The Truth of the Matter
Water Toxicity Facts
Before we deal with this, let's get some water facts straight.
First, why water?
After oxygen, water is our highest priority for attaining optimum health.
This is simply because more than 60% of our body is made up of water, the substance that plays many important roles.
Thus, staying hydrated is absolutely crucial.
Thirst is a good indicator of your hydration level. But if you‘ve learned to ignore a parched mouth, then your body will take it as such that you don’t actually need it.
And this is exactly what many chronically dehydrated people have done—they have “reprogrammed” their body’s natural distress signal!
Roles of water in the body:
As a media for, and contributor to, molecular interactions
As a solvent and separating medium, to carry and distribute nutrients, metabolites, hormones and other materials around the body and within cells; to remove waste products, mainly via the urine and feces
As a reactant in many metabolic reactions
As a thermoregulator to maintain body temperature
As a lubricant between bodily structures and in forming mucous as well as facilitating necessary structural shifts in macromolecules such as proteins and nucleic acids
As a structure-former , maintaining cellular shape
As a protective shock absorber (cushion) and lubricator, for example, for the brain
Dehydration (starting at about 2-3% loss of body weight) causes a range of symptoms from lack of concentration, tiredness, headaches and decreased alertness to collapse and death (at more than 10% loss of body weight).
In fact, it's dehydration, not water toxicity that is the leading cause of most “water-sickness” out there.
This is important. Follow it and you'll keep both dehydration and water toxicity at bay.
The actual amount of liquid water (from drinks) that an individual needs depends on their age, gender, physical activity, physiological condition or illness and the temperature and humidity of their physical environment.
In general, men require more water than women due to their higher (on average) fat-free mass and energy expenditure.
Infants and young children have need for more water in proportion to their body weight as they cannot concentrate their urine as efficiently as adults and their surface area relative to their weight is more extensive, giving rise to greater water loss from the skin.
The elderly, on the other hand, should take care to ensure adequate hydration, as ageing diminishes the sensation of thirst as well as the ability to concentrate the urine.
Those who take plenty of water-rich foods, such as vegetables and fruits, may not need to drink as much water at all. If not much or any salt and other seasonings are added, then the need for drinking water goes down even further.
Regardless of one’s diet, if we sweat on a regular basis because of exercise or a warm climate, naturally we’ll need to supply the body with more water (through food and/or liquids) than someone who leads a sedentary lifestyle.
When to Drink
As a general rule of thumb, water should be drunk little but often throughout the day such that we are never thirsty.
It is particularly important to hydrate last thing at night to prepare for the significant loss of water during sleeping.
And rehydrate first thing in the morning as this is a time when the blood is most viscous and strokes particularly prevalent.
To make the most of this water “therapy,” consume two to three glasses (or even four but no more than a litre) of lukewarm water. Iced water is a no-no!
Leave it 45 minutes to an hour before you eat, or at least 30 minutes. Try this for a week or two and you'll notice a difference in your overall health.
We should also drink before, during and after exercise to maintain our level of hydration.
Water is an important carrier of energy.
To capture the energy field of water, for instance, Kirlian Photography (sometimes referred to as “electrophotography”) is used.
The result shows that treated energized or revitalized water emits a larger energy field than the untreated water.
Energized water is also made up of micro-clustered water molecules, which allows it to be instantly absorbed by your body.
The instant absorption of the water means that water will never sit heavily or slosh around in your stomach.
This can also prevent rapid drop of blood serum sodium (salt) concentration when larger quantities of water is consumed.
But this does not mean it’s a healthier move to drown oneself with it. Anything excessive is never intended by Nature.
□ More about high-energy water here.
Although low levels of water intake do not seem to show any health benefits and may even be harmful, however, there’s still a possibility for one to drink too much of it!!
So beware of water toxicity.
Increased water intake is normally easily controlled due to the effective functioning of the kidneys to produce more urine.
Furthermore, the kidneys of a healthy adult can process fifteen liters of water a day!
If that is the case, how can one likely to suffer from water toxicity even if he or she drinks a lot of water?
There are three possibilities:
Drinking an enormous amount of water, and this includes energized water (for example, more than 1,000 milliliters/hour) at one time. Every hour, a healthy kidney at rest can excrete 800 to 1,000 milliliters of water.
- When the body/mind is suffering from stress
- When one is suffering from kidney disorder
The extra water in any one of the situations above can cause (hyperhydration) a rapid drop in blood serum sodium (salt) levels.
This sudden drop in sodium concentration is fatal, and can result in death! Symptoms can become severe when the serum sodium falls below 120 mmol/litre to about 90–105 mmol/litre.
This Is What Happens
As more water accumulates too quickly (for the kidneys to do their job effectively), serum sodium concentration drops (a condition known as hyponatremia).
The mechanism of water toxicity is associated with osmotic pressure in cells as they try to regain the electrolyte balance. Water outside the cells (the serum) rushes in (swelling ensues) while sodium from within the cells does the opposite.
Swelling puts pressure on the brain and nerves, which can cause behaviors resembling alcohol intoxication. Some may experience headache.
The symptoms progresses to confusion to drowsiness, seizures, and eventually coma when cells seal blood vessels.
The direct cause of death by water toxicity is often brain oedema (excess fluid).
“Most cases of water toxicity do not result from simply drinking too much water,” says Joseph Verbalis, chairman of medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center.
“It is usually a combination of excessive fluid intake AND increased secretion of vasopressin,” he explains.
Produced by the hypothalamus and secreted into the bloodstream by the posterior pituitary gland, the hormone, vasopressin instructs the kidneys to conserve water, i.e. to allow more of the water they collect to escape back into the bloodstream; thus reducing the volume of urine to be excreted.
As a result, one usually doesn't have to go to the bathroom for several hours when experiencing physical or mental stress (e.g. during a marathon, or when one is depressed or stressed out).
However, the kidneys are still hard at work; they just send less water to the bladder. In this situation, drinking excessive water will only cause the body to conserve but not urinate out at least part of the excess water.
In a Nutshell
Drinking more than the kidney’s ability to excrete can potentially lead a net gain in water, even with considerable sweating, is what causes water toxicity.
But you also want to keep the body hydrated as well.
Return from Water Toxicity to Yin-Yang