Let’s stop and think for a while: can drinking too much water cause diarrhea? I get asked such questions often and wonder if water can cause such an issue. Anyway, that’s why I embarked on this research. Water is essential for our existence. Without it, we cannot survive. From blood circulation to digestion, down to excretion of waste products to temperature control, water controls virtually everything.
Now back to the question: can taking excess water cause diarrhea?
The answer is no. Drinking excess water cannot cause diarrhea. But drinking untreated water can cause diarrhea, abdominal cramp, vomiting and sometimes, fever. When you consume too much water, the body knows how to handle it. The kidney swings into action, and the excess water is removed from the body as a waste product. But understand that drinking too much liquid can cause hyponatremia. Overhydration can also result in a deadly situation. So, be careful about the amount of water you consume.
This post contains more information about drinking excess water and top advice for everyone. So, don’t stop here, read further to get more clues.
Drinking Too Much Water & Diarrhea: How Much Water Should Be Enough Daily?
The first point I would like you to know is that drinking excess water does not cause constipation. Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, what causes diarrhea is bacteria or intestinal infection. Others include viral infection, parasitic infection, food intolerance, and allergy.
Okay, back to the question, how much water is enough daily? Well, the rule of thumb is eight glasses daily. This idea has been on for ages, and most people believe that it is set on stone.
But here is something you need to know about the volume of water you need to drink per day:
Saying eight glasses of water per day is ideal for everyone is not feasible. The amount of water required daily differs from person to person. You might be comfortable with eight glasses daily. Mine could be a little bit lower. That’s how it is.
So, in a nutshell, eight glasses aren’t set on stone. It depends on the individual in question and other factors which I will be diving into shortly.
Drinking Too Much Water: Factors That Determine The Amount Of Water To Drink Daily
Factors that determine the volume of water that goes into your body system daily:
Factor #1: Age of the individual
Age ranks as one of the factors to consider when consuming water. For the elderly, it will be inappropriate to drink too much water all day. Such moves could overwork the kidney and lead to problems.
So consider the volume and frequency at which you drink water as an older person. Keep in mind that your body system and internal organs won’t function as sharp as someone who is just a teenager or youth.
Factor #2: Activity level
Staying well-hydrated is what health experts around the world would advise. It’s overhydration that causes problems or could lead to a life-threatening situation, which I would throw light on later.
However, the nature of the activity you engage in will determine the amount of water to consume. You can’t be drinking eight glasses of water daily when you’re idle at home all day and expect someone who works out to take less.
You lose water through different means. It’s not just by getting rid of it out as urine. Sweat is also a means of removing excess water from the body. So, if you are involved in a highly demanding or strenuous workout, then the volume of water required would be different.
Another activity that usually requires more water is sauna therapy. You will find yourself consuming more water than you usually do while undergoing this therapy.
Again, athletes need to drink more water and stay well-hydrated even before or after their routine exercises or performance. The reason is to maintain fluid balance and for optimal performance.
Studies show that as little as 1 to 2 percent degree in hydration can affect an athlete’s performance, including cardiovascular function.
Factor #3: Diet
Diet also determines the volume of water one should consume. The thing is some diets require you to drink more water or stay well-hydrated.
Protein is one of the foods that require more water. So, if the protein is a significant part of your diet, then think about taking more water to stay hydrated every day.
A study at the University of Connecticut came as a shock to the academic community. When the BUN test (Blood urea nitrogen) was done on several athletes, the researchers discovered an abnormal range when the athletes switched over to protein.
Their urines were more concentrated, which is a sign that they were dehydrated. But when they switched back to their regular diet, their urine values returned to normal.
So, the point is they didn’t know they were dehydrated because they didn’t feel thirsty when consuming high protein. And as you know, the kidneys need enough water during digestion of protein. They need it to dispose of the waste product produced during the digestion of the protein.
Other diets that require you to consume more water is sodium-rich or fiber-rich diets.
Factor #4: climate
Have you noticed that you tend to drink more water in summer than winter? Maybe you haven’t, but I have.
Now here is what happens. In summer and winter, there is evaporation of water to maintain body temperature. The only difference is that, in summer periods, the rate of evaporation is a bit faster.
So, you need to drink enough water to replace the one your body loses through breathing, sweating, and urinating.
That said, if you are living in a dry, hot climate or an elevated terrain, then you are going to need more water each day.
Factor #5: Bodyweight and height
Are you surprised that height and bodyweight rank as factors that determines the amount of water you should drink? Don’t be!
Now here is good news for you!
You can determine the amount of water to consume daily when you know how much you weight.
Here are the steps to follow:
- Ensure your weight is in pounds.
- The next step is to divide that figure (weight in pounds) by 2.2.
- Multiply the result by a specific number, which is decided based on your age. If you are less than 30 years, multiply by 40. Individuals between 30 to 55 years can multiply by 35. Those above 55 can multiply by 30 years of age.
- After multiplying, next is the divide the sum by 28.3.
- The result is the ounces of water to drink daily. You can divide the result by 8 to know the number of cups to drink, which is much easier to understand.
Factor #6: Kidney health
Kidney health is not a debatable factor when it comes to the volume of water one should drink. The kidney does quite a lot to maintain a healthy balance of fluid, among other functions.
However, it’s not advisable for people battling with kidney problems to drink excess water. The thing is when the kidney isn’t functioning well, it won’t be able to convert the excess water to urine. And this can result in a big problem for the person having a health challenge.
When your body has too much water that it can hold, essential substances in your blood can be diluted. And things could go wrong for the person in question.
Factor #7: Specific medication
Some drugs are crazy. They leave you dehydrated but do what they are designed to do. Dehydration isn’t a good thing. So, when you start using them, you will find yourself drinking too much water to rehydrate yourself. Examples include chemotherapy and laxatives.
Why Would Anyone Drink Too Much Water?
We are all aware that 60 percent of our body is water and that water is equally as important as oxygen. The body needs and uses water to form saliva, which aids in digestion.
So water is important. It’s also vital for everyone to be well-hydrated too. That’s the fact.
Water also helps vital organs like the kidney move waste out of our body, and lubricates the joints. It also keeps our temperature in check and offers other incredible benefits.
Now let’s face reality. You will agree with me that water is life. Why wouldn’t it be? We cannot live without water the same way we cannot live without oxygen.
Water is also the most abundant solvent on the planet besides being equally important.
So, looking at the benefits, abundance, and ease of accessing water, there is a high tendency for people to take more. There is also a high chance for an individual to consume more water when he or she doesn’t know the actual amount to take.
But it’s not good to drink excess water. So it’s wise to monitor the amount of water you consume daily. If it’s getting too much, then you better quit taking more for the day.
Let’s look at signs that you are overhydrated.
How To Know You Are Drinking Too Much Water
Before I proceed, I will like to tell you that there are practically two types of hydrations:
Increased water intake
This happens when you take excess water considered too much for your kidneys to remove from the body as waste (urine). However, this condition will make excess water to collect in one’s blood.
This type of overhydration happens when one’s body is unable to get rid of water adequately. It can be caused by the use of certain medications too.
Here are symptoms that you are overhydrated
- Muscle weakness
Some of these critical conditions occur when one’s overhydration is left untreated for long. So, watch out for such a thing and take drastic actions once noticed.
5 Signs That You Are Well-Hydrated: You Don’t Need A Doctor To Know Them
- Having pale yellow urine.
- Not feeling thirsty
- Ability to generate sweat
- Urinating frequently – it shouldn’t be excessive anyway.
- Normal skin elasticity – when you pinch the skin, it will bounce back without hesitation.
I hope you have the answers to the question: can drinking too much water cause diarrhea? Just a recap of what I said at the beginning, drinking too much water cannot cause diarrhea. But you should be careful not to consume excess water because of the dangers of doing such. Just ensure you are well-hydrated, and that’s it.
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