My husband and I were once at a gas station paying for a bag of beef jerky. It was some organic super left-wing, not really meat, more like a meat imposter edible– it was horrible. Don’t ever buy those. If you want something that feels and smells like meat, then I suggest…meat. So anyways, we are paying for this faux-meat when a man walks in and says to the cashier, “Hey! Your sign outside says $1.59 a gallon (I don’t know what year this was or what oil prices were doing) and your pump just charged me $1.75 a gallon! What gives?!?”. The cashier looked up from my bag of desiccated tofu and made eye contact with the man. He was probably wondering why he stocked that crap. He paused, then slowly opened his mouth and said “You must read the sign correctly.” Turns out there was fine print with several exclusions. The angry customer didn’t qualify for the $0.16 discount and he stormed off. Ever since then, my husband and I like to tell each other to do things…correctly. You must plant the flowers…correctly. You must take a bath…correctly. You must do the dishes….correctly. In light of this story, it took me very few seconds to come up with the title “You Must Drink Water Correctly”. Seriously. This is a real problem. Can you imagine being bad at drinking water? You might be. Stop imagining, you might be living it.
So here’s the thing. Here’s the “deal”. We get a lot of information about drinking water. We know it’s healthy for our organs. We know it affects how we feel. We know it tampers with energy levels. We know what happens when we don’t get enough.
But, how does one drink water incorrectly and what happens when one does this?
Everything in moderation, man (or WOman).
I’m getting a lot of patients who care about how much water they consume. Nice! But, they don’t care when they consume it. Not nice. They will down 40 ounces of water in one hour and then ask me why they pee all the time. If you drink a ton of water at once and then have to pee a lot, then you are what I call a “normal person”. You bumrushed a balloon (your bladder) with water. It wants to pop. So, unless you go to the bathroom to relieve the pressure, it will burst! A bursting of the bladder is basically urinary leakage. You pee yourself. If I did the same thing, I’d be peeing constantly too. To avoid this, you just drink in moderation. A gulp here. A gulp there. A bathroom break here. A bathroom break there. But, not, a bathroom break everywhere.
Drink water correctly – drink during the day and sleep at night.
Then I have some patients who don’t drink much water during the day, but they get thirsty at night and drink a lot – all. through. the. night. So what happens to them? They pee – all. through. the. night. A strong sensation to pee wakes them up and they don’t sleep well. But, they don’t attribute the need to pee with drinking at night. They attribute it to old age or a big prostate or their diuretics or being “bad” sleepers. They think they don’t know how to sleep correctly, but really they don’t know how to drink water correctly. This isn’t to say that people don’t have sleep apnea, really do have to wake up because of diuretic use, etc., but it does mean that drinking water at night is making them wake up to pee more often than they would otherwise.
Water is boring, get over it!
Water is just water. There is no flavor. There is no fizz. There is no trick to it. It’s just wet stuff in your mouth. When you “don’t like the taste” of water, it’s like saying “I don’t like the feel of “air” or I don’t like the “sensation” of breathing. Your body needs unadulterated water. Plain and simple! Dr. Pepper does not substitute for water. Coffee does not substitute for water. Carbonated water does not substitute for water. Flavored water does not substitute for water. Only water is water. Let me repeat that: only water is water. Without old fashioned, unassuming water you are more susceptible to the following:
- Kidney stones
- Burning with urination
- Intense urges to urinate
- Urinating all the time
- Bladder pain
- Lower energy levels
Truly, truly, I say, if you don’t drink water correctly and then you start to drink water correctly – your life will change.
You’ll be able to actually sit through a car drive without needing to stop.
You’ll wake up less at night.
You will probably leak less.
Your urine stream will get better.
You will become more attractive. The list goes on and on and it doesn’t stop until the early dawn.
So, follow my man’s advice…”You must read the sign…correctly.”
Got a question? Cool. Hate what I wrote? Cool.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by Sara Sauder, PT, DPT
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