Tag Archives: water

In review: A month drinking only water

When we decided to take on this little challenge for ourselves, I thought it would be hard for about a week, and then my body would clear out the caffeine from the system, and by the end of the month I’d wonder what all the fuss was about at the start.

But it didn’t go like that at all.

It wasn’t just the breaking of habit that was hard, but the breaking of social conventions. And although I often find this kind of challenge to ‘normal’ interesting, I didn’t enjoy this as much. Though I’m still happy we did it.

I spent most of the month mumbling “need coffee, need coffee, need coffee” on a regular basis. Particularly when I was trying to get my head around some of this stuff for work. Occasionally I was looking for a glass of wine or whiskey in the evening, but it was coffee that I really struggled without.

The caffeine withdrawal was to be expected. A few headaches and aches, but I can deal with that. What I really missed were the social aspects of drinking tea and coffee. When someone offers you a hot drink, it sends the wrong signal if you just ask for a glass of water. Drinking a cup of coffee at the end of a meal is a way of saying, “let’s talk longer, I’m in no rush”.

Though we lack the real ceremony of tea these days, the time taken to boil the kettle, make drinks to everyone’s taste, allow time to cool and then to savor, still offer the space in which interesting things are said. Come to think of it, I once started a business/social-enterprise over a cup of tea, and I’m sure it wouldn’t have happened over a glass of water. Most of the conversations that have best changed my life were over a cup of tea or coffee. Sure, there were enjoyable conversations when drinking alcohol too, but the plans that turned to action were always the ones involving caffeine. Our marriage even, if we trace it back to the start of our relationship, began while drinking tea. Cup after cup of tea. There were conversations that lasted whole days and stretched on into the early hours of the morning. I wouldn’t want to be without those.

So in review…

My sleeping has definitely been worse since I’ve been drinking caffeine again, and I’m drinking a fraction of the water I was drinking before, which I need to work on. But I’m happy to have these drinks back in my life. I’ve learnt more about their real value by testing my own limits, and one day I may repeat the experiment if I find myself taking them for granted.

Money bits…

Between us we drink about 8 Euros of coffee a week

Alcohol is sporadic, but it works out about 25 Euros a month

So let’s call it 60 Euros saved.

WaterAid donations work in £GBP so I’ve given a nice round £50.

A month of only water

Water dropsThis challenge to drink only water for a whole month is proving to be really, really hard. So this quote found on Explore is a welcome motivator…

[T]he real value of a real education [has] almost nothing to do with knowledge, and everything to do with simple awareness; awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, all the time, that we have to keep reminding ourselves over and over:

‘This is water.’

‘This is water.’

It is unimaginably hard to do this, to stay conscious and alive in the adult world day in and day out. Which means yet another grand cliché turns out to be true: your education really IS the job of a lifetime.

Drinking only water

Grand Opening: new "water drop bouquet" grow, harvest and delivery service

The principal of only drinking water has long appealed to me.

It’s natural, healthy, cheap and simple.

But in reality I’ve never been able to do it.

I don’t think I can remember a single week in my life when I drank only water. My generation were raised on squash and coca-cola, then tea, beer, wine, coffee, fruit juice, whiskey and maybe even a mojito.

I’m also addicted to caffeine. I can happily drink three cups of fresh coffee before 9am.

But the topic of water came up in conversation a few days ago and I thought half-heartedly about taking on a personal challenge. Drinking only water for a month. Only half-heartedly though.

Then another loved one suffered another health scare and I decided to take on that challenge.

I would drink only water for the whole of September.

I failed quickly by drinking a coffee at 1.30am on the very first day of September. Though in my defense I had to wake up and drive an hour to a hospital, then an hour back home. So I’ll start the month from the second time I woke up.

I will go without the coffee I love so much, and also without the lovely local wine. And as the weather here turns colder and I crave a warm cup of tea, I will go without. And I won’t open the tempting new bottle of Glenfiddich I’ve been given.

It will be difficult.

My head already feels like it’s collapsing for lack of coffee, but really, who am I to begrudge drinking water when 783 million people don’t even have access to safe water.

783 million people.

The money I will save by drinking water this month will go to WaterAid.