Drinking Water Challenge: Teacher Edition

When teacher bladder is an actual thing that many teachers struggle with, it seems counterproductive to encourage teachers to drink more water. But that is exactly what I am doing. We generally do not drink enough and that is having effects on our bodies that we are not even aware of.

My parameters:

  • 100 ounces of water a day. If I drink more that doesn’t count towards tomorrow. If I drink less I do not have to make up for it the next day. Each day I start fresh.
  • I do not drink coffee but if I did, coffee wouldn’t count. I will count tea though. Tea that I boil the water myself and tea bags – not something I buy in a store.
  • I will not add flavor unless it is natural (adding a lemon or a strawberry but no sweeteners or other water flavors)
  • I will not count beer as my girlfriends tried to convince me. : )
  • My BFF participated in this at the same time. She is a devout coffee drinker (all day, every day).

Day 1: Pushing the water is difficult because I am still trying to eat the same amount of food and other liquids. By the late afternoon, I’ve given up on the other stuff but still drinking the water. I do not feel hungry though so giving up the snacks is easy.

I am going to the bathroom a lot. A LOT! Two or three times an hour. I was chugging 16 ounces at a time which didn’t help the bladder.

By 10pm I am drinking the last of the 100 ounces. My stomach is FULL and bloated but it doesn’t feel bad. This is not bloated like having just eaten too much food.

I have to get up twice in the night which is pretty good I’d say.

Day 3:  I was successful on day 1 and day 2 but day 3 is the first day that I feel hydrated. I had had a headache for the last two day but didn’t take anything for it. That headache is now gone. 

I am up four times in the night because I didn’t get finished drinking my water until 11pm. Don’t be like me.

Day 4: Drinking water is easy today. I am actually thirsty during the day and drink 8 ounces every hour. This has reduced the need to run to the bathroom all day. I also am done drinking my water before 10pm although for some reason I was up twice in the night.

My BFF reported that her coffee intake has drastically decreased. Normally, the second she wakes in the morning she brews a pot of coffee. On day four she didn’t have her first cup until lunch. She was shocked because she just didn’t need it to be awake and productive in the morning.

Day 7: I feel thirst at points throughout the day which helps to want to drink. At this point it just the mental desire to keep drinking this much water. I’d rather have a milkshake but remind myself that water is healthier. 

After a week here are some observations:

1. I am sleeping much better despite getting up several times a night. I feel more rested in the morning and have more energy during the late afternoon.

2. As a constant hives sufferer, I haven’t had a real hives outbreak in a week. Coincidence or a flushed system? Who knows.

3. What goes in will come out. Your system will cleanse itself a bit and things will move easily.

4. No idea how much weight I have lost in one week but I have definitely lost something because a pair of shorts that didn’t fit, now fit with the tiniest bit of extra space. A combination of bulk that moved out, bloat that is no longer there, a tiny bit of weight has made a difference in wearing these old pair of favorite shorts.

5. I am starving a lot. Water is reducing my desire to eat and most of the time eliminates the feeling of hunger but there are times I notice it. I just drink some more water. Not satisfying but filling.

Week 2: Despite knowing that drinking 8 ounces an hour is best I still don’t do it often. I am still struggling to finish drinking by 10 or 11 at night but that is more because of my natural sleeping scheduling rather than not wanting to drink water. Drinking water has become more of my lifestyle to this point. I know I have to and I just can – no more fighting.

I did not drink all of my water on day 13 and that night was a truly horrible night sleep. I couldn’t keep warm but then I couldn’t cool down. I tossed and turned.

My BFF, a four or five cup of coffee a day drinker on a normal day (all day when stressed) is skipping days of coffee. She no longer has cravings for coffee and no longer needs the caffeine boost it gives her.

Week 3: And the recent holiday has ended this fun experiment. I missed two days in a row and my new “routine” is over. Why? No idea.

Two weeks without drinking 100 oz of water and sometimes not even the minimum recommended amount of 60 oz. has seen the following:

  1.  Dull headaches have returned
  2.  I after not having to nap for weeks I had to nap two days in a row
  3.  I am not falling asleep as quickly
  4.  My sleep is generally not good and I wake up in the morning very tired
  5.  My skin had finally begun to glow. That is all over. D-U-L-L again.
  6.  A tension in my neck and shoulders has returned. I didn’t notice it had dissipated but now it is back. Maybe one of the headache triggers.
  7.  I am snacking all the time. The sugar cravings are pretty uncontrollable.

Why did I quit? I DON’T KNOW! But maybe my list of benefits will inspire you.

Teachers need all the help they can get.

Just drink the water in eight-ounce increments. 8 oz an hour really will make all the difference with the bladder. Plus if you give yourself a few days before your return to school you will adjust quickly to the water intake.

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