Friday, 1 November 2013

The Water Challenge

8 glasses a day.

This is my future husband.
I'll meet him when I've done the water challenge. Obviously.

Perceived wisdom (i.e. pretty sure I heard this on ITV's Daybreak once) suggests women should drink 8 glasses of water per day. But what size of glass? Surely 8 tiny glasses of water is massively different to 8 giant pint sized glasses? WHAT KIND OF GLASS! This wishy washy 'guideline' has always annoyed me. Be specific people.

Dehydration is a well known migraine trigger. Dehydration even  contributes to headaches of - what I shall call - normal people (i.e. non migraineurs). I often get thirsty when a migraine is on the way. At the moment I also happen to be waking up thirsty. But this is just because a Doctor once told me not to drink anything an hour before going to bed so I wouldn't wake up in the middle of the night needing to pee. It's so annoying when you wake up needing to pee. It interrupts precious sleep hygiene patterns! I think I may be slightly dehydrated.

Yesterday this article in the Daily Mail caught my eye. A woman drank 3 LITRES of water a day for a month - her headaches (and skin) dramatically improved. Apparently she looked 10 years younger. But don't all rush out and drink from the nearest overflowing faucet. Drinking too much water can also be bad for you. Which is why I need to know exactly how much 8 glasses of water a day really is.

Step in NHS Live Well Website.

The European Food Safety Authority recommends that women should drink about 1.6 litres of fluid and men should drink about 2.0 litres of fluid per day. That's about eight 200ml glasses for a woman and 10 200ml glasses for a man.


Thank you NHS. Annoyingly the Mayo Clinic Website says women should drink 2.2 litres a day. Hmm. It seems to be a variable. The woman in the Daily Mail article was checked out by a Neurologists and her GP before she started her mighty water challenge. She was drinking double the 'recommended dose' - but the benefits are clearly visible.

So I've decided to do my own water challenge. I know I don't drink enough water - and I'm not going to count cups of tea, fruit juices, or my other favourite clear liquid - Gin.

I am going to measure out 1.6 litres each morning and make sure I drink every last drop every day for the month of November. No moustache growing or writing a novel in a month for me. I shall be doing NaWatmo...? It's not very catchy. But I won't be alone, the fabulous Fran is going to join me.

I will be utilising my new bobble water bottle (pictured below) and the plethora of Nalgenes I have collected from various American universities over the years. My plan is to scatter them about the place so water is always on hand.



To make this scientific - here is a delightful picture of me this morning. I will take a picture every Friday this month to see what we can see. And below right is Fabulous Fran. She already looks pretty good to me - but she has no idea how much water she drinks and wants to find out if it will effect her migraines. Will we be transformed in 4 weeks?


Wow - Halloween! 
The lovely Fran. She's already had 1ltr H20


I've written to The Migraine Trust and the National Migraine Centre to get some more information on dehydration and recommended water intake, which I will share with you. Please don't join us on this challenge without making sure it is healthy for you. Check with your GP that increased water intake wont clash with any medications you're currently taking.

So - here we go. Bottoms up! Fran and I will be keeping you regularly updated on our hydrating journey.

Useful Links:
http://migraine.com/blog/migraine-triggers-dehydration/
http://headaches.about.com/od/headaches101/a/Dealing-With-A-Dehydration-Headache.htm
http://www.migraineclinic.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Factsheet-Food-and-Migraine-12.1.122.pdf
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2480491/How-drinking-litres-water-day-took-years-face.html

1 comment:

  1. The amount of water you should drink actually varies from person to person. You should listen to your body and drink when you are thirsty. There is also a misnomer here - it does not have to be water. Tea and juice both count (though gin does not).

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