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Drinking Enough Water

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How can you tell if you are drinking enough water? continued...

It can be dangerous to drink too much water. But it's rare that anyone drinks too much water. The risk is highest for people who do endurance sports, such as running marathons.

Too much water is dangerous because it would dilute the amount of sodium in your body. This imbalance could cause serious problems, such as confusion, seizures, and coma.

Experts advise athletes who do intense activity to drink a sports drink that contains sodium, other electrolytes, and some sugar. Most people don't need sports drinks if they are exercising for less than an hour in moderate temperatures. Plain water is fine.

But experts do recommend sports drinks if you're playing sports or doing other intense physical activity for more than an hour.

What are some easy ways to get more water during the day?

  • Drink a glass of water when you get up in the morning, before you have coffee or tea.
  • Keep a cup or water bottle by your desk at work. Take several sips of water each hour. If you don't have a desk job, carry a container of water with you, and take sips throughout the day.
  • Take a sip whenever you pass a drinking fountain.
  • If you get tired of drinking plain water, add a packet of sugarless flavoring to your water. Or put a slice of lemon or lime in plain or sparkling water.

Is bottled water better than tap water?

No. A lot of plain bottled water is just tap water that has been purified. It's your choice how you want to drink water. If you like bubbly mineral water, drink that. If you like the idea of vitamins and electrolytes in your water, you can find several varieties of enhanced water at the store.

If you don't like the taste of your tap water, or if you just want to be extra careful, you can purify tap water at home. Water filters are available in many stores.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 25, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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