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Warnings On Water Intake

  • Increasing your water intake in the late evening may cause you to have to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. To avoid this, you may want to stop drinking water a few hours before bedtime--or make sure you visit the bathroom before bed!
  • Remember, the inconvenience of an extra visit in the night is better than the organ-damage caused by inadequate water intake.
  • While adequate water is essential to health, it is possible to drink too much water or any other beverage, and there has been considerable scientific debate surrounding how much water a person really needs per day. According to Snopes - http://www.snopes.com/medical/myths/8glasses.asp - the Los Angeles Times has reported that "Kidney specialists do agree on one thing, however: that the 8-by-8 (2 L) rule is a gross overestimate of any required minimum. To replace daily losses of water, an average-sized adult with healthy kidneys sitting in a temperate climate needs no more than one liter of fluid...the equivalent of about four 8-ounce (250 ml) glasses.
  • People with some heart conditions, high blood pressure or swelling of the lower legs (edema) need to avoid excess water. If you have a history of kidney problems, especially if you have had a transplant, consult your doctor before increasing your fluid intakes.
  • You shouldn't drink too much water while eating as it dilutes your stomach acid and can cause digestion problems.
  • If you live in a place with a lot of heat (e.g., The Caribbean), you will have to drink extra water.
  • It is possible to "overdose" on water. Water intoxication occurs when the electrolytes in the body are so diluted that they have trouble keeping the balance of water even inside and outside of individual cells. What that means is that drinking too much water (while not getting enough electrolytes) can cause your cells to burst. If you plan on doing heavy prolonged exercise, be sure to alternate sports drinks with regular water to keep your electrolytes in balance. Three glasses of water to one glass of typical sugary sports drink is ideal if you rely on sports drinks for electrolytes during very heavy prolonged exercise, such as a marathon.
  • Gatorade and other sugary electrolyte drinks also contain acetic acid which can increase rates of tooth decay. There is no real reason to drink electrolyte drinks unless you are heavily exercising.
  • Be aware that some elderly individuals with difficulty walking may avoid drinking adequate amounts of water, as they have difficulty  getting to the bathroom. In such cases, a bedside commode may be useful. If you are caring for such an individual, encourage them to drink the necessary amount of water and reassure him or her that you can help them with the transfer to the commode.
  • It is not recommended that you reuse plastic water bottles that are intended for one time use, specifically "number one" plastics. These bottles leak chemicals into your water after multiple uses. The bottle, if not properly cleaned, may harbor bacteria from your mouth. Such bottles deteriorate in sunlight and leak chemicals into the water even faster. Never store water in a car in the same disposable bottles in which you buy water. If you wish to always have water around, use a glass water bottle. However, be aware that aluminum also leaks out into water, and can cause severe health problems in the long run.
  • In some countries, tap water is dangerous and can cause illnesses. Make sure you know what's safe and what's not.
  • Water is not intended to replace food in your diet, as you need the nutrients from solid foods to survive. It would be rather pointless to drink more than an adequate amount to replace even a salad, or watermelon.