Water Intake - How Much is Too Much?
Drink more water. You’ve heard the advice countless times, especially if you’re highly active, or during hot weather. But what exactly does that mean? And can you actually drink too much water?
Proper hydration is important for brain function, digestion, and body temperature regulation. Drinking the right amount of water supports muscle performance, improves skin health, prevents fatigue, and keeps your kidneys functioning at an optimal level. And it’s even an effective weight management strategy that can help you feel full and eat fewer calories. So how much water should you be drinking?
You’ve probably heard the mantra “drink 8 glasses of water a day.” But there’s some confusion out there about how much water eight glasses really is. Is it eight tumblers filled to the rim, or eight small glasses about half the size? Take a look at the findings on proper hydration from a couple of recent studies:
In a Harvard School of Public Health study, researchers followed about 50,000 people for 10 years and tracked the amount of water they drank daily. Those who drank six to eight glasses a day cut their risk of bladder cancer by 50 percent compared to those who drank less water. And in a Loma Linda University study, people who drank five to eight glasses of water a day cut their risk for heart attack and stroke by as much as 54 percent. And even though coffee and soda contain water, researchers found that these beverages did not provide the same protective effects as drinking water.
So the recommendation to drink six to eight glasses of water a day is a good rule to follow. If you want a more specific guideline to follow, aim for 40 to 64 ounces of water a day. That includes the amount of water you drink, as well as water found in fruits and vegetables. You’ll want to increase the amount of water you drink if you’re highly active, or in hot weather. But don’t overdo it.
Drinking too much water can actually be dangerous because it can cause an imbalance in your body’s electrolyte and sodium levels. And it can cause headaches, an upset stomach, fatigue, blackouts, and even death. It’s a condition called hypnotremia, and it most commonly occurs in novice runners who drink too much water while participating in a race.
The easiest way to drink 40 to 64 ounces of water a day is by including a glass of water with your meals. Just prepare one of the hundreds of portion-controlled meal options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert at MagicKitchen.com and enjoy every bite with a glass of water. You’ll feel better, enjoy a tasty and nutritious meal, and get the hydration you need for best health.