H 2 the O

In case you’re wondering, this post isn’t about ‘hos. I can’t actually imagine what would propel me to write a post like that, humorous as it sounds.

In fact, dear readers, today’s post is about water. More specifically, the arduous task of drinking the stuff. People are very divided on whether they LOVE water or HATE water.

I have several friends who have zero problem drinking water throughout the day. They have a water bottle on their person at all times or will happily go fill up a large cup at the water cooler. I’ve also known people who can’t go an hour without a sip before they say, “Oh my GOD I’m so thirsty,” as if they’ve been wandering the desert for a few hours. (Does drinking water beget drinking water?)

I am one of those people who can go hours without consuming a drop and I feel fine. It’s not the healthiest for my body and I do know that I feel more awake and alert when I’m properly hydrated, but it is actual work for me to remember to have fluids between my morning cup of joe and whatever I decide to consume with lunch and dinner. I have to put up a sticky note or set a timer to jolt me out of the lull I get myself into when sitting at my desk working.

One issue I have is that I am what I call a “compulsive drinker.” If I have a beverage in front of me at my desk, I will continually sip on it until it is gone, especially if there’s a straw, and then I’m aggravated when there’s nothing left. I am not an ice chewer by nature but if I’ve gotten in the habit of sipping on whatever is in front of me, I’ll chew the ice, too. But when my sad glass or cup sits empty, I find myself annoyed that I have to interrupt whatever it is I’m doing to get up and refill it. So I suppose my solution, whether subconsciously or not, has been to avoid making it a habit to keep myself hydrated at all, because I can’t be “bothered” with it.

Am I alone in this?

Anyway, after a recent incident of becoming insanely dehydrated and feeling like crap, I decided to make it a priority to drink more water throughout the day. I brought a CamelBak to work in the hopes that it would remind me to drink up.

If you don’t own a CamelBak, run not walk to your local sports store and grab one up. Or order one online, if that suits your fancy. They are seriously beverage holders of awesome proportion. Plus, because of the straw thing going on, it makes it a lot easier to suck down what you need and be about your business. (That’s what she said.)

The downsides to drinking water. Yes, there are a couple.

  1. The whole bathroom thing. Being hydrated generally means feeling pretty good, except for needing to pee every fifteen minutes. An aching bladder really disrupts productivity in the workplace, though constantly getting up to use the restroom provides a quick reprieve from the office. Still, do you know what washing your hands with antibacterial soap at least twice an hour does to them? I’m going through hand lotion like a person with OCD.
  2. Secondly, and it needs to be said: water is boring. Yes, it can be incredibly refreshing but most of the time when I’m just trying to get in my quota, I’m chugging it so I don’t have to think about it. Lately, I have been adding a little sugar free cranberry cocktail to my Camelbak, then filling the rest with water and ice. It definitely helps the medicine go down. Other alternatives are adding lemon, lime, or even cucumber, as a friend of mine suggested. (Don’t knock ice cucumber water ’til you’ve tried it. It’s delicious.)

Quite frankly, I think the soda business does so well for itself because they’ve made water somewhat exciting, if not completely bad for you. I don’t drink sugar soda and I try to keep a lid on diet soda, because it’s a matter of choosing your poison. Forty grams of sugar and citric acid vs. a nasty chemical called aspartame plus citric acid. There is a reason that Coke can be used as a cleaning solvent, just saying. But I’m not immune to the deliciousness of Coke Zero, Fresca, or Diet Dr. Pepper, three of my faves. Still, I try to indulge sparingly.

The benefits of drinking H2O are you feel more alert, your body temperature and metabolism are regulated much more efficiently, and it keeps false hunger away. And somehow it prevents you from being bloated and retaining water, though you’d think it was the opposite.

Being dehydrated is the exact 180 to all of the pros, not to mention there is reason to believe women can suffer from a UTI when they get really dehydrated. Gross and ouch! If you don’t know what a UTI is, consider yourself touched by Jesus. I would only wish chronic UTIs on my worst enemy, male or female.

I probably won’t ever stop grumbling about getting in my eight glasses a day, or however much I’m supposed to be drinking. But I can’t deny I’ve felt a lot better, bathroom trips notwithstanding, since I began being more mindful of my water consumption. I guess all the experts were right.

Damn it.

