Liquid Clarity

Tuesday, April 08, 2008
You've heard this before: Drink more water. I know, boooring. But after trying a little water drinking experiment, you may find that it actually helps with your writing!

I stumbled upon this benefit by accident. One of the books on my nightstand is Julia Cameron's The Writing Diet: Write Yourself Right-Size. A chapter called "H2O" inspired me to drink up.

First, there's the supposed weight loss benefit. Even if you're eating right and exercising enough, water consumption can be the missing link to success. Cameron claims that a successful diet is one-third diet, one-third exercise and one-third water intake. She quotes nutritionist Sara Ryba, who says, "If you are stuck and the scale won't budge, try upping your water." Ryba has often seen water "melt" away the final stubborn pounds a client is striving to lose. Sounds good to me.

She also writes about water washing out waste materials and toxins from our bodies. "Within in few days of high water consumption, our skin tone improves. We also seem to 'wash away' any lingering bloat from our sugar consumption." Well, that's something I could definitely use, especially with my sweet tooth, and who doesn't want a nice skin tone?

Finally, the clincher, for me. Cameron writes about a hairdresser who claims he can always tell when his clients are on a water regimen. "It shows on the skin, and a sparkle in the eye," he says. "They look like they've had some work done, but it’s simply water that's rejuvenating them." Oh vanity, you got me.

So I've started to drink a bottle of water first thing in the morning, before teeth brushing. I take a tall commuter mug of water in the car with me on errands. I drink water with lunch and dinner, keep a glass with me at my desk, and play games with myself to finish a glass at certain intervals throughout the day. Aside of the near constant bathroom breaks, it's going well.

The surprise has been how clear-headed I am. I feel awake and alert when I drink a lot of water. A sharp mind certainly can't hurt when your goal is to write well. Writers, you may want to give increased water drinking a try.



Annie Donwerth Chikamatsu said...

Yes, it's the fountain of youth! But do be careful, there is a thing called water intoxication. Look up the symptoms. It is possible to drink too much, resulting in death!

Marcia Peterson said...

That's true, there are dangers with drinking too much water, which I didn't mention. For me, it's a big challenge just getting the recommended amount!

Anonymous said...

So true--water as an elixir, but oh! those bathroom breaks!

Annette said...

This is soooo hard for me! I think I was a camel in another life. There are times when I go days (2-3) without drinking anything. It honestly doesn't even cross my mind. I just don't get thirsty.

Appeal to my vanity--good angle, but not strong enough. Convince me it will make me less fatigued and more mentally alert--still doesn't overcome my "water block."

I KNOW all the good benefits, but I also HATE drinking water. Blah. It doesn't taste like anything and it always makes me feel too full.

I've tried adding lemon, a splash of cranberry juice, and those powdered flavor additives; I've even tried making "spa water" with orange, lemon, and cucumber slices. Whatever I do drink has to be ice cold.

I don't know what my deal is. I can never stay on a drinking plan for more than one day (and I get irritated that I'm running to the loo every 5 minutes).

I'm going to try a new thing: setting a kitchen timer and tossing back a small juice glass size belt of water every 30 minutes. And putting a straw in a big tumbler of flavored water and crushed ice and seeing how fast I can sip it through the straw while I'm watching TV (so maybe I won't notice I'm actually drinking).

This seems so stupid, but I don't know of any other ideas. Anyone got any?

Marcia Peterson said...

Annette, you are a tough case! At least I didn't have any water-drinking blocks to deal with. I just need to up my intake!

You say you like your water very cold. When you're at home that's easy cause you've got your fridge to keep a pitcher of water and you've probably got ice cubes available. My commuter mug (from Starbucks) has a metal interior that is greatfor keeping beverages hot or cold. In fact, if I put a little ice in it with the water, it will stay perfecttly cold all day even if it's in a hot car! The metal interior is key.

Do you think you might like sparkling water? Maybe you can switch back and forth between flat and carbonated water when you're bored with it.

Your little tricks sound promising too. Very creative. Give it a shot.

Maybe other people have some fresh ideas?? :)

Anonymous said...

Great post, MP. I think sometimes we're not as active as we need to be because writing is such a sedentary activity. I used to hate water, but I drink it all the time really does make me feel better.

The only other tip I can suggest for Annette is doing 1/2 water, 1/2juice...I know that's not 100% water, but sometimes I want to drink something with a little flavor. Pure juice is now too sweet to me, so I dilute it with water. Add a bunch of crushed ice cubes if you like crunching ice & see if that helps any. ;-)

Anonymous said...

You and Julia Cameron have convinced me! More water it is! Fun article.

Professional Writing said...

Well it's been a while since I put out a Journaling Life newsletter, and I have to say it's great to start back at it. I struggle at times with deciding what to write about each month because I don't believe writing about fluff is very interesting to most people.

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