Along with other substances in your bloodstream, water plays an essential role in maintaining your hydration and blood pressure levels. Drinking water is natural and essential, but ingesting large quantities in the hope of super-sizing your health can lead to problems.
You blood pressure varies during the day and can go up or down depending on your physical and mental state. Health professionals consider blood pressure consistently measured higher than 140 mm Hg or millimeters of mercury systolic over 90 diastolic as high, or borderline high. Eating foods and liquids high in salt contributes to raised blood pressure, and not drinking enough fluids can result in dehydration and higher sodium levels in your blood stream.
Your body continually seeks balance, and responds to changing levels of sodium and other electrolytes in your blood stream by either increasing or decreasing blood volume. When sodium levels in the blood rise too high, your kidneys respond by excreting excess sodium along with water in the form of urine. When you already suffer from kidney or other systemic disease your body cannot cope, and burdened under a heavy load of sodium, your blood pressure increases. Drinking more water merely adds to the amount of fluid in your body that can result in swelling, and makes it harder for your heart to push blood against the increased volume and pressure in blood vessels.
Drinking fresh water keeps you hydrated and full, helping with weight loss. When you substitute water for sugary drinks or those that contain sodium, you lower your calorie intake and your daily salt intake. Cutting excess calories leads to weight loss, and even a modest 10 lbs. weight loss can lower your blood pressure, according to PubMed Health. Choosing water instead of tea or coffee eliminates the pounding heartbeat you can get after ingesting caffeine. A vasoconstrictor, caffeine results in narrowed blood vessels and can thus increase your blood pressure temporarily.
Drinking more water than you normally consume can be healthy within reason. Ordinarily, your kidneys simply eliminate excess liquid in the form of urine. If you have existing cardiovascular or other problems, though, your body might not be able to balance the fluid levels in your body. As a result, blood volume can increase, along with blood pressure. Gross amounts of water imbibed can lead to diluted sodium blood levels, or hyponatremia. A dangerous condition, hyponatremia leads to dizziness, confusion and even coma or death if not recognized and treated quickly.