Last summer I trekked into the arid west and discovered a new love for water. I was always very active growing up. Swimming, soccer, dance, gymnastics, horseback riding, and theatre were just some of my activities. I was busy and so was my body, so I had no problem drinking enough water. Then, I gave up a few of these things in high school when I realized no one would pay me to do them, and in college I got really into napping. During this decline in activity, I sipped water when I was thirsty and that was all.
I thought I was doing fine because I was only thirsty occasionally, my skin didn't feel dry or crackly, and my lips weren't chapped (all signs of dehydration). But did you know that if you are thirsty, you are already severely dehydrated? Thirst is like your body's low fuel warning. And you definitely don't want to run out. This sort of blows my mind because my 96 year-old grandfather is very healthy, never thirsty, and I have only ever seen him take 3 sips of water, ever. Maybe he was a camel in a past life. Nonetheless, my temporary western migration reminded me how great it feels to be properly hydrated. And I returned home with a new resolution to drink more water.
It is recommended that the average person drink a 1/2 gallon of water per day. Healthy people drink a full gallon. That is almost four refills (3.79 to be exact) of my beloved, stickered Nalgene water bottle, or 8 plastic water bottles.* Now, writing about that much water is one thing. "4 big water bottles. I could do that," I say to myself as I write this. Sure, out west where humidity is a myth it's easy to down 4 Nalgene water bottles a day. But back on the east coast, sitting in an office at a desk all day, that is a lot of water.
I have to pee all the time. The perk is I get my 10,000 steps in walking to the bathroom, but also having to pee doesn't exactly feel great. Also, even though my stomach is always full and resisting my high waisted jeans, I still get hungry 4 times a day. The rumor is true–water helps with weight loss because it boosts your metabolism, keeps you hydrated, and helps with digestion, but water is not food.**
Now that I'm not hiking through red rock canyons, drinking this much water seems excessive. I mean, water doesn't taste like anything. In fact, when it tastes like anything other than nothing, it is disgusting. (not a fan of cucumber water or any other infused crap). So all day I am drinking the essence of nothing to stay fresh and healthy. And I am bored of gulping down the same liquid. I need a substitute for water. Any suggestions?
* I strongly dissuade you from being plastic person. Reusable water bottles are cooler anyway.
** Girls who are drinking water in place of meals. Stop. Eat a sandwich. Love yourself.