5 times you shouldn't drink water
Water keeps us hydrated, helps us avoid overeating, and could even burn extra calories. But, like with many of our healthiest habits, more isn't always better, even when it comes to water. Believe it or not, there are a few times when you should back off the H2O.
Here are five times when you should skip the crystal punch:
1. WHEN YOU ALREADY DRANK TOO MUCH
Rare as it is, it is possible to drink so much water you put your health at risk. If you drank enough to dilute your body's natural balance of salt, you can become too low in sodium, a condition known as hyponatremia. Endurance athletes, for example, may be tempted to keep on sipping all throughout a marathon (or after), leading to cell swelling that can cause nausea, vomiting, seizures, and even death.
Hyponatremia can also be caused by certain issues with the liver, kidney, heart, or pituitary gland, noted integrative physician Taz Bhatia, MD, as well as by certain medications, like diuretics, antidepressants, and pain medications.
2. WHEN YOUR URINE IS CLEAR
If when next you go to bathroom and your urine is a light lemonade shade, you've reached optimal hydration status. If you see only clear urine in the bowl, you can probably cut back your water intake a bit. Darker yellow urine can be a sign that you need to be drinking more.
3. WHEN YOU ATE A BIG MEAL
It's one of the simplest ways to cut back on a few calories: Drink a glass of water before a meal (or when a craving strikes) and you'll naturally eat a little bit less since that fluid is already taking up space in your stomach. But for the very same reason, drinking too much water before or during a heavy meal can lead to discomfort. "Drinking more water may only leave you feeling ev en more bloated," Bhatia stated.
4. WHEN DOI NG A LONG, SUPER INTENSE WORKOUT
We lose electrolytes, like potassium and sodium, through sweat. If you're seriously sweating it out, you'll need to replace those crucial nutrients, which aren't found in plain water. Rather than a sugary sports drink, though, you may be able to get the same boost from coconut water, which is naturally high in potassium, magnesium, sodium, and vitamin C without as many calories and with more fibre.
5. WHEN THE WATER HAS A NOT-SO-SWEET SECRET
We hardly like to drink regular water when there are all these fancy flavoured bottled varieties to choose from. But flavoured waters often rely on zero-calorie sweeteners to add a little something to the plain old water taste. Because these sweeteners have been linked to increased hunger and even weight gain in some studies, commercially available flavoured waters might do you more harm than good. Instead, try adding your own flavour to tap water by tossing in lemon, lime, cucumber, watermelon, berries, or even herbs.