When Are You Drinking Too Much Water?

Submitted by SharpHealth Team on Tuesday 5th October 2010

In response to SharpHealth’s article about proper hydration, Why You Should Be Working to Stay Hydrated, one SharpMan reader wrote:

"…Your article indicates that I should drink 64 fluid ounces of water a day. I've been drinking 128 to 192 a day lately. Is there any danger in doing that long-term?"

The real question is, why do you feel the need to drink as much as you do?

Consistently craving over 120 fluid ounces of water per day may be an indication of another problem. Three common culprits are:

  • Abnormal behavior of the "ADH" hormone.
  • Symptoms of Type Two Diabetes.
  • Excessive exercise, sweating and consumption of filtered water.

Let’s start with the one most SharpMen don’t know anything about:

ADH Abnormality

"ADH," also known as the "antidiuretic hormone," functions as the primary regulator of body water. When you require more water, your brain produces more ADH, which works in tandem with your kidneys to increase the absorption of water.

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When ADH functions abnormally, the hormone fails to communicate with the kidneys and water is not absorbed in large enough quantities. The result? SharpMen feel thirsty and drink more, but actually absorb very little of the fluids they drink.

You can also cause an ADH abnormality. For example, if you voluntarily consume an excess amount of water over a long period pf time, you may inadvertently depress the brain’s production of ADH. Again, the result is that you drink increasingly more fluid, but absorb very little of it.

Whether your ADH abnormality is existing or self-induced, it’s pretty serious. Absorbing water is an essential body function. An inability to do so may result in severe electrolyte imbalances, frequent fainting and other more serious health problems. If you suspect that you have this condition, see your doctor. A simple blood flow test will confirm this condition.

Type Two Diabetes

Type Two Diabetes, the most common form of diabetes, is another reason a SharpMan may feel the need to over-consume water. How’s that? As you know, the body turns food into fuel by converting it into a form of sugar called glucose. In healthy SharpMen, a hormone called insulin delivers glucose from the blood to the cells.

In SharpMen with Type Two Diabetes, also known as "insulin resistance," insulin is produced, but cannot be effectively utilized by the body to move sugar from the blood into the cells. Consequently, sugar builds up in bloodstream. Because sugar is a natural diuretic, this build-up of sugar produces a strong need to urinate, which, in turn, makes SharpMen feel continuously thirsty.

If you experience symptoms similar to these, see your physician for a simple blood test.

Excessive Exercise, Sweat and Filtered H2O

Human bodies require water for a variety of reasons. The first reason — hydration — you’re likely to be well aware of, but did you know that your body also relies on water as a source of essential minerals? That’s right: as you guzzle, you also take in minerals and electrolytes that are essential to body function.

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A problem occurs when SharpMen who exercise a great deal replace the liquid they sweat with water that is "too" filtered. Unlike mineral water — clean water bottled from a natural source that contains minerals from its area of origin — filtered water has had most of its properties, good and bad, extracted in the filtering process. It may be "clean," but it fails to provide the essential minerals our bodies require.

When SharpMen drink only filtered water to replace workout fluid, their bodies often demand more in an attempt to harvest needed minerals. More and more fluid is required to replace what the body requires.

If you experience thirst after drinking over 100 fluid ounces of filtered water, consider switching to bottled mineral water or seeing your physician about mineral supplements.

This article last updated on Tuesday 5th October 2010
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