QYour magazine says drink atleast eight glasses of water in a day. But I finish four one-litre bottles of water during my office hours and at least one litre during my commute. I have diabetes and high blood pressure. Is this the reason I am drinking more water? Is excess water harmful to health? Also, what are the pitfalls if a person drinks less than eight glasses of water a day? Pradeep Kumar,
ADrinking water is good. But drinking a lot more is not always better. You are drinking five litres of water along with other fluids – tea/ dal etc in a day. Some people drink more water than usual which is generally 2-2.5 litres in a day. If your diabetes is uncontrolled/ poorly controlled, you can be drinking more water. Excess water intake can be harmful, especially among the elderly, who are generally on diuretics, for blood pressure/ heart ailments and are also restricting their salt intake for the same. When kidneys flush out excess water, with that they also throw out sodium leading to low sodium levels in the blood. This leads to complications, such as lethargy, drowsiness, confusion and in some cases hospital admission. So the elderly, in particular, shouldn’t drink excess water, without consulting a health professional. Our body has 70% water, therefore less than adequate water intake is not good as the normal body functions will not be carried out optimally, and the metabolic rate may drop. Inadequate water intake may also lead to constipation, lack of skin glow and weight gain.