Why I Quit Drinking So Much Water
By Andrea Green, Contributing Writer
It all started on Facebook.
One day, as I was reading through my newsfeed, I came across a conversation about drinking 100 ounces of water every day.
The conversation talked about all the benefits of drinking 100 ounces of water. Everyone in the conversation claimed better health, successful weight loss, and radiant skin. All the comments were positive and there were exclamations of how adding 100 ounces of water to their day was life changing.
These comments were made by friends of mine, so there had to be some truth to what they were saying, didn’t there? After all, we all know that drinking more water can boost your health.
And if it’s on Facebook, it has to be true, right? *wink*
After reading this newsfeed thread, I decided this was going to be it. This was going to be the healthy habit I would adopt for 2015.
So I set out to drink 100 ounces of water every day. I set myself up for success with my favorite trick, and I made a batch of Rainbow Citrus Water.
I sipped on water throughout the day. Since I normally drink coffee or tea, I find I really like the taste of water again. It’s so refreshing. I find myself wondering why I don’t reach for a glass of water more often.
Up to this point, my daily beverage consumption looked like this:
- 2 cups of coffee in the a.m.
- If I exercise in the morning, I drink another cup of coffee after exercise.
- At lunch I don’t bother with a drink at all.
- About 3 to 4 in the afternoon, I brew a cup of herbal tea.
- At dinner I may drink some water. Otherwise, that cup of tea in the afternoon is the last thing I drink.
There is no doubt that adding water to my diet is a good thing.
I decide to drink two glasses of water one right after the other in hopes that I diminish the number of trips I need to take to the restroom.
I knew that drinking more water would necessitate more trips to the restroom, but sheesh! This is ridiculous!
The numerous trips I’m taking to the bathroom have me wondering if I should be limiting the number of squares of toilet paper I’m using each trip. At this rate, my water consumption is going to necessitate an extra Costco size pack of toilet paper.
Discouragement is starting to take over. I feel like I’m having to arrange my whole day around knowing where a restroom is and trying to limit the times I drink my water to periods where I will be home.
First day of feeling success. Drinking water is becoming a habit. When we made a family trip to Starbucks, I skipped the coffee. I brought my reusable water cup and had them fill it up for me.
Not only did they fill my water bottle, but they gave me a $0.10 discount for bringing my own cup. It’s like they paid me to drink my water. Happiness in a small victory.
I can’t do it. There is too much on my plate today. I know that drinking 100 ounces of water will lead to too many restroom breaks and I simply don’t have the time.
I don’t want to quit just 5 days in, so I drink about 32 ounces of water that night.
Big mistake. After 2 middle of the night restroom runs, I decide I need to set a time after which it is impractical to drink any more water. I decide 6 p.m. is it. If I can’t drink all my water before 6 p.m., I won’t reach my daily goal.
Day 6 -9
These days all look the same. I try to figure out how I am going to schedule my day so I can drink my water and have a restroom available to me. Nothing up to this point has struck the right balance.
Image by D Shannon Pruitt
I’m a quitter. This doesn’t make sense for my life at all. I can’t drink this much and be productive. It’s not working.
It takes me 10 days before I start to research – why 100 ounces of water? Why was that a magic number?
You know what? It’s not a magic number. In fact, I can’t figure out why it is a number at all. When you read how drinking more water can boost your health, you find the formula for drinking the right amount of water.
The healthy amount of water you should be drinking is one-half your body weight.
For me, that means my correct amount of water is only 72 ounces of water a day. That is a HUGE difference from the 100 ounces that all my friends were drinking.
Based on this information, I made a new healthy goal.
Drink. More. Water. Period.
I simply wasn’t drinking enough water and was definitely drinking too much coffee.
I’ve adjusted my healthy goals. Now, it’s simply to add more water to my day. I’m adding a glass of water before I eat lunch and a glass of water before I eat dinner. I’ve also stopped drinking coffee after I exercise and have added a large bottle of water instead. I love cucumber mint water, so I’m no longer saving making a batch for special occasions. Every day is special.
When I was pregnant, my midwife was pretty insistent about drinking a certain amount of water. She told me the half-your-weight formula, which for me was about 65oz (but obviously increased as the pregnancy progressed). No matter how hard I tried, I could never reach the goal. I felt like I was drowning!! It made me feel sick. I finally gave up keeping track and just made sure I had a water bottle with me at all times and drank from it regularly throughout the day. My urine samples were always great, so I wasn’t dehydrated. It’s not that I don’t like water. I just can’t drink that much of *anything* in one day!
Ugh! I hate water. It’s boring to me. But keep in mind that water is really synonymous with hydration. As long as you’re taking in fluids that hydrate, you’re good. So herbal teas, low/no sugar juices, milk etc. (Sodas and coffee have caffeine which will deplete hydration levels).
I drink water when I feel hungry – sometimes you think you’re hungry when really, your body just needs some hydration.
I drink water more when I’m sick to help my system flush out whatever I’m sick with.
I take a big drink before and after exercising or doing anything extra strenuous like shoveling snow.
Other than that, I don’t sweat my water consumption. I have more important things to monitor than the exact number of ounces I’m drinking!
I have no problems drinking water – I usually end up drinking 3L a day without trying. I just get thirsty, and I do feel better if I drink more. At work, I have a bottle of water at my desk, and end up reaching for it a lot. On the weekends, when I’m more likely to grab a coffee or (ugh) a soda, I don’t end up drinking as much water, and I definitely notice.
