Why Would Drinking Water Cause Nausea
Why Would Drinking Water Cause Nausea? We are all familiar with that sinking feeling when we’ve just consumed a meal or snack that’s loaded with calories and you know there will be an inevitable bout of overeating later on. But did you ever wonder what happens if you drink more than you should? According to WebMD, drinking too much water can actually induce similar feelings of guilt. In fact, it may even make you feel nauseous.
The human body is composed of many interdependent systems — digestive, circulatory, respiratory, muscular and nervous being some of the most important. The digestive system is responsible for breaking down food into its component parts so they can be absorbed by the bloodstream and distributed throughout the rest of the body. When this process goes wrong, our bodies respond by sending signals of discomfort via the nerves. This is called “emotional eating.”
Emotions such as anger, fear and sadness have been shown to trigger binge-type eating. These emotions release stress hormones into the bloodstream, including cortisol. Cortisol triggers hunger pangs and cravings for high calorie foods. It also causes fat cells to multiply faster, thus increasing the amount of belly fat stored.
There are two types of thirst: one is necessary for life and survival; the other is unnecessary, but culturally ingrained. Real thirst is a sign that your body needs fluids. We become accustomed to the idea of drinking only when we’re thirsty because we associate dehydration with disease. However, modern medicine has debunked the myth that people who don’t drink enough fluids might die from lack of hydration. Dehydration affects about 3 percent of Americans.
So how do excessive amounts of water affect these bodily functions? If you consume more water than your body requires, sodium levels in the blood decrease. As a result, your brain sends messages that tell your stomach to secrete gastric juices (which digest proteins, carbohydrates and fats).
A low level of sodium in the blood makes us crave saltier foods like chips and pretzels. And since our saliva contains enzymes that help break down protein, consuming excess water can inhibit their function. Eating salty snacks while drinking excessively could upset our digestion.
Not surprisingly, a lot of people turn to sodas or other sugar-sweetened beverages instead of plain old tap water to quench their thirsts. Sodas contain phosphoric acid, citric acid, carbonic acid, corn syrup solids and artificial sweeteners. All of these ingredients serve to lower the pH balance in our mouths, making them very acidic. To add insult to injury, sodas often contain caffeine, alcohol and nicotine.
Soda isn’t the only culprit. Many sports drinks contain electrolytes, which are minerals found naturally in water. Electrolytes help muscles contract properly during exercise. They also keep us alert by maintaining fluid levels in the brain and eyes. Without adequate intake of electrolytes, however, our body loses the ability to regulate the fluid levels in our brain tissues. This results in confusion and fatigue.
In addition to sports drinks, coffee and tea can also contribute to our overindulgence in water. A cup of coffee can increase our appetite for up to three hours after consumption. Tea stimulates the secretion of insulin, which increases the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream. Both substances are diuretics, meaning they encourage urination. Since our urine consists mainly of water, both stimulate our need to urinate more frequently.
When you consider that water plays a crucial role in every aspect of daily living, it becomes easy to see why we sometimes get carried away and drink too much. So what does it take to prevent yourself from becoming dehydrated?
First off, stay well-hydrated by drinking lots of fluids. Most people require between eight and 10 glasses of water per day, depending on age, gender, activity level and climate. Make sure you choose healthy options like filtered water, herbal teas, fresh vegetable juice and milk. Avoid alcoholic beverages containing high concentrations of ethanol. Alcohol has a drying effect on the mucus membranes lining our throats and lungs. It also inhibits the production of saliva, which helps wash out germs and viruses before entering the body through swallowing.
To determine whether you are truly thirsty, try this simple test. Take a sip of cool water, wait five seconds, then ask yourself if you still want another glass. If you answer yes, go ahead and enjoy! If not, wait until you’re genuinely thirsty and then seek medical attention.
If you suffer from heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) or any lung condition, you’ll want to steer clear of liquids. You may want to avoid large meals altogether. Smaller meals spaced further apart provide better control over your food intake.
For those with diabetes, check your blood sugar before drinking water. Excessively large quantities of water can raise blood sugar levels. For diabetics, experts recommend limiting water intake to no more than six cups per day.
If you are pregnant or nursing, limit your water intake to eight ounces per day. Drink plenty of fluids with vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants.How much water should you drink each day? Read on to find out.
Water Flush: How Much Do You Need?
As discussed earlier, too much water can lead to dehydration. While moderate dehydration isn’t dangerous, severe cases can result in dizziness, fainting spells, muscle cramps and headache. Some medical professionals advise against giving patients intravenous drips to restore their fluid levels.
But how much water should we drink each day? There are several different formulas used to calculate ideal weight gain rates based on height, sex, age and physical activity. Your doctor can refer you to a professional health care provider who specializes in nutrition. Or, use the following formula:
Adults ages 14 and older: 8/14ths of your weight in pounds equals your total recommended daily allowance (RDA) of water. Divide your weight (in pounds) by 2.2 to arrive at your daily RDA.
Pregnant women: Pregnancy is accompanied by increased physiological demands, especially during the third trimester. Therefore, extra precautionary measures must be taken when determining pregnancy-related water requirements. Women should drink approximately 110 milliliters (about 4 ounces) per day.
Children: Children require slightly less water than adults due to their higher metabolic rate. For children under 12 years of age, 1 ounce of water = 2 liters. For kids ages 12 to 17, 1 ounce of water = 3 liters. Teens and young adults should drink roughly 6 ounces of water for every kilogram of bodyweight. Adults should drink 8 ounces of water per kilogram of bodyweight.
These guidelines are approximate. Everyone’s nutritional needs vary. Always consult your physician before altering your diet.
While regular consumption of water is essential to good health, too much of anything is bad for you. Here’s a list of things that can harm you if you drink too much water:
Dehydration – Causes dry mouth, lethargy, blurred vision, irritability, weakness and a rapid heartbeat.
Excessive sodium intake – Can lead to hypertension, kidney damage, abnormal heart rhythms, stroke and death.
Alcohol abuse – Consumes more energy, resulting in weight loss. Also reduces inhibitions and slows reflexes, which can lead to accidents.
Overconsumption of caffeine – Reduces sleep time, causing insomnia.
Overemphasized carbohydrate intake – Increases the risk of hypoglycemia. May also reduce mental acuity and slow metabolism.
Excess vitamin C – Causes diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain.
Consuming too many calories – Makes you hungrier, which leads to binging.
Although water is vital to life, moderation is key. Next time you reach for that bottle of soda, remember that it takes only one glass of water to counteract the effects of the soda.
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