Drinking four liters of water a day

Afterthoughts: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

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When I got a smart scale, I was surprised to discover at how low my body water percentage was compared against the recommended level. I had never explicitly thought about how much water I was drinking a day –– my heuristic was drinking a glass or two whenever I felt thirsty. But after reading up about how much water we should be consuming a day (4L including water consumed via food), I knew my water-drinking habit was woefully inadequate.

So I decided to go into the deep in drink 4L a day at minimum. It has been a slow burn over the course of the month or so since I started this, but I already feel its effects on my day-to-day.

I have noticed that my inclination to nap during the day has reduced rather dramatically. I intuit that it has to do with my regular consumption of water. I often like to drink four glasses every three hours, or if I feel bloated, a glass an hour. The post-lunch desire to nap has almost entirely vanished.

Naturally, the number of toilet trips has multiplied. In the first few days, I felt like I was going every hour and pangs of guilt would strike me every time given how much water I was using flushing. With time, however, I find my body has adapted and I go far less frequently. This makes the prospect of being outside the house more palatable as in the first week, I would be conscious of when I drank water incase there wasn’t easy access to a toilets wherever I was at.

The water has a short-term nullifying effect on hunger. In parallel to this water-drinking experiment, I have been living under the rules of intermittent fasting –– breaking my rules only for social engagements. This means that I consumer all my calories for the day 4 hour period between 2pm and 6pm everyday. I have been keeping to the schedule for long enough now that I don’t find that hunger affects me too much in the mornings. Very occasionally, I feel the hunger come alive in the hour or two before 2pm. What’s done the trick is just to drink a boat-load of water. It staves the hunger away allowing me to concentrate on whatever it is I am doing.

In the couple of months of intentionally-drinking more water, I have been able to raise my body water percentage to the recommended level at least according to my scale’s app. It’s gotten to the point where drinking lots of water is habit now, and given the science is on my side, it seems like I’ll be continuing with this indefinitely.

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