10 FAQs About Drinking Water

by Jinal Gangar last updated -

Water plays a key role in our lives. Most of us know, and perhaps, have also experienced that the human body can do without food for a couple of days but not water. Research suggests that 75% of the body weight in infants is made up of water while it is 55% in the elderly. It is essential for cellular homeostasis. Nevertheless, there are still many frequently asked questions about drinking water. In this article, we have answered the most common ones.

Drinking Water FAQs

Let us take a look at the questions and the answers based on what research has to say.

Will Drinking Water Increase My GFR?

Drinking water can possibly affect your glomerular filtration rate (GFR). GFR is a test used to determine how well your kidney function is. It is calculated from the results of your age, gender, body size, and blood creatinine test. GFR between 90 and 120 is considered normal in adults below 40 years of age. It gradually decreases as you grow old. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, increased water intake in healthy individuals showed a decrease in GFR. Another study suggests that a fluid intake of 1.5 liters has no negative effects on healthy men aged 55 to 75 years. [1] [2] [3]

A woman drinking water after a workout

Research suggests that 75% of the body weight in infants is made up of water while it is 55% in the elderly. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Does Drinking a Lot of Water Help COPD?

Drinking enough water is important for people suffering from COPD, as it keeps them hydrated. The disease can lead to the formation of thick and sticky mucus, which is difficult to get rid of while coughing. Water helps in making it thin, which makes it easier for you to cough and discard it. Drinking enough water also helps fight infections. Some people who are on oxygen therapy, experience irritation dryness in their nasal passages and airways. Water helps reduce it. If you are also suffering from COPD, you can keep a goal of drinking 6-8 glasses (8 ounces each) of fluids in the entire day. [4]

Does Drinking Water Help Dry Eyes?

Water helps to keep your eyes moist. One of the ways you can experience dehydration is when you feel dryness and irritation in your eyes. This happens when the formation of tears is less. Tears don’t just happen when you cry but they constantly bathe your eyes off the debris and keep them lubricated. If you have dry eyes, lifestyle changes like drinking more water can help you. However, dry eyes can occur due to many reasons, so consult with your doctor if the problem persists. [5]

Does Drinking Water Reduce Ketones?

When your body starts burning fat, the formation of ketones increases. Ketones are a sign that your body needs insulin to convert sugar or glucose into energy. When that does not happen, your body uses fat and the liver turns this fat into ketones. It enters your bloodstream and eventually spills in the urine. If you have diabetes, a build-up of ketones may prove harmful. So, drinking about 8 ounces of water every hour may help flush the ketones from your body. However, water alone cannot eliminate ketones. We suggest you consult with your doctor if you are experiencing this problem. [6] [7]

Can Too Much Water Cause Diarrhea?

Diarrhea can lead to water loss but there is no known research showing that too much water can cause diarrhea. However, a study published in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine suggests that drinking hard water may have a laxative effect on your body as it is high in magnesium and sulfate. Moreover, drinking contaminated water can, sometimes, be a cause of this condition. [8] [9] [10] [11]

Does Drinking Water Prevent Blood Clots?

Dehydration is sometimes a cause of blood clots in the veins, which is known as venous thromboembolism (VTE) in medical terms. When the blood clot forms in large veins of the legs, arms, or pelvis, it is known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). To try and prevent this condition, drinking enough fluids is often recommended by doctors along with other steps like exercising. Evidence suggests that having a glass of water every two hours is helpful. However, concrete research is still required. [12] [13]

Can Drinking Water Help Prevent a Stroke?

If you think drinking water alone can help prevent stroke, you are possibly misguided. Studies do suggest that dehydration can worsen the symptoms of a stroke but there are several other important factors as well. A randomized control trial suggests that a fluid intake of 2000 ml can be helpful in protecting you against stroke. Research also shows that elderly people should monitor their thirst and regularly drink water to stay healthy. [14] [15] [16] [17]

Does Drinking Salt Water Help Cramps?

Indulging in sports or exercise for longer duration can sometimes cause heat cramps or muscle cramps. Research suggests that consuming an adequate level of water and salty foods can help fight these cramps. While hydration is important, sodium helps in maintaining the electrolyte balance in your body. If the sodium levels in your body are low, the nerve signals get affected, and you experience a muscle cramp. For this reason, adding salt to drinking water or any other energy drinks is often recommended. You can add about a quarter of a teaspoon of salt to a 20-ounce bottle of water and chug it regularly during your workout. [18] [19] [20] [21]

Can Drinking Water Lower Sodium Levels?

Water and sodium are closely connected in the human body. The amount of sodium per volume of body fluid is called osmolarity. And, for you to stay healthy, osmolarity must remain within a certain range. This means that if you lose a lot of water, say due to sweating, the concentration of water in your body will eventually get low and your body will start to excrete sodium through urine. It helps in maintaining the osmolarity since the volume of water has gone down. If the amount of water level in your body is high, the body will tend to hold onto sodium to maintain osmolarity. Likewise, if your sodium intake is high, the body will hold onto water to maintain that same concentration. [22] [23] [24]

Does Drinking Water Help Acid Reflux?

Acid reflux occurs due to the flow of the acid in the stomach back into the esophagus. Water can help in relieving it as it has a neutral pH level. It can raise the pH level of the stomach and dilute the acid. Many people also look up to alkaline water for relieving acid reflux as it has a higher pH level (8.8). While water may help, drinking too much of it can hamper the mineral balance in your body. This can, in turn, increase your chances of acid reflux. Harvard Medical School recommends having flat water instead of carbonated beverages to relieve acid reflux. This, however, should be combined with healthy lifestyle habits like avoiding fatty and spicy foods, eating before 3 hours of bedtime, and many more. [25] [26] [27] [28] [29]

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About the Author
 Jinal, an ex-banker who has completed her MBA in finance from Mumbai University, is passionate about health and wellness. She is a social media enthusiast. She has completed an online program on “Introduction to Food and Health” from Stanford University, US. On weekends you can find her in cafes or movie theaters. Positivity drives her and she finds peace in cooking, reading, and coffee!
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