Monday, June 21, 2010

Happily Hydrated

Today is the first official day of summer, and now that summer vacation is officially here and the temperature each day will (hopefully) make me sweat, I've decided to make a conscious effort to drink more water. The positive result of drinking more is that I stay hydrated and also feel like I'm setting a good example for my kids (See mom holding a bottle of water. I told you I don't always need to hold a bottle of beer, sometimes I am happy drinking water. Mmmmm, water.) The downside of drinking a lot of H2O is that I end up having to pee a lot. Like, all-the-time a lot. And like most other moms, I don't have time to be peeing all the time because if there's anything more inconvenient than having to find a bathroom for a kid that suddenly has to pee, it's finding a bathroom for yourself after holding it as long as you possibly can (which, after childbirth, really isn't that long) and then trying to convince the kids that they might as well go now while we're right by the bathroom so we don't have to find one later, but then end up arguing over the fact that they don't have to go now so they'll wait, but you refuse to lose a fight so you stand there doing a pee dance while yelling "Just go now while we're here! Try to go. JUST TRY DAMMIT!" so they say geez, have a spaz why don't you and then you suddenly understand why they're marketing Poise pads to such a young demographic. Yeah, this is all kind of inconvenient.

Drinking an extra glass of water or two a day doesn't seem like it should be a huge pain in the ass, but finding the perfect level of hydration is harder than it sounds. The most ideal scenario would be to find the happy place between never being desperately thirsty and not having to pee twenty times a day, but also being able to occasionally hit a blood/alcohol percentage that doesn't leave my pee the color of mustard. In order to achieve this goal, I read some hydration tips and have now come to the following conclusion: I'm screwed.

Start each day with a glass of water (no ice) before you have coffee. This seems like it should be easy, except for the fact that for me, a glass of water first thing in the morning tastes like paint thinner and makes me feel ill. After extensive research, I've discovered that the only beverage that agrees with me is coffee with caramel creamer and Splenda. After that first cup of coffee, though, I'm more than happy to drink a glass of water, as long as it's been heated to a high temperature before sucking the goodness from coffee grounds and then mixed with some caramel creamer and Splenda.

Eat two or three servings of fruits and vegetables at every meal. Since I eat berries for breakfast and a ginormous salad for lunch pretty much everyday, I'm going to go ahead and say that I probably don't have a fruit and vegetable shortage, and therefore won't be able to use this tip to increase my hydration levels. However, if I do feel like I am experiencing a shortage, then I'm sure the lime wedge that I jam into my Corona bottle probably takes care of it.

Establish regular water breaks, if possible. I loathe public water fountains because I've seen what some people touch before they touch the handle, and I've seen the booger-covered faces that come within an inch of the nozzle. I do try to always keep a bottle of water in the car for when thirst strikes, but inevitably thirst ends up striking Zoe after she's been chowing down on Cheez-Its and for some reason, after she's sucked on the bottle of water it doesn't seem that, um, clear and refreshing anymore.

Substitute sparkling water and low-sodium vegetable juice for soda and fruit juice. This one I can probably do, since both spicy V8 and sparkling water mix well with booze. And since I'm supposed to cut back on the Diet Coke and cranberry juice, then I guess I'll just have to start drinking the Captain Morgan and vodka straight.

Install water filters in your home and use a pitcher-type filter at the office. Let me just say that if I am outside on a 90-degree day and have just finished mowing and am about to collapse from heat and thirst, but I don't want to go in the house since I'm covered in grass clippings and dripping sweat, I have been known to suck quarts of water straight out of the garden hose. Has this practice killed me? No. Is there a water filter on my garden hose? No. And since my fridge at home is now full of salad, V8, sparkling water and lime wedges, there really isn't any space for a pitcher-type filter.

Cook with high-quality sea salt. I wouldn't even consider using anything else on the rims of my margarita glass.

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