Among the many reasons I’m happy I get to stay home and work all day is that I finally get to experiment with my water intake. (What a life). I knew it was a weak point for me, making it hard to maintain my gains in the past. I just couldn’t pack in as much as I wanted before, and it was holding me back. Let me tell you how hard it was before though.
One week, I tried the gallon-a-day thing at work. It’s just not a good look. At my peak, I had to do four toilet trips in an hour, so I soon realised it just wasn’t going to work out. I didn’t want any awkward questions, or to have to duck out of any more meetings because of my bladder, so I had to keep my fluid intake down to a minimum.
Home much more now, it was time to figure out the best way to get in as much water as I could, without overdoing it. Your bladder will tell you when you’ve reached your limit. The easiest way to do this was by trying out different sized bottles.
Was it better to have a couple of big bottles?
Was it better to have lots of small ones?
Was it better to mix it up with a bit of both?
This was the journey to water intake mastery.
Stage 1: Keep It Small
x5 800ml: 4 litres
So things began with my first purchase: a 800ml bottle I added to my basket to reach a ridiculous high £40 free delivery threshold. Once it arrived, I decided to use it as the foundation to my first phase of purposeful water drinking.
One bottle first thing. One during the day. One in the afternoon. Two while training. Simple.
In reality, it felt like I was constantly refilling, and those two in the middle always felt like a struggle. It wasn’t really gelling, so I decided to go to the next extreme.
Stage 2: Go Big
x2 2,000ml: 4 litres
I jumped from small to extra large. I grabbed a huge bottle from Argos for £6, before discovering it was half the price at a sports shop down the road. I really enjoyed this, because it felt like more of a daily challenge.
One bottle during the day. One while training.
They were massive and there was a sense of achievement once I’d got through one. This one sort of worked, but it required a lot more thinking. It was tactical to complete the first bottle over the course of the day. At some point I dropped it off a table and it was game over. I decided I should change strategy.
Stage 3: Calm Down
x4 1,000ml: 4 litres
The next phase was a very short one. I went straight with a very practical four 1-litre bottles. It made complete sense, but it was cut short when I was offered a new bottle.
One first thing. One more in the morning. One in the afternoon. One while training.
This probably works best for most people, and I would recommend it, but my changes will make sense in the next stage.
x2 950ml, x3 800ml: 4,300 litres
I got a 950ml bottle for my birthday and it changed the game. That difference of 50ml is properly noticeable and makes it a lot easier to down a bottle.
950ml first thing. 800ml in the morning. 800ml in early afternoon. 800ml in later afternoon. One 950ml while training.
That 950ml may be easier to drink, but it messed up my slick 4-litre-a-day pattern, as it meant I would have to change things up a little. As I was growing in size, I figured that it was better to increase my intake than to decrease it.
This one was rough. Those three in the middle of the day were tough to do and I’d often completely forget to do my fourth bottle of the day. I might have been able to drink this much most of the time, but I would literally have to choose between water and leaving the house. It’s just not practical at all.
x2 950ml x2 800ml: 3,500ml
We’ve finally nailed it. All of this time I had been struggling away, thinking that I need a lot more water than I actually did. By reducing my fluids by 500ml, I finally managed to strike the balance right.
950ml first thing. 800ml in the morning. 800ml in the afternoon. 950ml while training.
It took months to get to this point and for some reason I just never considered going about it this way. I can’t see it changing any time soon, because it just works.
I’m sure you can’t wait for updates if this ever changes.