Challenge 56: Drink More Water

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It’s a truth universally acknowledged that a woman (or man) should drink more water if they want better skin, better kidneys, an ability to concentrate and stay alert, better digestion, an increase in energy, the list goes on.

But unfortunately I am one of those people that just doesn’t get thirsty. With the exception of when I go running, I really honestly never crave a drink. I crave tea and coffee (I’m pretty sure for the caffeine hit) but I never crave water or squash or juice. So I drink copious amounts of tea, five or six mugs a day, and virtually no water. I have one glass of squash with my dinner and maybe one herbal tea a day, and that is it. I know, it’s terrible, and it’s something that I’ve been feeling guilty about for a long time. So for this challenge, I’ve tried SO hard to fix it and it’s been a massive struggle.

I knew just resolving to drink more water simply wasn’t going to be enough. I’ve tried that before, but because I don’t get thirsty, I just forget my resolution. In order to give myself a better chance, I set about researching the best apps which help you drink more water. I’m an app lover, particularly for making me do things I don’t want to do. Apps have really helped me to budget, to workout more, and to meditate, I think it’s something to do with the ‘guilt’ factor and also the ‘reward’. If you don’t do something, the app will remind you and make you feel guilty about it. If you do do something, you can tick it off on the app and it will reward you with praise. I’m clearly a simple being. After much research I settled on the app ‘Waterlogged’, it seemed to balance the guilt and reward well and was also free. The app gives you a daily aim of 2 litres to drink and allows you to log the amount of millilitres you drink each time. I’ve become absolutely obsessed with working out how many millilitres fit in each glass I own, much to the annoyance of everyone around me. The app also gives you targets for every few hours so you can make sure you are keeping up and don’t just down it all at the end of the day when you run out of time (honestly, I still do this occasionally!)

At first I found it fustrating because I really couldn’t manage 2 litres a day, it was such a huge jump for me. I started off managing about 1.4 litres and finding it really tough. I’d make sure to drink water throughout the day, with lunch, as soon as I got into work and when I got home but it still wasn’t enough. I tweeted this out and you guys were so supportive, letting me know that the 2 litres can come from everything including your food so if I could manage 1.5 litres I was doing well. I had heard that tea is actually more dehydrating then anything else as the caffeine counteracts the benefits of the water, so I don’t record any tea I drink. I have begun to cut down some of my tea, swapping it for herbal teas which I can record in order to make my target. But tea is such a comforter for me when I feel stressed or busy so I really don’t want to force myself to lose it altogether. This is resulting in a dramatic increase in loo breaks everyday as I’m drinking around 8 glasses of water and 4 or 5 cups of tea! After receiving the tweets, I reassessed and thought if I can aim for 1.5 litres a day then I’m doing well.

Since then, I’ve met that target everyday except for one. My work day routine now includes starting the day with a glass of water when I’m making my first cup of tea, aiming for one before lunch, one with lunch and one after lunch and then two glasses after I’m home. I also swap one tea for a herbal tea a day. Another problem I’ve encountered is that the glasses at work are very small (around 200ml) so I have to constantly refill them. To solve this problem, I’m looking to invest in a water bottle. I’m thinking about going for one which you can add fruit into – I think it’s called the Fruition – let me know what you think if you have one?

And have I noticed any results? It’s really hard to say. Although I need to go to the loo a lot more (TMI?) which I find very annoying at work, my digestive system genuinely does feel clearer. My skin also feels as if it’s repairing itself a little faster, though this may be wishful thinking, I’ve just found that the last few spots I’ve had have cleared up a lot quicker. The main benefit I’ve found is that I just feel better about myself for doing it. It’s always been something that I’ve been nagged about and something I’ve felt guilty about so it was a problem that I was keen to solve, for that alone it’s worth it.

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