First of all, I want to start by saying that I am in no shape or form a morning person. However, I am required to wake up early in the morning, so, even though I know it’s not healthy, I usually snooze in bed until the very last moment, get dressed, grab a bagel on my way to work, and drink a cup of green tea when I get there. Or an hour or so after I get there. It really depends on the day.
Usually, I drink my first glass of water around noon. Sometimes even later than that. When I work I get really invested in what I do so it’s not uncommon for me to forget to drink water for hours on end. During an average day, I drink about one cup of tea and two glasses of water during work hours. And usually, I remember to drink water when I start feeling parched, which is not exactly healthy.
How much water I drink now
There are days when I drink 3 glasses of water, there are days when I drink 5 glasses of water. However, the latter are quite scarce. I think that, on average, I drink about 34oz (1 liter) of water per day, which is less than half the recommended amount.
Of course, there’s my morning cup of green tea and my occasional cup of black tea, but those don’t add up to the desired total.
How much water I want to drink
I want to drink the recommended 68oz (2 liters) per day, maybe even 85oz (2.5 liters) when I don’t eat fruits and after I quit my soda habits.
How I plan to increase my daily water intake
After researching for the best methods to drink more water, Corina and I decided to put some of those methods to the test. We both wanted to increase our daily water intake so why not experiment a little?
Since I’m a diehard multitasker, I could not conduct just one experiment at a time, so, after doing my homework, I decided upon the following three:
- Drink 16oz ( 500 ml) of water on an empty stomach.
- Install an app that reminds you to drink more water.
- Replace soda with carbonated water.
I chose those three in particular because they worked together perfectly, it felt like a natural state of experiment symbiosis. The first two glasses of water would help me boost my water intake during the first minutes of a fresh new day, the app would help keep track of all that water and remind me to drink more while at work, and the carbonated water would help keep me hydrated and (finally!!!) give up on soda.
On paper, it all sounded awesome, but I never expected the hardships I encountered. Ok, I may have exaggerated a bit for dramatic effect, but in all fairness, it was more difficult than I first imagined.
Here’s the gist of it.
An old Japanese ritual, it is said that drinking approximately 16oz (500 ml) of water on an empty stomach can help improve your overall health. The many benefits of adopting this morning habit include an improved metabolism, a stronger immune system, a healthier stomach, a more regular bowel movement, and better skin.
It sounds a little too good to be true for such a simple thing to do. Then again, almost everybody is aware of the health benefits of drinking water, and yet during summer, 75% of americans suffer from chronic dehydration.
As usual, I woke up later than I planned, so I was in a bit of a hurry. I jumped out of bed, went straight to the kitchen, looked for the glass that I prepped a night before (when I say that I’m in a hurry in the morning, I really mean it) and poured some water in it. It’s an 8oz (250 ml) glass, so I had to fill it twice.
I drank the first glass in a single gulp because I felt parched. The second one, though, didn’t quite go down as smoothly. So I took a breather and went into the living room. Gripping my glass tightly, I was already thinking about what to wear, calculating how much time I have left to brush my teeth and rush out the door when, while trying to finish my morning water ratio, I really stopped for a second. It may sound like a cliché, but for the first time in a long time, I looked out the window, and I took in the view. That’s the first benefit of drinking water on an empty stomach I did not think about: serenity.
Nothing really changed after the first day, except for the fact that I drank my morning glasses of water in front of the window, again. I felt like those two minutes of serenity helped me start the day in a better mood, both physically and mentally. However, it could have also been the fact that it was a Saturday and I woke up after the sun was already high.
This is when I started feeling a change. I woke up and I instantly reached for the water, didn’t even struggled with the second glass. I did feel like I had more energy during the day, but I waited for trial by Monday to see if it was indeed the water or the weekend vibe.
Ah, Monday, my old nemesis. When the alarm went off, I still struggled to wake up – I firmly believe that no amount of water will ever help me wake up in the morning on my own accord. However, something was amiss. I again felt parched and went straight for the kitchen to get my morning dose of water.
Fast forward a couple of hours and I was still in a good mood, had a lot of energy, and I was just completing my tasks, feeling like I finally managed to include water in my daily routine.
Nevertheless, I must also note a major inconvenience. While I don’t want to blame my inherent tardiness on my new healthy morning routine, I did find that I need an extra 3 to 5 minutes to get ready to leave because water going in must also come out.
So if any of you want to start this experiment, do keep in mind that it will take up about 10 minutes from your morning routine.
I can safely say I’m going to drink my two glasses of water on an empty stomach for the rest of my life. My body was already craving it. It’s also the day I started to discover what a regular bowel movement feels like as constipation was (please do notice the past tense) one of my biggest struggles.
I also felt the need to drink a glass of water as soon as I got to work. Then another one after about an hour. Naturally, I had to get up and use the toilet more frequently, but I think that’s just an added bonus to all this. After all, studies do claim that sitting for long periods of time can endanger our health.
However, I still couldn’t get accustomed to drinking carbonated water instead of soda. I never imagined how much I could crave Coke. I know it’s bad for me, I know I’m better off not drinking it, but maaan, fries without Coke is like … well … fries without Coke. Nevertheless, the experiment must go on and I try to console my taste buds with fizzy water. It’s the same … but different.
Day 6 to 9
Nothing new happened as I immersed myself in the regularity of drinking 16oz of water as soon as I woke up. The energy spikes transformed into a constant, my skin started to feel softer, and my metabolism seemed to get a kick out of my now stable morning routine.
The down side was that I was still craving Coke. Fizzy water just doesn’t do it for me. I need that extra sugar in my busy life.
Overall morning visits to the toilet increased by a factor of two, the need to drink more water also became a constant, and I can safely say that I credit the significant increase in my energy levels to the fact that my body is finally hydrated. For me, water is the new coffee!
I’m the queen of the world!
All jokes aside, I must say, this is a habit I will definitely not kick. So I can’t really say that this is the last day of the experiment, but just another normal day.
- I have considerable more energy in the morning
- My mood is significantly improved
- My bowel movements have never been more regular
- Also, for the last couple of days, I stopped having problems with acid reflux, but I will come back with information after I stop drinking both carbonated water and its evil sister, soda.
I wholeheartedly recommend you to try this at home. As for this habit being the secret to a slinky physique with little effort, I will come back with proof after a couple of months.
PS: I’m still trying to live a healthy lifestyle and give up soda, but I must admit that I do indulge with an occasional Coke. After all, I’m only human.
PPS: Every time I buy soda, I buy the little glass bottles, never plastic, never aluminum cans.
PPPS: Don’t forget to recycle!