Both Western and Russian nutritionists unanimously agree that regardless of the load and time of year one should drink a lot of water. It helps to improve the water-salt balance in the body. But is this statement really true? It turns out that an excessive amount of fluid can cause serious damage to internal organs.
How thirst arises
According to biologists, the main reason why a person is thirsty is a change in the water-salt balance in the blood. On average, one liter of blood contains 9.45 grams of salt. Slight fluctuations of this substance are possible, but only in hundredths of a gram. However, if the concentration of salt, for example, increases, the activity of all body cells is disturbed, because they are supplied with blood. Its water component in such a moment decreases, and the blood thickens. And this, according to phlebologists, threatens the emergence of blood clots, which means that the power of a particular area of the tissue or organ will be blocked. But this is in critical cases.
As a rule, already in the first moments of a slight increase in the concentration of salts, a person feels dry mouth. This is the first signal calling to increase the level of fluids in the body. This happens, for example, in hot weather, when a person sweats and the fluid evaporates.
Drinking a lot of water is destructive
Is it better for the body to drink more fluids? Not at all. It is known that the more you drink in hot weather, the more you want. The body sweats more profusely at this time, and along with the increased amount of evaporated moisture from the body leaves and more salt. And in this case, the skin of the face and hands, as well as the hair suffer first.
If a person deliberately habituates himself to the increased consumption of water, then in normal, not hot weather it causes damage and many internal organs. Domestic gastroenterologists warn: Drinking heavily dilutes the gastric juice, it ceases to be concentrated and destructive to germs that enter the stomach with food. Water allows them to survive, which means the risk of developing infections increases.
Some believe that drinking plenty of water helps improve kidney function. The French nephrologist Pierre Ronceau explains in his scientific work how they actually function. To maintain the body’s required level of fluids, the kidneys reabsorb some of the water that has already been filtered. This provides a standard concentration of urine. But the more a person drinks, the less the kidneys have to conserve water, and the tubules designed specifically for reabsorption work less and less well over time. If the body in hot weather is without the usual access to water, the kidneys will not be able to saturate it with the saved liquid, and dehydration will begin rapidly.
Excessive fluid intake soon fills the tissues of the liver, kidneys, they swell, and their functional properties weaken. Meanwhile, these organs play an important role in the excretory system, and when it fails, the body does not fully excrete water. Fluid is retained in the cells of tissues, there are edema, which provokes an increase in pressure in the walls of blood vessels. Then headaches begin. Swollen because of the increased moisture lymph nodes also do not cope with their task, the immune system is reduced, and there are only a few hours before the development of gastrointestinal infections.
Does water help to lose weight?
However, many ladies, having increased the amount of fluid intake, despite the side effects in the form of small swellings, claim real weight loss. So, a lot of water is still necessary for effective weight loss?
At first, drinking plenty of water really improves intestinal function, it increases peristalsis, the passage of food through the departments is faster, and therefore more effectively eliminated products of digestion, the weight decreases. But after three months, the situation changes. The pancreas and gallbladder become saturated with water, and problems arise in their work. Food is not fully processed, because the level of bile and other secretions is reduced. Gradually, the intestinal mucosa also swells – constipation occurs more and more often. This leads to general clogging of the body and weight gain.
In addition, endocrinologists warn: hormonal gland cells overfilled with moisture cannot fully participate in metabolic processes due to lack of energy.
Therefore, the burning of fat and carbohydrates slows down, and this in no way contributes to weight loss.
Do athletes need a lot of water?
It turns out that ordinary people should not force themselves to drink a lot of fluids – it is harmful. Perhaps increased water consumption is necessary for athletes. But that’s not true either. Dr. Timothy Nokes, Professor of Sports Medicine at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, in his book “Dehydration during Exercise: Myths and Facts” proves that saturating the body with water does not necessarily improve performance, but rather makes it worse and puts the body at risk of hyponatremia (electrolyte-water imbalance).
The professor argues that you simply should not drink before you become thirsty. It reduces concentration, physical activity of muscles both in athletes and in ordinary people. And if we want to be awake and healthy, it is necessary to drink as much fluid as physically required by the body.
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