A Caffeind’s Bout With Dehydration

For Christmas, my parents gave me a Stanley coffee thermos because that’s exactly what I asked for. I’ve become increasingly reliant on coffee working the 8 a.m.-5 p.m. five days per week. