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Liquid intake in summer: health problems from drinking too much?
In this week, temperatures of up to 40 degrees should be reached in some places. The most important thing to get fit through the heat wave is the daily, sufficient hydration. But is it true that you can drink too much? Experts clarify.
Heat is a problem for many
The current sweaty heat wave is affecting many people. Temperatures well over 30 degrees ensure that most people feel tired, limp and lacking in drive. It is particularly important to satisfy the strong thirst associated with it in the heat. But how high should the daily drinking amount be? And is it really true that drinking too much water can be harmful to your health?
Water shortages can be dangerous
Half of the human body consists of water. It is essential for us and plays a central role in the organism, explains the Federal Center for Nutrition (BZfE) on its website.
Water is a component of all body cells and fluids, it is necessary for metabolic processes and transport processes, it participates in biochemical reactions and cools the body when sweating.
Those who drink too little risk health problems. According to the experts, a lack of water can lead to serious, sometimes irreparable damage to the organism.
Too little water in the diet initially worsens the flow properties of the blood, breakdown products can no longer be excreted through the kidneys, muscles and brain are no longer optimally supplied with oxygen and nutrients.
In the worst case, kidney and circulatory failure can occur.
Drink more than usual at high temperatures
According to the BZfE, an adult should drink at least 1.3 to 1.5 l on average per day. In the case of reduction diets, illnesses, sports or heat, the recommended amount can also be significantly higher.
But can you actually drink too much?
As the BZfE explains elsewhere, there is no need to fear health damage due to excessive fluid intake with normal drinking habits.
The kidney can always adapt and excrete almost a liter per hour if necessary.
According to the experts, some serious illnesses can theoretically lead to “water poisoning”, but for this an adult would have to drink six liters of water in a row.
Nevertheless, it is generally not advisable to absorb too much liquid, because the unnecessarily large amount of water also rinses out important nutrients and minerals.
Infants particularly prone to dehydration
In young children and infants, however, the kidneys are still underdeveloped. The little ones cannot process and excrete large amounts of water quickly enough.
According to the information, infants need more liquid in relation to adults. They are particularly susceptible to dehydration, for example with persistent diarrhea.
While the water requirement in fully breastfed infants is met through breast milk and in bottled children through infant formula, older babies have to get used to drinking regularly. (ad)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.