We are often told to drink as much water as possible. Celebrities’ often cite this elixir as their beauty secret and we are told that it can cure our many maladies. While it may hold true in certain cases and to a certain extent, there are cases when you can overdo this. Following are myths about drinking excessive water, how it can harm you, and the ideal way to have it.
MYTH: Helps to cure digestive orders
Digestive disorders such as constipation, gas and acidity are caused due to sluggish digestive system for which digestives enzymes are responsible. When you have slow digestive power, it means either you have less or diluted digestive enzymes. Water does not play any role in digestive disorders, so drinking more water will not help if you have poor digestion. In fact, if you have poor digestive system, having excess of water will worsen the condition.
MYTH: Helps in curing UTI
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is caused by an infection or obstruction in the urine passage. You need a medical diagnosis to know if you have UTI. To treat the infection, antibiotics are prescribed. Drinking a lot of water may give some relief but antibiotics will be required to cure the infection fully. During the course of UTI, one should use boiled water, not only for drinking but also for cleaning and bathing purposes.
MYTH: Helps in detoxification
Our regular metabolism causes nitrogenous waste products (urea) in the body. Kidney takes out this waste from our body in the form of urine. This is a natural, auto-regulated mechanism. Drinking more water will not help but rather can create problems. What happens when you drink excessive water is that that it disturbs the mechanism of urine formation and necessary ions also flush out of the body with the urine. This leads to an electrolyte imbalance in the body which further translates into a problem of high blood pressure.
HARM: Excess of water may lead to high BP
Drinking excess of water increases blood volume. An increased blood volume puts pressure on veins, which ultimately leads to a rise in blood pressure. Also, water retention can lead to swelling in the body.
Ideal quantity and ways of water consumption
- You should drink 1 glass (250 ml) of warm water in the morning on an empty stomach.
- You should not drink water immediately after a meal as it may make you obese. Instead, you should drink 1 cup (150 ml) of water along with the meal, one sip at a time.
- Take 1-2 sips of water hourly after lunch till bed time.
- The right way to have water is to keep it in your mouth for 5-10 seconds and then gulp it down.
- Always try to drink boiled water. Boiled water should be consumed within 12 hours after boiling.
- Quantity of water for a healthy person cannot be determined; it depends on the weather and the amount of physical activity he/she does. It also depends on the amount of other liquids the individual is having during the day.
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