 12:46PM

    I always thought that it was drinking too much water in a short period of time?

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CIRANDELLA 6/28/2013 8:32AM

    VERY, VERY important advice people need to hear. I have hyponatremia, or low serum-sodium. It can cause all the frightening things you mentioned if unchecked and untreated. Mine was probably caused by an unusual reaction to one of the SSRI antidepressants, so I had to go off this med (terrible experience) and consume very large amounts of sodium-rich foods, which was, at first, pretty unpalatable. I still have to consume 4,000 mg. of sodium a day to maintain normal levels and saw a nephrologist for several months. Now, my internist monitors the levels when he does blood tests, about every three months.

It ain't fun! And it can be scary, even though my only symptom was excessive urination...which made me suspect type 2 diabetes (nope...and at 5'4" and 116 lbs., that's a little less likely, anyway).

So I hope people will read and heed your wise advice, Nancy...

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CHANGINGHORSES 6/28/2013 8:27AM

    Yes, I definitely have heard of someone dying from drinking too much water. Thank you for the reminder.


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NELLIEC 6/28/2013 12:43AM

    Well, one time for a period of several months, I was drinking a lot of water. I was coughing continually and the water soothed my throat. Finally the doctor discovered that I had developed the coughing as a side effect to a medication that I had been taking for several years. I don't know why it hadn't happened before, but magically when I quit taking that med, I quit the continual coughing. At the time, I don't remember feeling like I was drinking too much water, since it was so soothing. And the irritation of my throat did feel sorta like thirst.

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PATRICIAAK 6/27/2013 11:09PM

    True. As is a mantra of mine - all things in moderation!

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