So I might have a problem.
I just either drink too much water or I don’t drink water at all. So that just has me going to the bathroom every hour or not at all. Sure, having to fast-walk-jog to the bathroom after every class is a bit annoying.
But then I asked myself, how much water is too much water? What if my bladder really should just feel like it’s exploding every 20 minutes or I’m just doing irreversible damage to my body? So, I ended up looking it up and found the 8×8 rule: 8, 8-ounce glasses of water every day.
8 8-oz. glasses of water? I looked up a conversion chart and… 2 liters? A day???
I was floored. That’s the 2 bottles of A&W root beer at the party that empty out in 2 minutes because everyone’s filling their cup to the brim, leaving nothing but the barely-touched off-brand “Pepsi” liters. Maybe the bathroom-every-hour thing was just the “right amount” of water after all. I even read “going to the bathroom 6-8 times a day is good” and I just… um, yikes, if I take 5 minutes to go to the bathroom, that’s already 30 minutes minimum out of the 24 hours of my day. That’s a little too much time spent unrolling toilet paper, personally.
Other articles just said, if you feel thirsty, drink. If you’re not, then don’t (’cause the Gatorade you’re buying to “hydrate” isn’t made for your low-impact walking routine). That just led me to the question: so when do you know when you’re actually thirsty?
‘Cause my brain tells me I’m hungry all the time, but sometimes I’m sleepy, or stressed, or tired, which really doesn’t explain anything.
Most articles just talk about the color of your urine, which isn’t really accessible sometimes, because if you’re dehydrated and not feeling thirsty, you’re not gonna go to the bathroom…
Staying hydrated is honestly SO good for your body though. My whole dilemma is because I want to cash in on the pros of all of this. All of your body’s processes depend on water: it’s the OG detox for your body (no need for fitness teas or juice cleanses), helps lubricate your joints, and basically helps you do everything from head to toe.
Drinking water isn’t the only thing that keeps you hydrated though; food contains a lot of the water you need throughout the day, so you can ditch lugging around a gallon case of tasty, tasty mineral water. Certain fruits and vegetables are water-rich, so all you’ll really need is to fill up a reuseable water bottle, preferably stainless steel for maximum cool factor and reliability because I don’t think you’ll want that plastic bottle leaching chemicals into what you drink every day.
So, honestly, even if I don’t feel particularly thirsty, I try to stick to a daily hydration routine. I have little notifications on my phone that’ll buzz, telling me to HYDRATE!! so I scrounge around for my water bottle and take a sip. If I’m bored in class, I take a sip. It’s hot outside? I’ll take some more sips.
The keyword is try, of course.
— Katie L, ’20