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Comments

  1. Hey Zoe! Drinking 8 glasses of water a day does sound like a huge chore, and I find it hard to do, but I do “hydrate” throughout the day and you’re right, it does make you feel better. Long ago, I tried the Adkins Diet and dropped all carbs from my diet for 30 days. During the days that progressed, I found it easier to drink MORE water without any carb consumption, and in the end, I lost weight and “my end” was smaller & jeans fit better! After I went through the trial of seeing what that diet did for me, I am hooked on water! Leaving sticky notes to drink more H20 might work, but in the end, it is all “mind over matter”. Good luck on your consumptions!

    • Thanks Nikita! I’m about 9 days in but I’m feeling better and the Camelbak is helping me to stay on track. (Only have to drink three of them as opposed to “8” glasses of water, so psychologically, it helps.)

      Good thing you stayed hydrated doing Atkins because it’d be easy to get dehydrated on that plan!

  2. It’s weird, I drink a ton of water, but it’s not really on purpose. I almost crave it, and sometimes I even worry I’m drinking too much. When it seems a little boring, I add a little Crystal Light to a glass or drink a Minute Maid Light Lemonade.
    You can try different kinds of tea also, maybe add a little low/no carb sweetener that’s more natural like Stevia or Splenda.

    • Oh I definitely can’t have all water with nothing in it. I’d go crazy! We have Crystal Light at our house but I try not to rely on it TOO much since I also want to get some of the benefits of drinking pure water. Great ideas, though, thanks Jennifer!

  3. I’m the same way. I don’t like to drink water, even though I feel like hell if I don’t do it. I fill a water bottle in the morning with the goal of finishing it twice before the day is out. When I’m successful, I feel great! When I don’t…. Well, I wouldn’t recommend going for a 10k run in 29ºC heat while slightly dehydrated. There’s a reason they call it The Bonk 🙂

  4. Fight Like A Girl says:

    I struggle to drink enough water too. (She says as she sucks down a bottle of diet coke!) The water where I live tastes horrendous and unless I add a little bit of Diet Rite or Sugar Free Cottee’s to it, I just can’t drink it. I really need to start to get into drinking more water (my body, mind and skin will thank me for it), especially when I run. An 11km run with no water isn’t the brightest idea I’ve ever had!

    • Does using a filter (we have Brita pitchers here) not do any good? Water in the US tastes different depending on where you go. The water here is okay but a teensy bit metallic tasting for me, so we use a Brita pitcher. What’s Sugar Free Cottee’s? That sounds cute 🙂

  5. I struggle with drinking water every day. The only time I drink it is if I’m in working out, or if there’s nothing else to drink in the house. Other than that, I won’t drink water. If there’s juice in the fridge, I’ll drink that before I drink water.

    • I say if that works for you, kudos! My body is extremely sensitive to pretty much any liquid outside of water hydrating me, so I have to make it mostly water with the alternatives being hand picked (aka, coffee and the occasional diet soda). I’m happy to know there are those out there who don’t HAVE to drink water and live to tell the tale.

  6. As a recovering diet soda addict, I know what you mean about drinking water and how boring it can be. I still don’t drink a lot of straight water. I do love me some cucumber water, though. Seltzer water has really been my saving grace. I’ve found that it’s really the carbonation that I miss moreso than the flavor of diet soda.

    Oh, and UTIs suck. That is for sure.

    • I think I might have to make a pitcher of cucumber water very soon – it just sounds so good right now, and we’re going through a heat wave! Blech.

      I agree that sometimes I’m only drinking soda for the carbonation. I used to love drinking tonic water but then I realized it’s got sugar in it, too, not to mention that weird ingredient that makes it “tonic.”

  7. I totally agree with you on this…I have the hardest time drinking water! I find it much easier when I have a water bottle or bubbly water…mmm that I can drink all day but then again Im not even sure if that´s all that good for me

    • It’s hard to drink too much water, though Kevin of course has a water poisoning story.

      Don’t you have access to delicious Swiss Alps water or something? 😉

      • Water poisoning story? Eek

        Yeah I have to admit the tap water here is good but it doesnt come free unless youre at home…and when Im home I rarely drink anything. So…I think I should do what you did and buy a camelbak!

      • Yes gurrrrl!

      • I was trying not to be Debbie Downer here while reading through all this, but once I saw that Kevin mentioned it, yes you can drink too much water. I’d have never known it if I didn’t work in a hospital (I find myself saying that WAY too often lately…hmmm). If you drink too much water, you become water intoxicated and basically “drown” your body in its ability to maintain a healthy level of namely sodium and other electrolytes, which in turn causes brain swelling.

        It takes a LOT, though, to make that happen. So drink your CamelToe like you’re in the Sahara.

      • Thank you, Debbie! The hydration effort continues.

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