Thursday, September 24, 2009

Everything Has Its Limits...

You know the common phrase "everything should be done in moderation"? Well it's the truth! Whether it's something potentially harmful such as alcohol or even something essential to life such as water, whether its being a couch potato or an exercise fanatic, nothing is good when overdone.

Don't wait to it's too late like me. After the past couple years, I've definitely learned my lesson.

This past summer, I had started feeling fatigued and getting other symptoms, such as frequent lightheadedness upon standing. After going to the doctor and undergoing multiple evaluations, we finally came to a collaborative conclusion that I might be drinking too much water.

At first I thought to myself: Is that really possible, too much H20? I mean, especially considering that within the past couple of years there seems to be article after article written about how Americans aren't drinking enough water. Is it possible that I'm actually one of the few who is not only getting enough water, but getting too much? Too much water, nature's wonder-drug?

After some deliberation, I came to the realization that yes, this was plausible, and quite possibly my problem. I began to think about how much water I would actually drink throughout the day. I quickly realized, it was an innumerable amount. Starting in the morning with a huge glass often accompanied by an additional cup of tea, and continuing throughout the day leading into the night, taking small sips of water as I tried to drift off to sleep. I was always drinking water.

I'm a pretty active girl, so I never really felt the need, or knew there was a need, to be conscious of my water consumption. I'd go to play tennis and after finishing, I'd find my huge Coleman jug that was once full of water, practically empty. Or I'd come inside to take a break from working in the garden and quickly down a couple glasses of water. Ahh, I couldn't get enough of the stuff. So refreshing, perfectly neutral and tasteless. That's what I liked about it, so pure and simple, different than any other substance a human would normally consume. And I figured, hey I'm always sweating, and Americans "never" get enough water, so I probably need all this H20. I didn't really think twice about my drinking habits.

Since I seemed to always be filling my time by doing something active, I also seemed to almost always be drinking water. Essentially, my drinking became an incessant habit. I was a "waterholic". Pretty soon, even when I wasn't doing something physically exerting I'd reach for a glass of water. If I was thirsty, I'd get some water. If I was tired, I'd get some water. If I was bored- water. If I was studying- water. If I was cooking- water. And on and on and on...Until it got to the point where I was sitting in the doctors office, probably just after drinking some water, and wondering what was wrong with me.

Apparently I had caused my electrolytes to become out of balance. All that water was flushing some pretty essential nutrients too quickly out of my body. Well, I always thought I had a small bladder, when in reality I was probably just drinking too many fluids. Who knew?

After leaving the doctors office, the following days I made a conscious effort to watch my drinking habits and become aware of when my body truly was thirsty. It was harder than it seems. I'd find myself unconsciously filling up a glass of water and only seconds later realizing I wasn't even thirsty. I'd stop downing gallons of water after running, working, and doing sports, and instead drank moderate amounts, yet almost always wanting more. While every other American was trying to cram more water into their systems, I was trying to fight my craving of wanting to drink more water. It was, and still is, especially hard for me to cut back on sipping water while I'm trying to fall asleep. Everytime my head hits the pillow, my mouth seems to miraculously become dry. Though, I'm pretty sure this is just because my body has been programmed for so long to drink during this time period.

After a few weeks of limiting my water consumption, I began to be able to become in tune with my body and realize when it truly wanted/needed water. My lightheadedness quickly started to fade and I also started to regain my energy. For an additional boost in balancing my electrolytes, I'd drink PediaLyte after intense physical activity. The drink originally intended for babies doesn't particularly taste good. In fact, it tastes terrible, like a mix between ocean water and pee, so it's better not to end up getting stuck in a situation where you need it.

While ultimately it down right sucked losing my energy and going through a neverending doctor examination process, this did ultimately teach me something. Actually, it taught me a lot. It's no lie that everything really is best in moderation. If you overdo anything, ANYTHING, somewhere down the road you'll probably be negatively effected. For instance, you overdo yoga- you'll either hurt yourself or it will become a chore and you won't love it anymore. You overdo exercise- you'll exhaust your body or injure yourself. You over do carrots- you'll turn your skin orange from consuming too much vitamin A. Nothing, no matter how good it is for you, should be overdone.

Always try to stay in tune with your body and really become aware with how you are feeling. Don't let your mind overcome the way your truly feeling. Whether you're stressed or feeling under the weather, listen to yourself and often follow your intuitions. Plus, good health is definitely one leading key to happiness. Cherish it.

In my next post, I will be writing about how much water Americans really should be drinking. While I had a problem with overconsuming it, H20 is definitely still essential to life. Unless you find yourself unconsciously drinking it 24/7, I wouldn't cut back. But maybe take a moment to look at something else you may be overdoing. Whether its work, exercise, not enough exercise, or food, just take the next couple weeks to bring yourself back into balance. That's the key to life: Everything in balance.

1 comment:

  1. Great article. Some people don't realize too much water can really be a bad thing.

    I drink rehydrate from Advocare. It is awesome. You can get it from