Apparently, nothing in extreme amounts is good for you.
I’ve been on a mission to drink more water. You know that recommended 8 cups a day? Well, I normally hit like 4, and that’s drinking anything including sodas and juices. But I completely forgot that you could get water poisoning until someone brought it up and I just decided to look more into it just to seewhy it’s so dangerous.
Okay, I will post info and little bits here, but basically what I got out of it was when it’s not just overdrinking water. It’s about replacing as many electrolytes in your water as well asfluids in your body. When you’re replacing fluid moreso than electrolytes, that’s when you “could be” headed for intoxication troubles. But I’ll let these paragraphs go into more depth for you…..I guess gatorade is good for you.
- Water intoxication, also known as water poisoning, is a potentially fatal disturbance in brain functions that results when the normal balance of electrolytes in the body is pushed outside of safe limits (e.g., hyponatremia) by overhydration, i.e., over-consumption of water.
Under normal circumstances, accidentally consuming too much water is exceptionally rare. Nearly all deaths related to water intoxication in normal individuals have resulted either from water drinking contests in which individuals attempt to consume large amounts of water, or long bouts of intensive exercise during which electrolytes are not properly replenished, yet excessive amounts of fluid are still consumed.
Water, just like any other substance, can be considered a poison when over-consumed in a specific period of time. Water intoxication mostly occurs when water is being consumed at a high quantity without giving the body its proper nutrients it needs to be healthy.
- At the onset of this condition, fluid outside the cells has an excessively low amount of solutes (such as sodium (hyponatremia) and other electrolytes) in comparison to that inside the cells causing the fluid to shift through (via osmosis) into the cells to balance its concentration. This causes the cells to swell. In the brain, this swelling increases intracranial pressure (ICP). It is this increase in pressure which leads to the first observable symptoms of water intoxication: headache, personality changes, changes in behavior, confusion, irritability, and drowsiness. These are sometimes followed by difficulty breathing during exertion, muscle weakness, twitching, or cramping, nausea, vomiting, thirst, and a dulled ability to perceive and interpret sensory information. As the condition persists papillary and vital signs may result including bradycardia and widened pulse pressure. The cells in the brain may swell to the point where blood flow is interrupted resulting in cerebral edema. Swollen brain cells may also apply pressure to the brain stem causing central nervous system dysfunction. Both cerebral edema and interference with the central nervous system are dangerous and could result in seizures, brain damage, coma or death.
- Ingesting more water than you need can increase your total blood volume. And since your blood volume exists within a closed system – your circulatory system – needlessly increasing your blood volume on a regular basis puts unnecessary burden on your heart and blood vessels.
- Your kidneys must work overtime to filter excess water out of your circulatory system. Your kidneys are not the equivalent of a pair of plumbing pipes whereby the more water you flush through your kidneys, the cleaner they become; rather, the filtration system that exists in your kidneys is composed in part by a series of specialized capillary beds called glomeruli. Your glomeruli can get damaged by unnecessary wear and tear over time, and drowning your system with large amounts of water is one of many potential causes of said damage.
- As your circulatory system becomes diluted with excess water, the concentration of electrolytes in your blood will drop relative to the concentration of electrolytes in your cells. In an effort to maintain an equal balance of electrolytes between your blood and your cells, water will seep into your cells from your blood, causing your cells to swell.
If this swelling occurs in your brain, you’ll experience increased intracranial pressure i.e. your brain will get squeezed because the flat bones that make up your skull don’t provide much give. Depending on how much water your drink in a short period of time, you could experience a wide variety of symptoms, ranging from a mild headache to impaired breathing. And as occurred recently in the tragic water-drinking contest, it is quite possible to die if you drink enough water in a short enough period of time.
Uh huh, do you all remember that 4 year old, Cassandra Hillpack who died in 2002 because her parents kept forcing her to drink gallons of water? And there’s another one, 28 year old Jennifer Strange who died from overdrinking water in a contest to win a wii game system. SMH, guys please be careful with any and everything you do. Take into account your diet, your sweating issues, everything before you think you have convince yourself you need to swallow 8 cups a day or–now they say half your body weight (which for me is 11)–whatever. Be modest and take notice that you don’t just get water from the source, you get water from fruits and vegetables as well. And if you’re watchful of your sodium, your actual water intake my decrease even less. Also, look to replenish not just your fluids if you’re big on exercising, but also the loss of your electrolytes, because your body uses water to “replace” the electrolytes in your cells and that’s what causes your brain to swell up. So just be mindful you all, and listen to your thirst, your body will tell you everything you need to know, always. Nobody knows what you need more than yourself. All you have to do is tune into your channel. Everything in modesty, okay? As usual, links to these helpful paragraphs will be in the resources section.
And do visit my blog Six~Foot~Cotton! I’ll be posting all of my creative photo and picture bits over there more frequently. =) You guys have a great….and safe water drinking day!