For a long time now, popular opinion would have you believe that drinking enough water can basically cure any ailment; people say that it'll give you energy, keep your skin clear, help you sleep at night, get your blood moving properly and more.
While all of this is true -- staying hydrated is a totally crucial part of anybody's health and wellness routine -- a recent report in the BMJ Case Reports journal actually says that doctors at King's College Hospital think that you don't necessarily need to be consuming lots of fluids when you're feeling under the weather.
"We frequently advise our patients to ‘drink plenty of fluids’ and ‘keep well-hydrated’ when they are unwell. But, what do we mean by that? Are there potential risks of this apparently harmless advice?" the doctors wrote in the journal, according to Munchies.
Basically, what spurred on this thought process was a woman who developed symptoms of a urinary tract infection after reportedly consuming water -- not just the recommended amount, but a huge amount of it.
Look, folks: overdoing anything, even healthy practices, probably isn't a good idea. This woman was drinking a pint of water an hour to "flush out her system". That's too much fluid!
After a trip to A&E, doctors determined that the woman actually didn't have a UTI -- she had a condition that is the result of low salt levels in the blood called acute hyponatraemia, which is about as fun as it sounds -- that is, not very.
"As demonstrated here, the harmful effects of increased fluid intake include confusion, vomiting and speech disturbance, and potential for catastrophic outcomes due to low blood sodium concentrations," the journal report concluded, wih Dr. Imran Rafi of the Royal College of GPs saying to ITV:
"We would encourage patients to drink more if they have symptoms of dehydration, such as feeling thirsty -- including in hot weather or when exercising -- or passing dark-colored urine. There is no steadfast recommendation as to how much water people should drink in order to stay healthy, but the key thing is to keep hydrated -- and passing clear urine is a good indication of this."