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A few social media posts and media articles claim that drinking too much water will damage your skin. We fact-checked and found that there is no conclusive scientific evidence to this claim. While there are some pointers supporting the claim, they are dependent on a number of other factors which the claims fail to mention. We term it as Half True.
Drinking too much water will damage your skin – claims a few social media posts. One such article can be seen here. A snapshot is also given below.
How can you end up drinking too much water?
A general suggestion on WebMD says women 19 to 30 years old should drink about 2.7 liters of water daily. Men of the same age need about 3.7 liters. However, medically, there is no recommended amount of how much water you should drink. The amount varies based on multiple factors including your body weight, the climate in which you are residing, your physical activities, etc. In general, our body sends a signal to us through the feeling of thirst when it needs water.
If you are drinking more than 1 liter of water every hour, you may be overhydrating yourself.
Will drinking too much water damage your skin or make your skin dry?
There is not enough data on this. Only a handful of research done on this has shown contradicting results about the effect of water on skin.
A WebMD article regarding this matter suggests, “When you’re overhydrated, you will notice some swelling or discoloration of your feet, hands, and lips. When the cells swell, the skin will also swell.”
In contrast, here is one study that concludes, “it is clear that higher water inputs in regular diet might positively impact normal skin physiology.” There was another study that showed that the effect of water on the skin depends on the type of water ingested. The scientists note, “drinking more than 2L of water per day can have a significant impact on skin physiology. The exact effects within the skin seem to differ depending on the nature of the water ingested.”
Hence it becomes difficult to conclusively say that drinking more water will hurt skin since the definition of ‘more’ and the ‘type of water’ can vary for every individual. Most claims on social media seem to be missing this context.
What are the other health risks of overhydration?
Overhydration has been linked with cardiopulmonary disorders, hyponatremia, edema, gastrointestinal dysfunction, and postoperative complications.
Should I be drinking less water?
While overhydration is a risk, dehydration is also a risk. Our body and each individual cell in it need water to function properly. Dehydration has been linked with urological, gastrointestinal, circulatory, and neurological disorders. So, it is necessary that you keep yourself hydrated.
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