Are You Drinking Too Much Water?

How much water should you drink in a day? The same old recommendation of drink 8 cups a day is still passed around these days. Some people even go as far as drinking one to two gallons. What if drinking large amounts of water is actually causing more harm than good?

“I have spoken to many people who believe they should drink “8 glasses of water every day,” in addition to their normal foods, even if they don’t feel thirsty. Many doctors still recite this dangerous slogan, but the addition of the qualifying phrase, “or other liquids,” has become common.

The amount of water a person needs is extremely variable, depending on things such as metabolic rate, activity, and the temperature and humidity of the air. Working hard in hot, dry weather, it’s possible to drink more than two quarts per hour for more than eight hours, without forming any urine, because all of the water is lost by evaporation. But in very hot, humid weather, a person with a low metabolic rate can be endangered by the smallest amount of water (e.g., “Meteorological relations of eclampsia in Lagos, Nigeria,” Agobe, et al., 1981).

Most foods contain a considerable amount of water, usually more than 70% of their weight, and some water is produced in cells by metabolism.” Raymond Peat, PhD, Water: swelling, tension, pain, fatigue, aging

I want you all to understand you do need water. However, what you should understand is that your body not only receives water from the water you drink, but also through the foods you eat and through cellular respiration. Fruits and vegetables are about 70% water. Coffee, bone broth, orange juice, and milk all have a high-water content. To be honest all foods have a percentage of water, so there is really no real need to drink ½ your body weight in water—unless you love hanging out in your bathroom. In addition, your cells produce water through cellular respiration (metabolism)—water is an end product along with CO2 and ATP (energy).Kate Deering, How to Heal Your Metabolism

Lora Garcelon, Taste of summer
Taste of summer, Lora Garcelon

Most of us who are eating well are getting sufficiently hydrated through the foods and liquid we are consuming. Obviously if you are working in heat or working out hard you may need additional water, but drinking 1/2 your body weight in water–for health reasons–is just not true. Kate Deering, Facebook Post

What can happen when we drink too much water for our body?

1. It can create inflammation in the cells by holding onto too much water.
2. The body loses sodium and other minerals via sweat and urine
3. It causes blood sugar dysregulation
4. Muscle soreness
5. Swelling of the neck, face, and body

If you are suffering from a low metabolism, excessive water drinking may be putting additional strain on your already compromised metabolism. Excess water can be stressful to the body. Diluting the your electrolytes makes nerve connection and signaling more challenging. In addition, the kidneys have to work harder to excrete all the addition liquid. Therefore, high amounts of water will produce a stress response in the body. And as you know, stress reduces thyroid function. Therefore, excessive water drinking can suppress your already suppressed thyroid, which will lower your metabolic rate even more.” Kate Deering, How to Heal Your Metabolism

Incorporate a pinch of salt with 6-8oz of water consumed (which may change depending on other variables.) Often times people mistake thirst with hunger. Try to consciously consider if you may be making that mistake. Consider the adjustments that need to be made depending on your activity level, temperature/weather changes, and foods consumed that contain a high content of salt or water.

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