One of my 2015 goals was to attempt the standard “8 glasses of water” recommendation. I am definitely running to the bathroom more than before, but it actually hasn’t been too hard. Turns out that 64oz is just a little less than 1/2 my body weight. This must be why it’s been manageable! I’m glad to know I don’t need to shoot any higher. 🙂
This made me laugh. Thanks. It’s nice to read that others go through the same mental self talks when trying to do something. A realistic goal always makes more sense than an unattainable one.
I drink a ton of water. It’s all I drink, but it took me awhile to get here. 8 years ago I gave up soda and switched to sweet tea. 1 year ago I gave up sweet tea and have been drinking lemon water ever since. I usually drink about 80oz a day, and I totally agree about the bathroom trips!! If our family has plans to go anywhere, I quit drinking 3 hours before hand so we don’t have to stop every 15-30 minutes!
Great post. I am back in my bad habit of coffee again… cold weather gets me every time. I connected with your note about the coffee. I do need to add more water. Regarding the restroom trips… I was told the more water I drink consistently that my body would adjust and I would go less often after a few days but with more volume. I found this to be true. At first when I added more water to my routine I felt I was always going. I have a 24 oz bottle that has a dial on it that I can twist to keep track of how many bottles I drink. I like that. My goal is 5 a day. When I am doing well and not on my current coffee kick I wake and have at least 8 – 12 oz before doing anything. Then I would keep my bottle with me at all times… especially in the car or even on my grocery trips. I would try to drink a large glass or at least 10 oz or so before each meal also and again before bed. I know I feel better, my skin looks better, my nails are not as brittle and I do have better weight loss when I am drinking water.
This is hilarious! Thanks for sharing 🙂
I wonder how this changes when you’re nursing? I am nursing an 8-mo old right now, and if I don’t drink enough water my supply dips way down and my skin dries out terribly. I seem to do best on just under 3 quarts a day (I mostly fill a qt mason jar 3 times a day), but that’s what, 96 oz? (I’m also waking up with said infant a lot…mental math is not my strong point now!) And that’s close to body weight for me, not half.
I definitely think if you were in the bathroom enough to plan your day around it, that was too much for you! Glad you’ve found a sustainable number and way to not let the peer pressure get to ya for too long 😉
I switched to drinking predominantly water a couple of years ago. I can’t even remember why, something I read at the time I guess. For a long time it was my only drink but I do have a coffee in the morning now, and also a tea in the afternoon. Other than that I am sipping from a mug of water all day long (which I keep topping up so I don’t know exactly how much I am drinking). I doubt I am drinking as much as the formula says I should – perhaps will start measuring to see how far off I am.
Loved the article!
As someone who only drank water and milk most of my early adult life I would also caution you to be aware of what kind of water you are drinking. I used water straight out of the tap in those years. I am firmly convinced through my research the munipality added fluoride and chemicals caused my Graves Disease.
Now I do not drink as much water and when I do I strive to make sure it is as pure as I can get it. No more tap water!
Your story resonates with me. I tried to drink more water (like a lot). Someone (whom I respect a lot) told me I should drink enough water that when I went pee it was clear. Oh…My….Gosh! It takes a lot of water to accomplish that goal, and I LIVED in the bathroom. NOT..WORTH…IT! I agree with you, we should focus on getting more water in, and it should be a priority, but seriously….don’t over do it. Thanks for sharing!
Such a timely post for me to read! I started the month long, gallon-a-day water challenge exactly two weeks ago, and it’s killing me! I hate drinking water. And usually I never remember to. But so far I haven’t missed a day of the challenge. A trainer at my gym told me the thing about half your body weight in ounces, which is only 52 ounces, and right now I’m getting, what like 125? I can TOTALLY relate to planning my day around the bathroom. It’s extremely annoying. (My daughter even had to show me the “grownups bathroom” at school when I was only there 30 minutes last week.) And besides pregnancy I’d never been someone who had to get up in the night to use the restroom, and now it’s twice a night minimum. That can’t be better for my health! Plus my eczema has actually gotten worse over the last two weeks, so my skin’s not even in better shape. I’m going to finish the challenge, because I’m stubborn like that, but I’m hoping to find a happy medium in two weeks between my normal 0 ounces a day, and this gallon a day thing that works better.
I really do think that for most of us you can feel when you need more water. I do think SOME people struggle with this (like my husband who will just drink anything BUT water all the time and has had a pretty bad kidney infection to show for it) but I really honestly think that you can go by your thirst level. Are you thirsty? Drink some water. I don’t believe the stuff I’ve read that if you wait until you are thirsty your body is “already dehydrated”. I personally like water well enough and drink it a lot. It just isn’t practical for most of us to sit and try to measure out all this water or to spend all day making trips to the bathroom. If you have a cup of coffee in the morning or glass of tea with dinner I don’t think you necessarily have to trade that in for water but maybe it’s a good idea to make yourself drink some water BEFORE you have your favorite beverage.
The Jillian Michaels Water challenge is one to try as well. It contains not just water ( and a paltry 60oz compared to what your were drinking) It also contains herbs to help eliminate water weight. Yes it sounds counterintuitive but it really works!
I use an app called Water Your Body. It suggests you update your weight often so that it can calculate the correct goal.