Up Close and Personal: Drinking Water is Not Cool, It's a Habit

October 09, 2016

Up Close and Personal: Drinking Water is Not Cool, It's a Habit

A year ago I hosted Reina Organics’ first press event. A beautiful loft, the food was amazing, Victoria and Rachel, founders of La Bella Figura and Soapwalla respectively flew over from the States specially for the occasion. The press and influencers were coming. It was exciting and I can honestly say I felt like my wedding days sans the karaoke. It was going to be huge!

Exactly two days before the event I fell in the bathroom and I hit the back of my head against the bath, precisely where my hair clip was.

Not a pretty sight, not a nice feeling, definitely not the right moment to have concussion.

To make things even more fun, my doctor declared I needed rest and that I wasn’t allowed to get out of bed. “You’re not going to that event on Wednesday”.

The moment he closed the door I said to my husband – “I’m going to my event on Wednesday, even if I have to be in a wheelchair” (A little bit of drama never hurt nobody) and I spent the rest one and a half days lying on bed and “letting go”, both literally and metaphorically.

Fast forward to three months after the event (which was a grand success) when I had pretty much recovered from my accident, my brain didn’t feel like scrambled eggs anymore and my thinking process was undisturbed. I could actually think straight throughout the day! Cool, huh?

The not so cool part was that I would still often wake up in the morning with headache, so strong I just couldn’t get out of bed. As if someone was stubbing me with a knife in the head. Pills would eventually make the pain go away until a few days later when I would again wake up with the same unbearable sharp pain.

Everybody believed that the pain was a consequence of the accident. That seemed logical explanation right after the fall, but three months later… I couldn’t accept that this was going to be the case “for the rest of my life”. You know, I plan to stick around for many more years.

I started paying close attention as to when I would have headaches and I soon noticed that the pain filled mornings were preceded by days when I would be drinking not that much water. With some more observation I noticed a pattern – on days when I would have those excruciating headaches, I would drink often and a lot of water because it simply felt downright good. As the pain went away, I would eventually slip back in the old habit of not drinking enough and gradually decrease my water intake. In a day or two I would wake up again with that awful headache, start drinking again, then drink less, headache again, etc.

Finding the cause of my headaches deserved a mega celebration. I was thrilled that the solution was something as simple as hydrate properly. What I couldn’t understand, and that bothered my seriously, was how come I was dehydrated. I am an intelligent woman who knows very well how important hydration is, who takes great care of her body, i.e. what to drink and what not to drink or eat, working out, etc.

An excuse like water is tasteless wasn’t good enough as I had come across those advices of flavoring water with fresh mint leaves or slices of lemon at least hundred times. Not to mention those times when I would actually drink such flavored water (not the one you buy from the store) and I have thought to myself “Hmm, it tastes really good”.

The truth is that drinking enough water or proper hydration is a conscious decision, it’s a habit. Just like working out and eating healthy.

Not only did I had to make efforts to drink enough water as it turned out it was also a habit you would NOT be praised for, it actually puts certain social pressure on you. For instance, when you work out regularly, people go like “WOW!”. People have admiration for you, sometime a bit of envy, either way something that makes you feel good. But when you’re visiting someone and the host asks you what you would like to drink and you say “A glass of water would be fine”, they start listing what else they have, almost in a plea “Sure? There’s also Coke, wine, juice, coffee, tea…”. When it’s time for the next round, the wine-, beer-, tea-, etc drinkers are asked “One more?” and for you the question is - “Something else?”. It takes courage to say that you want water… again. It almost feels like an insult to the host that you’d take another water.

My favorite moments are in a restaurant when I order water and the waiter asks “Anything else to drink ma’am?”.

Just to clarify, my point here is not that you should never drink anything else than water ever again in your life. I’m only pointing out the social pressure we are often not aware of.

Another fun thing I noticed are the associations which shape our drinking habits. Coca Cola – “Open happiness”, coffee – your day hasn’t started if you haven’t had a cup of it, wine – great time with family and friends and then water - “you have two drink 2 liters a day”. As if you don’t have already enough tasks on your kilometer-long to-do list.

Hydrating properly doesn’t just happen. You work hard to get to the point when you don’t need to keep track of it. It takes motivation, commitment and daily efforts until it becomes a non-negotiable part of your life and I’m curious to know what is your experience with hydration. Do you feel you could do better or are you a champion?

xo Rayna

P.S. One of the most annoying parts of drinking almost 3 liters of water a day means often visits to the ladies’ room. The good news is that this is the case only in the beginning. As somebody explained to me when you’re dehydrated your body is like a dry sponge – water simply slides over its surface and as the sponge gets wet, it can actually hold a lot of water. When your body is dehydrated, you drink a lot of water and you run to the loo. As your body is becoming well hydrated, your visits to the restroom are back to normal frequency.

All images are by the most talented photographer in the entire world - Stella Gommans.

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