Friday, January 17, 2014

I Challenge You...

The title of this post could also be "How strong is your bladder?" You and I...we just got a little bit closer.

OK so, it's the new year.  Yay!  Out with the old, in with the new diet/workout plan/outlandish resolution that you probably won't stick to.  Just kidding! I believe in you.  You can do it.  Ignore me. I'm bitter because I still bite my nails, something I resolved to stop doing when I was like, five. 

Want to add another goal to your list of New Year goals?  Well, you've come to the right place.  Starting tomorrow, or the day after whenever you read this post, you can join me in "walking in my shoes" by drinking 2 LITERS OF WATER per day.  Yesssss.  Because I know many of you have all been wondering what it's like to have someone else's kidney in your body.  No? Well then...OK.  But even if you haven't been wondering about that you can still participate in this challenge.  

Here's a little backstory.  One of the things that they tell you to do when you first get a kidney transplant is to drink some water.  Not a sip of water, or a glass of water.  But a lot of water. Here's what I'm talking about:  

Two of those jugs, twice a day.  That's two liters. Those jugs are pretty similar to what I was given in the hospital after my transplant.

And let me clarify by saying that your beverage of choice doesn't have to be just water.  It can be juice (think orange, apple, cranberry), decaf tea (or less caffeinated teas; some green teas have a bit of caffeine in them) or decaf coffee. Eliminating caffeinated beverages, including sodas, has more to do with how drinks like coffee are diuretics and produce a lot of urine, which, after you have a kidney transplant, can throw off measurements of pee when you're trying to figure out how much urine the kidney is producing.  IN A NUTSHELL: no caffeine.  

Basically, the point of this challenge is to drink more water.  If you're one of those people who struggles to get more plain, clear, clean water into your system on a daily basis, then you could consider taking this on.  If you're one of those people who finds themselves feeling dry and dehydrated at the end of the day, then this challenge could also help you with that.  If you just want to kick caffeinated drinks and sodas...then, yeah, this will definitely help with that (remember when I kicked coffee last spring?).

How are you going to drink more water?  

To ensure you have access to a steady supply of water during the day, I recommend purchasing a water bottle.  Here's what I currently use:

This Camelbak bottle is .75 L.  If you fill this up twice each day then you know you've drank 1.5 L of water.  That's a lot.  To reach two liters, simply supplement with about 16 oz (0.4 L) of more water or something else.  While I'm at work, I usually ramp up my liquid intake by filling my water bottle once, and then drinking about 16 to 14 oz of green tea, mint tea, or warm water since it's always freezing in my office.  These Camelbak bottles also come in the full 1 L size as well, which makes monitoring how much you drink even easier.

This challenge will last for two weeks or for as long as you want it to. For me...well...i'll be doing this for the rest of my life.  I just feel better when I'm drinking water and restricting the sugary and bubbly drinks. I do drink this from time to time, but I don't actually count that as part of my 2 L.  And I never EVER thought I'd say this...but I'm doing just fine without coffee.  Now THAT'S crazy.  

If you plan on doing this, let me know so that I can cheer you on!  

Oh, and maybe ask your doctor before you do this.  I don't know. I don't want to get sued.  But I do know that some people cannot drink a lot of any liquids daily, especially some people on dialysis and people at various stages of kidney failure.  But even if you can't fully participate in this challenge, for any reason, even hatred of water and drinking things, maybe let this blog post lead you to consider what liquids you do put into your body every day.  Is there anything you could be drinking more of or less of?  Just a thought.

Now, go, and be hydrated!