How much water is too much to drink in a day?
Why consuming too much of water is harmful?
- Dilutes sodium level in the body, causing the cells throughout our body (including the brain cells) to swell. This condition, called as hyponatremia, can lead to life-threatening circumstances
- Brings down the electrolyte level in the body, which can cause symptoms like muscle spasms, cramping, nausea, and alike conditions.
- Depletes the potassium level in the body, which causes symptoms like leg pain, irritation, chest pain, etc.
- Causes too much urination, which do not let our body to absorb the fluid appropriately.
- Weakens the functioning of kidneys. Our kidney filters the water we drink and make sure that the fluid level in our bloodstream remains balanced. Consuming too much water make the kidneys to work even harder, thus creating a stressful reaction from our hormones – that results in depression and fatigue.
What is the ideal quantity of water one should drink daily?
- Physical activity: Water requirement increases during physical activity such as exercise, trekking, or even while shopping in a spree market. Consider drinking a sports drink that contains sodium and other electrolytes to help replenish the electrolytes you lose through sweating.
- Specific health condition: During pregnancy, breastfeeding, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and in hot climate, one need to consume more water.
- Age and gender: Daily fluid requirement also varies as per age, weight, gender.
- Infants: Six months to 12 months should consume 8ooml to 1000ml water a day.Toddlers: One year to two-year-old toddlers should drink 1,100-1,200ml water a day
- Children: Three year to eight-year-old kids should drink 1,300ml to 1,600ml water a day
- Boys of nine years to 13 year: He should consume 2,100ml water a day
- Girls of nine years to 13 year: She should consume 1,900ml water a day
- Adolescent 14 (boys): He must drink 3.3L water a day
- Adolescent 14 (girls): She must drink 2.3L water a day
- Adult male (19 to 70 years): They should drink 3.7L water a day
- Adult female (19 to 70 years): They should drink 2.7L water a day
- Elderly above 70 years: No generalized recommendation is noted for the elderly as their requirement depends on their health condition or diseases they suffer from, the medications they take, their kidney function (reduced or normal), and other factors.
In case you want to talk to a doctor for an individualized suggestion on how much water should you drink in a day, you can consult an Internal Medicine Specialist online.
How can you avoid over-hydration or water intoxication?
- Do not drink 1 full glass or 2 glasses of water in one go; instead, take small sips and drink slowly. Also, drink at regular intervals
- Do not drink too much water during exercise. You may drink one-fourth of a glass or 3 to 4 sips during exercise, and then quench your thirst with a glass an hour after your workout
- Do not drink water immediately before going to sleep. Instead, drink it an hour before you go to bed
- Avoid drinking water during meal-time. Maintain a gap between your water intake and meals (a minimum of 45 minutes before and after the meal)