“Excess water drinking leads to excess pee only but not glowing skin”, is a meme circulating in social media! Jokes apart, medical science does not endorse drinking too much water by an otherwise healthy person as is wrongly advocated and campaigned by some, including some celebrities and some health & wellness practitioners.
They seem to advocate drinking water more than the body really needs, claiming that excess water drinking purifies the body of impurities, brings glow to face and improves general health. There is no definite scientific basis for this and on the contrary may do harm.
Drinking to thirst is all that any healthy human needs to do, which is an inbuilt mechanism in a healthy body. But, if you think there is a problem with your thirst, urine frequency or volume, or if you have a health problem related to hormones, heart, kidneys, brain or liver, it is important to take expert advice regarding daily water intake.
Excess water intake is recommended in special circumstances though, when one is exercising, when the weather is hot or when one is dehydrated due to loose stools and vomitings or when blood glucose levels are high. But such excess water intake needed only in special scenarios cannot be justified in an otherwise healthy human in normal circumstances.
Unnecessary excess water drinking can lead to low blood sodium and the various complications there of. If practiced for prolonged periods, it may lead to loss of kidney’s ability to concentrate urine, confusion, swelling of brain, fits, coma, puffiness of body due to oedema, and heart related complications.
Obsessive habit of the same may lead to habitual water drinking called Psychogenic Polydipsia. So, after all, drinking water in excess by a healthy person, may not lead to better health outcomes but may instead do harm! So, do think twice before you drink those extra jugs of water daily in the name of good health!
Credits: Dr Ravi Sankar Erukulapati
Senior Consultant Endocrinologist,
Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad.