Bottled water has made us water lovers
Our modern society has seemed to become more obsessed with drinking water all the time. We can’t go anywhere without our bottle of water, even for 30 minutes. Now it’s probably good that we drink water more than we used to. Hopefully we are replacing most of our soft drink intake with good ole water.
Can you drink too much water? Certainly, it’s not so easy to do however. When there is excess water in the system the body starts to flush it right through. It is possible to upset our electrolytes, diluting the solution, this can cause problems for us. Here is what happens if you drink too much water, the kidneys try to remove it, they can remove about 800-1000 ml or about a quart per hour. So that’s a pretty fair amount. If the kidneys are not removing enough water, the blood becomes waterlogged, and as it courses through the body the water enters cells which have higher concentrations of salts, this causes the cells to swell like a balloon. The primary danger in this regard is if the swelling happens in the brain which is encased in the skull and has no room to expand. At the very least too much water can reduce bodily efficiency, cause headaches, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, frequent urination, disorientation, etc. While it is not likely you would die from drinking too much water, temporary impairment is possible.
My grandfather told me of a man out on the desert who after being out in the heat all day, came and gorged himself on cool water, the result, he died. Grandpa always urged moderation, take it easy, go slow.
Here’s the real kicker, it’s called vasopression, an anti-diuretic hormone. When the body is under stress, say as an athlete, marathon runner, or someone in harsh conditions trying to survive, the Hypothalamus produces vasopression, which is secreted into the bloodstream. The effect of vasopression is to cause the kidneys to conserve water. It is a danger reaction in the body of self preservation. It could cause the kidneys to filter out as little as 100 ml of water in a hour, 10% of normal. As a result a person could become overloaded with water, without drinking all that much extra.
The answer is as grandpa said, moderation, don’t guzzle. Drink a little at a time as you feel the need. We just did a video on keeping your mouth moist or hydrated. The reason for this is, if a persons mouth becomes parched and dry, the tendency is to drink water. If the air is dry and hot, in a few minutes the mouth will be dry again and so the desire to drink more water will return quickly. Your body may not really need more water so you could overdo it.
Placing a small pea sized smooth stone or some pleasant leaves in your mouth naturally causes saliva to flow, which keeps the mouth moist, reducing the desire to drink water too often. Watch the video here.
The other issue is that if you happen to be in a survival type situation, obtaining enough water may be difficult, you don’t want to aggravate the problem by drinking too much and urinating it all out, wasting precious water.
Until next time this is Perry Peacock – Simplifying Survival