Recommended, 2020

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Can you drink too much? Drinking properly - that's how it works

Only those who drink enough keep their organism going.
Photo: RFF

Our body needs a lot of fluid

Our complete metabolism, from the gut to the brain, depends on water. If we drink too little, circulatory problems and headaches are the result.

When it comes to drinking opinions differ. At least two liters a day, some swear and do not leave the house without a water bottle. Total nonsense, say the others and pay no attention to their drinking. The drinkers are right: 1.5 liters of liquid per day are recommended by the German Nutrition Society (DGE), meaning above all water and other unsweetened drinks. According to polls, just 50 percent of Germans do that. Especially in stressful situations, regular drinking is simply forgotten.

The problem: we usually only feel thirsty when we are already slightly underserved. This is not bad in exceptional cases. But if we drink too little, we risk concentration problems, circulatory problems, urinary tract infections, constipation, dry eyes and other problems. Seniors are particularly at risk, because the feeling of thirst decreases more and more with increasing age. Confusion is often the result of dehydration.

Water is enormously important for our metabolism: It regulates, supplies, detoxifies. It releases nutrients and brings them to every single cell. Many metabolic wastes can only be disposed of through the kidneys when they are dissolved in a certain concentration in the water, so if there is enough fluid in the body. And without water our bodies would overheat, every fever would be deadly. Only with enough water does our temperature regulation work, namely sweating. And our brain is downright water addicted : the control center consists of 80 percent of it. Without water, the brain could do nothing, we could not think. How important a sufficient amount of drinking water is, is currently being intensively researched: Scientists suspect a connection with the development of bowel and bladder cancer . Also, blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels might be affected.

Very important: distributed regularly and throughout the day, is the motto, because drinking in advance does not work. The body can process only small amounts, the remainder is excreted directly. Heart and kidney patients should talk to their doctor about how much fluid they need to avoid overburdening their organs.