Life Saving Water

A woman holding a glass filled with water.

Drinking water regularly is vital for the body and mind's function. But what is the most critical time to hydrate, and what type of water should be avoided? (Image: via Pxfuel)

Water is extremely important. Seventy percent of the human body is essentially made up of this fluid. It has been stated that going for more than three days without it will lead to the shutting down of the body’s organs. This will have lethal effects on the brain that can lead to fainting, strokes, and eventual death.

Hydrating daily aids in the essential processes or functions within the body, such as transporting essential nutrients, metabolizing waste products, regulating body temperature, and lubricating joints to name a few.

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We all know that we should drink more, but a controversial question remains: “Should we drink water before bed or not?” Some people think, drinking before bed will increase the burden on the kidneys, leading to more frequent visits to the toilet during the night, thus affecting one good night’s sleep and even leading to edema.

Conversely, others say: “If you do not drink water before bed, the body will dehydrate while sleeping, blood viscosity may increase leading to possible cardiovascular disease.”

A glass at bedtime is as important as the first glass in the morning, especially during summer when you tend to sweat.

A glass of water at bedtime is as important as the first glass of water in the morning. (Image: via Pixabay)

Why hydration is important

During nightly sleep, the human body loses water via sweating, breathing, and urinating. This loss results in increased blood viscosity, which can lead to the formation of blood clots. To avoid this from occurring, drinking water before bed will help maintain a smooth blood flow.

Elderly people with chronic heart disease, who are prone to avoid drinking water before bed as they are afraid of having to get up during the night, need to ensure they consume enough.

About 5 to 12 percent of patients with hyperuricemia will develop gout. To prevent gout, we must first prevent any elevation of uric acid in the body.

Usually, the content and concentration of uric acid in the body increase during prolonged hours of sleep. This is the time that a person usually experiences a gout attack. To prevent such an attack, it is recommended that you drink water before going to bed to help dilute any uric acid present in the body.

For diabetics, hydrating before bed is considered beneficial for controlling blood sugar levels.

What is edema?

The term “oedematous body” is a general term for a body type that is prone to edema. Edema is caused by excess water in the body which mainly manifests as swelling of the head, face, limbs, abdomen, back, and other parts of the body.

One cause of edema is the lack of regular exercise or an inactive lifestyle. Physical edema can be improved through proper diet and regular exercise and adjustment to any stressful overwork and inadequate or irregular rest.

Pathological edema is caused by disorders via the kidneys, urinary system, heart disease, and the endocrine system, or via any nutritional disorders. Those with pathological edema need to be diagnosed and treated in the hospital.

A small number of women may have edema due to the onset of their periods, which will disappear once their periods are over.

Drinking water before bed does not cause the onset of edema. However, people with edema should not hydrate too much before going to bed.

man drinking water
Watch the speed at which you drink water. (Image: Antonio Guillemvia via Dreamstime)

Recommendations when drinking water before bedtime

Generally, it is best to drink water a half to one hour before bedtime. Avoid consuming it just a few minutes before bedtime as this may affect the body’s ability to absorb it during the late hours of rest.

Watch the speed at which you drink. Refrain from gulping down any liquid; instead, drink it slowly. This will allow the body to fully absorb it and you will thus avoid waking up the next morning with water retention.

Before going to bed, drink a glass of lightly salted or honey water instead of just plain. Honey or a pinch of salt makes the water more concentrated, making it more easily absorbed by the body.

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