Posted on : January 26, 2011 | By : Sophie Callahan | In : Health and Fitness
You may be familiar with the saying “too much of anything isn’t good for you”. This is entirely true. Even simplest things in life, like water, can threaten your health. Consuming large amounts of any substance can be extremely damaging to your health – and some even deadly. But, if you follow to this simple advice and don’t over-indulge in one thing, you will not have to worry about harming your health.
Believe it or not, drinking too much water in a short period of time can be fatal. This occurrence has been diagnosed as “water intoxication”. People who have water intoxication show similar symptoms of alcohol intoxication, such as disorientation and nausea. An excess amount of water in your system will cause your brain cells to swell (sometimes sending you into a coma) and then burst, which disrupts normal brain functions. It can cause your brain and kidney to become dysfunctional and it can provoke heart failure.
However, water intoxication is not something you should worry about every time you go to drink another glass of water. You should consume 8-10 glasses (about 2-2.5 liters) of water daily. Water intoxication is only triggered when this turns into a situation like 4 liters in less than 4 hours. We should all know from common sense that this not a smart idea. Also, if you’re exercising it is true that you’re going to need to consume more water. Just know your body’s limits and spread out the drinks over time.
There are other substances that people consume daily in minimal amounts that can be toxic in large amounts. Take caffeine for example. The average American drinks about 3 cups of coffee a day (Coffee Fun Facts)! Meaning that many Americans drink even more than that. Does this mean that those people who drink more coffee are putting their life at risk for a caffeine overdose? Not at all. The average cup of coffee contains no more than 200 mg of caffeine. Toxic levels way surpass this amount. Consuming 10g or more of caffeine could be fatal (that would be over 50 cups of coffee in one day!).
A well balanced diet will keep you healthy. Continuing on the theme of “too much of anything isn’t good for you”, too much of any one food can be seen as a health hazard. If you eat too much of one particular food, this means you’re going to eat less of other varieties of foods containing additional vitamins and minerals. These other nutrients are essential to your health and well-being. Also, over-indulgence of one particular food can pose long-term health risks. For example, if you consume too much sugar with not enough exercise you put yourself at risk for diabetes. The human body is such a well-designed complex that it well let you know when enough is enough. It sends out warning signals, such as nausea, indicating that it has reached its limit. You risk unhealthy conditions when you push this limit. Listen to your body.