In almost all health and well-being articles I’ve ever read, there’s always one tip that reoccurs every time. It’s the simplest of things, the easiest advice to follow, and I’m just surprised that more people don’t do it. It’s not rocket science, it’s not expensive (in fact, it’s pretty much free) and is available to us all. Drink water.
I know, I know! It can be the most boring thing you can think of when it comes to thirst. First thing in the morning when I’m still on autopilot, I’ve usually made and drunk a large cup of strong coffee before I’m properly awake – I need that rocket fuel to get me going! But with the warmer weather now upon us, I can have a tendency to feel sluggish, for my feet and ankles to swell when I sit at my office desk for too long, and to suffer with far more headaches than is really acceptable. Talking to my colleagues (who all sit with a sports bottle filled with water on their desks) they all told me I should drink more water. I could still have the coffee, but I should add drinks of water in-between coffees, or replace one or two of those coffees throughout the day.
Biting the bullet, I decided to conduct a little experiment of my own. It couldn’t hurt, could it? A week out of my life? I pledged to my work colleagues, that for one week, I would drink nothing but water, document my findings as I went, and then give them an honest account of my well-being at the end of the week. Here’s how I got on…
I had to try really hard not to make that coffee. I really needed coffee. BUT… I had hot water instead – a little compromise in my mind, as I’m used to having a hot drink. I won’t lie, it certainly didn’t hit the spot like my usual coffee does. Throughout the day I consumed the recommended amount. By the end of day one, I’d drunk over 2 litres!
Still craving that early morning coffee! It was a little more difficult during the day, because I work part time, and this was one of my home days. I was busy with chores, and so I fell slightly short of the two litres, but I didn’t count it as failure. If anything the opposite – I’d done 2 whole days without coffee!
Woke with a thumping headache! I put this down to a little caffeine withdrawal. I persevered with the hot water, instead opting to add a little lemon juice. By the end of day 3 I had consumed over 2.5 litres of water! Go me!
The temptation of coffee was still there, but I didn’t feel like I ‘needed’ it in the same way as a couple of days before. Drinking water was almost becoming a habit. At home I made sure that I set myself little reminders to drink by programming my phone’s alarm to go off every hour, on the hour. By the end of day 4 I’d consumed another 2.5 litres. I noticed too that my visits to the bathroom were far more frequent than the days before. My system really was flushing through!
I tend to work all day on a Friday, which means I’m sat on my bottom from 9-5! I made sure I drank plenty, and got up and moved about at least once every hour. Leaving the office, I was surprised that my feet were normal size, and that only one of my ankles were ever so slightly puffy. What a difference! Toilet visits were more frequent, but I started to feel physically better. I was getting to sleep earlier, which in turn made me feel brighter in the morning.
A Saturday. Fail! Not only did I not consume my target 2 litres, but I also went off plan. I was out for the day, and didn’t prepare adequately. The craving for something sweet and fizzy got the better of me and I gave in to it and had a lemonade. Still, once home I stuck to my liquid plan, and got straight back on to water. At least lemonade is a clear liquid, right?
Mission complete! Target consumption met! I could really see a difference in my overall well-being. I still peed for England, and not only did I notice a difference in my bladder behaviour, but also my bowels. Things were ‘easier’. My headaches became almost non-existent, and I was actually feeling like I had a bit of energy! My mind-set was more positive, and on the whole, I couldn’t believe how good I was feeling!
I’ve added a day 8 because I just had to share this amazing benefit with you…
The day I stepped on the scales. Perhaps drinking more water had suppressed my appetite a little as I am 3.5lbs lighter! I put it down to water being calorie free! Whatever the answer, I know that from now on I’ll be carrying on with the water drinking. It’s not permanently sustainable, as I like a social drink now and again, and I will allow myself the odd coffee – just not to the same extent as before.
Jane works part time, and is also a freelance writer and blogger, who currently writes for Cooleraid. In her spare time she enjoys reading, travel, and chocolate!