It was a Monday, 5.45 am to be precise, when I stepped out, all geared up for my 7-km run. It was like any regular day and the distance was not hard as I had completed the course multiple times before.
But then again, it does not take much for an an average day to turn on its head, does it?
I limped back home after 55 minutes with a severe leg cramp and giddiness. I had managed to complete only about 4.7 km before my left leg and stomach started spasm-ing. Besides the personal embarrassment of not completing a super easy run, I was equally worried about its cause ( maybe it was the glass of wine I had last night?).
If you are a runner, the first (and most frequent) reason for any kind of cramp is that dreaded word – Dehydration. I had been drinking an average of 2-3 litres of water per day even though I should be drinking about 6-7. Also, the water was supplemented with 3 cups of coffee per day, fresh lime water, cold pressed justices green tea, caffeine shots before workouts, and red wine occasionally. But was it enough? Apparently not, because as it turned out, I was severely dehydrated for a while. Some of my symptoms were migraine pains (which I thought were due to work long hours), craving salty food, dry and itchy skin, and feeling unusually tired and fatigued.
So, for an entire month, I decided to drink only water: frequently, deliberately, and most importantly, whenever my body craved any other kind of liquid.
I gave up coffee; no coffee shots before working out, no 4-pm green tea, no red wine on my friend’s birthday and none of my favourite, cold pressed pomegranate juice. I was pretty confident before I began the experiment but I underestimated the severity of the challenge. Drinking only water should be easy-peasy, but it’s not. Trust me.
The Hack Made It Better
I won’t beat around the bush; the first 2 weeks were pure hell as my body tried to recover from the sudden caffeine and sugar deprivation. I could barely keep my eyes open at work, my brain was all foggy, I couldn’t concentrate and I beginning to hate water! How much of it can you drink anyway, right? It’s flavourless and does nothing for the senses. Oh yes, I was extremely irritable as well. My colleagues conveniently chose to ignore my snarky comments, for which I am pretty thankful.
But the real breakthrough came in the second week when my sister, tired of my bad mood, gifted me a Zingo. Mine’s the pretty green coloured thing, which unlike regular bottles, allows you to infuse refreshing citrus flavours into your water.
Since I was desperate for anything which tasted different but without cheating, I started infusing lemon into my water and it helped so much! My sugar craving and caffeine deprivation headache reduced and I didn’t miss my green tea for a quick pick me up.
Life After 30 Days
At the end of 30 days, thanks to the support of my cool water bottle, I felt different but in a good way. My cognitive performance has improved and brain feels sharper and more alert, I have more energy, my cravings have disappeared because of which I stopped eating junk food and thanks to that, I lost 2 kgs. Oh, did I mention that I get of compliment on my “clear complexion”?
You might might already know the benefits of drinking water but lots of studies and research prove what I personally found out. Besides a sharper mind and enhanced focus, drinking water also reverses ageing, increases metabolism, helps your heart become stronger, aids in fat loss, and so much more.
It’s a win-win situation! As a runner, my performance has improved greatly and I don’t feel dead anymore, even after a long run.
Nowadays, even though I do have coffee once in 2 days, more or less, water is always going to be my primary beverage and I plan to keep it that way.