Around the beginning of September 2020 I started drinking 100 oz of plain water every day. Seltzer, Diet Coke, beer and coffee did not count. I still drink some of all of these, but for the 100 ounces goal it had to be tap filtered water.
Why? I’ve read articles over the years touting the many health benefits of high water intake. People said it made their skin clearer, bad breath went away, fewer muscle aches. I was curious. It seemed unlikely to make that much difference but during these pandemic times I figured I might as well try a new habit that might be good for my health. So for two and a half months I’ve had at least 100 ounces of water almost everyday.
The first week I noticed a few things. One, I’ve had a mild headache for years and I was so used to it I didn’t realize it. My guess is that I was dehydrated most of the time and all that water took care of that. My head was clear.
My body took a few days to adjust. For the first week I actually felt a little off, almost as if I was coming down with something (which freaked me out because ‘rona). But that passed and I felt great. My work outs got better(mainly pull ups and long walks, hey, that’s my work out, what do you want from me?). One morning I realized that we’d run out of coffee. I was anticipating a crushing caffeine withdrawal headache…and it never came.
Lastly, drinking that much water reduced my desire to drink other stuff. I still consume some morning coffee, an occasional Diet Coke and a beer now and then, but I don’t want to induldge in any of those.
Now, what about all the trips to the bathroom? Well, I go more often than I used to but after that first week, again, my body adjusted. I learned to space it out more. At first 100 ounces seemed like a lot so I tried to pound it down (which may have led to off feeling that first week). Just spreading it over the course of the day is no big deal. I work from home so the bathroom is never far. When the pandemic is over and I go back into the office this routine may have to change. We’ll see. Maybe in a year I’ll write another riveting blog post about drinking water.
My family and I took one long road trip this summer (there an back). Hours and hours in the car were no problem. Why? Because I didn’t drink 100 ounces of water on the travel days. Duh. I just had liquids at meals and something to sip in the car. No reason to get crazy. Some days won’t be conducive to drinking that much water so I skip those days.
I think the main health benefit doesn’t come from the water at all, it comes from being disciplined about what liquids I’m putting in my body. If I reach for a beer I think, “should I have some water first to meet my daily goal?” If I do have a pint of water first I sometimes decide against the beer, or I only have one. I just pay attention to my diet more.
Anyway it’s a part of my routine and, this is subjective, but I feel better. Water is cheap so I spend less money. What’s not to like?
Lastly, I did discuss this with my doctor. His response was that 100 ounces of water was a lot of water (more than he thought necessary) but if I feelt good then it was fine. He also mentioned that if it was replacing other, less healthy liquids, then that was also a good thing.
Keep in mind that you can drink too much water to the point that it is bad for you. Do a little research and pay attention to how you are feeling if you decide to go this route. Check out this article from the Mayo Clinic on water intake.