Water, running

November 5, 2009


Since June 1, 2008, I have drunk 67,522 ounces of water. How do I know this? Because I keep track and measure up on a nifty little site called zeaLOG (shout out!). I didn’t set out to be a compulsive grapher of my water consumption (or any of the other things I keep track of there); it just happened.

My mom is always telling me, “Your grandfather would be so proud of how much water you drink!” (He was never proud of how I braked the car when he was riding along.) Although he was a big advocate of water drinking, I doubt he had in mind the quantities that I accomplish.

The most water I’ve ever drunk in one 24-hour period is 248 ounces. That’s right, two gallons (almost) of the universal solvent. I managed this feat twice in the past summer, on July 5th and September 6th. The zeaLOG also allows me to notice my trend of consumption over the course of a year. In the hot summer months I average almost a gallon and a half per day. In the cold winter months that drops to about three-quarters of a gallon. It’s a lovely little sine wave.

(Sorry for the delay—I was having a drink of water.)

I do not prefer ice, and I’m not picky about what kind of water it is or whether it’s cold. Plain old tap water is just fine, though at home I do have a carbon filter on my kitchen faucet. I keep two half-gallon pitchers ready in my refrigerator. That way I feel like I’m conserving the filter by not turning it on for each individual glassful. The literature that comes with the filter says it’s smart enough to wear out based on a combination of times used and quantity filtered. I don’t believe it.

I do the actual drinking in 24-ounce increments and for the sake of logging, I always finish a glass, even if I have to chug most of it. But often I do that anyway. Lately, I’ve developed the new habit of making sure that I drink a glassful as soon as I get up in the morning. It honestly helps me feel better as I start my day. I usually get up during the night, at which times I work on a glassful which usually is finished by the time I arise in the morning. After my shower, I drink a small 8-ounce glassful to wash down my multivitamin and calcium supplement. So by the time I leave for work, I’ve had 56 ounces since I went to bed. I have the same 24-ounce cup at work, where I don’t like to drink fewer than two during the day; three is better. I take a 24-ounce repurposed Diet Coke bottleful with me to work out. That gets polished off during the 45 minutes I’m there.

I break out of the 24s when I go to bowling. Then, I pack a green, 32-ounce Nalgene bottle. A couple of years ago I had the unoriginal idea to make an ice plug in the bottom of the bottle so the water would stay cold. In the winter, I freeze 200 milliliters. In the summer, 300. That’s just about right for the two-and-a-half or three hours the bottle is in service. Shall we talk about a huge advantage to drinking a lot of water while bowling? That’s right, I feel less fuzzy the next day from the beer if I’ve also kept up with the water. If I can finish a second Nalgene during the evening, I know things won’t be as bad in the morning. As I pay attention to the trend, I see it works best if I roughly match water ounces to beer ounces.

(Just a sec, I’ll be right back.)

You may wonder if I am always running for a ladies’ room because of all the water that goes into me. No, not always. Oh, I know I go more than the average person, but I am beyond thinking about it. The benefit is worth it. Okay, it’s inconvenient if, say, I’m in the middle of the row at a Minnesota Twins game, however my need to excuse myself in that situation is just as likely to be because of all the fresh, cold Summit Extra Pale Ale that I’ve been enjoying. And buying another one. But I digress.

When I travel, I have to pay attention to the situation. On driving trips it sometimes gets tricky because I like to stay off the interstate as much possible, and U.S. and state highways don’t have the same shiny, fancy rest areas—or any, usually. And if you stop at a gas station or fast food joint, you do feel as though you should make a purchase in exchange for the use of their facilities. Yes, I’ve been known to buy just one banana. In England, the 20 pence coin quickly became my good friend.

(Time to refill my glass.)

Try taking a big drink when you get up for the next couple of days. See if you don’t think it helps you feel just a little bit fresher.

2 Responses to “Water, running”

  1. Emily Says:

    That is AWESOME. I saw the tweak today come through today and I *wish* I had been so genius. Well done and WELL DONE on the water. I have been trying to get back on the wagon, myself.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Thanks, Emily and Aaron for the return shoutout on Facebook and Twitter! My readership is double (and counting) for this entry!

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