This is the last week of my 30 days no-alcohol challenge. Yes, I have almost survived a month of no cider Sunday, no beer and pizza on Friday, no wine with cooking dinner on Saturday . . . and it hasn’t been hard at all. Yay! I feel great and I’m certain that this has contributed to me having more energy most days no than I did on most days at the start of the month.
Whether this is because not drinking has led to me being more tired (or actually noticing that I’m tired) earlier in the evening so I’ve gone to bed earlier and got more sleep, or whether it’s the absence of this drug in my system, I can’t say. It’s probably both.
I’ve mentioned Chis Bailey’s book The Productivity Project in previous posts, which is where the energy tracking experiment that I’ve been doing in conjunction with the no alcohol/no coffee/more sleep challenge came from.
In Chapter 23 (which I need to point out is in the section of the book called “Taking Productivity to the Next Level”—yep, that’s me, next level productivity!!), Chris talks about how he only drank water for a month. His intention had just been to see what happened when he removed caffeine and alcohol for his diet but he then found he had increased energy from drinking huge amounts of water—like four litres a day! He suggests three litres for women and proposes if you drink this much water “you will be surprised at how much energy you have especially if you’re already dehydrated”.
Now, I know there are lovers and haters of the two-litres of water a day regimen and that there are many different views on whether you need that amount, more, less, much more, much less, only drink when you’re thirsty, if you only drink when you’re thirsty you’re already dehydrated and you should have been drinking more . . .
I don’t know.
Advice on how much water you need is confusing and inconsistent and I honestly don’t know who is right. I suspect it’s different for everyone and it’s probably different every day depending on what you’re doing that day. However, I don’t think that experimenting with drinking three litres of water a day for a week will be enough to damage myself significantly so I’m prepared to give it a go this week, the final week of my no-alcohol challenge, and see what happens.
This means I have to give up my coffee substitute for a week, which is a brewed cacao product called Crio Brü. This has no sugar, no caffeine but contains a substance called theobromine, which apparently has similar but milder stimulant effects as caffeine, without the addiction or the crash factor that caffeine has. It has potential health benefits as well which may or may not be real. If they are, bonus for me. If they aren’t, I haven’t found anything that says the stuff is bad for you like caffeine probably is, so I’m happy to keep drinking it instead of coffee, for now at least. It means I still can indulge in the habit of a morning hot drink but without the caffeine side effects.
Green tea would do it too, but yuck.
However, in the interests of the experiment, I will have a break from it for a week. I’ll miss a morning hot drink but I think I can cope.
So that’s the plan for this week. I don’t think, having stopped drinking coffee and alcohol, and already not consuming soft drinks, that missing a cup or two of cacao and a couple of herbal teas in favour of more water will make that much of a difference to my energy levels but I’m happy to try it out.
Update: Day 1
Monday: I noticed no difference in my energy after 3+ litres of water. I had a slight energy slump in the afternoon but this could have been caused by going into work early, not going out at lunchtime and not having eaten enough during the day. (You reckon?)