I have a drinking problem…but I don’t necessarily mean just with alcohol. I have sworn off alcohol for the better part of 12 years, but had to replace the alcohol with a number of substitutes over the years. There was the Diet Coke binge of 2005-2008 and a relapse between 2014-2015. We’ve had our Mountain Dew moments, coffee, espresso, club soda, FLAVORED club soda…even had my own machine to MAKE flavored club soda. Let’s see…oh, energy drinks, Snapple…uh…you get the picture. I drink SOMETHING all day long. Yes, there’s the caffeine component, but I like vegetable and fruit juice, kefir, smoothies and you know; liquid :-). I can say that when there is fresh water available, I generally drink a good healthy amount. What I didn’t realize though, was how much of an effect my H20 intake would have on my IBS. I’ve watched my IBS symptoms become more and more manageable as I’ve slowly (and I mean SLOWLY) switched from coffee to water. Drinking enough water can be a little challenging for a variety of reasons, but with just a bit of effort, you too can be a water drinking machine, which I guess is a water fountain…but I digress.
My water ritual
The challenges arise when you already have something you drink that you are mildly or severely addicted to. I remember walking around the Cube Farm at the very large financial company I used to work for. There were Diet Cokes, coffee, energy drinks, five hour energies, Mountains Dews, chocolate milk and million other things on almost every single person’s desk. What is your poison? What do you drink the most? If your answer is water, then I suppose you need not read on, except perhaps for entertainment value. My issue is coffee, as I’ve mentioned many times before. I would bring water to work with me, but found that my thermos was gone after about an hour at work. Being busy, I just resorted back to the coffee. I’M NOT PAYING FOR WATER, I would say and proceed to PAY for coffee. My additional issue is that my workplace only has tap water and let’s just say that the tap water in the town of my employment isn’t exactly tasty. What I did do was start drinking just water and healthy teas at home. Over the course of months, I realized when I did not drink enough water I felt noticeably worse. My IBS flare ups came more often and the symptoms were more severe. So, I decided that since I could not bring several bottles of water with me to work, I went to the Dollar Store instead of Starbucks one day and bought several gallons of water that I keep under my desk. At least twice a week, I repeat this ritual and it not only helps me decrease my coffee intake, but those gallons of water cost a helluva lot less than my Venti Americano at the ‘Bucks.
A simple revelation
I know we’ve all heard from doctors, friends and family, ‘are you drinking enough water?’ They are asking because I think, deep down, we all know that it is important to drink plenty of water. It’s right up there with fruits and vegetables. Anyway, I thought I’d share my little dietary revelation with regards to my IBS. I know there are those of you out there who are like…duh! Hey, we’ve all got our bad habits and eccentricities…just took me a while to evaluate the substantial benefit of water for my brand of IBS. Until next time…keep drinking…WATER.