Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Water, water, everywhere

I drink a lot of water, sometimes it feels like abnormally much but I really just get very thirsty. This week I decided to quantify exactly how much water I consume every day, I like experiments. So for the past few days I've monitored my water intake, making sure it's absolutely consistent with my normal routines, I poured water from the measuring container into the glass I always drink out of, to make sure my habits would be completely as usual, no effect from drinking from different apparatus. Just for the record I do NOT waterload or drink just to kill hunger, I genuinely only drink as much as I am thirsty for.

So, the result? My water consumption averaged 219 ounces per day, 3.4 gallons, confirming the hypothesis that yes, I do indeed drink a lot of water. I also have one non-water drink with every meal (for example, yesterday: 16 oz of coffee, 16 oz of Crystal Light lemonade, 12 oz of Diet Ocean Spray cranberry juice), including those brings my average liquid consumption up to 4.2 gallons. I mentioned this to my mom and she freaked out, telling me that I am drowning myself and need to talk to a doctor about it.


But I don't think it's that unreasonable if you consider that it summer in Alabama, and that I spend several hours exercising every day. Example: yesterday I got up, ran 3 miles on the treadmill, walked Charlie for two miles, walked to campus and back (3 mile round trip), road the stationary bike for 12.8 miles, walked Charlie for another 4 miles, did 50 minutes of sit ups, 15 minutes of leg lifts, and 10 minutes of reps with light weights. This is a typical day, and with typical Alabama weather, so yes, I get pretty damn thirsty. I also use a LOT of salt on my food, which could be another factor. One other point of analysis, a couple of years ago when I had bloodwork done for something they told me that one of the hormones affecting kidney function was slightly out of whack (I can't for the life of me remember which one, possibly ADH?), which has a major effect on osmoregulation, but they didn't suggest really doing anything about it.

I have only had one time when I felt like I'd consumed too much, back in my senior year of high school. At that time I was having major bouts of insatiable thirst, it was weird and I SHOULD have seen a doctor about it but didn't. It was in one of my physical low periods. Anyway, one afternoon I came home from school, ran on the treadmill as usual, and chugged down at least 40 ounces of water in about fifteen minutes. Then my vision got really swimmy, I had tons of pressure in my head, and could feel myself teetering on the edge of a blackout. I freaked out, and in my unfocused panic tried to think of how to fix it, and grasped at the idea that the opposite of water should be salt, so I ate a spoonful of salt and laid down for a while, after a while it was ok again, but it was overall very scary. But anyway, that was an isolated event and even at that time, I had genuinely felt thirsty for every ounce of what I drank, I wasn't waterloading. I've never had anything like that happen since, but thought it was a story worth noting, I think it was probably a brush with hyponatremia, but I am not a doctor.

So, although I don't usual make personal posts on this blog, I just felt like sharing the results/analysis of my mini science experiment, I think I may invest in a water filter, since I don't really trust Auburn city water (I've seen the nasty results of those occasions when they push high pressure through the pipes to clean them out, gag).

1 comment:

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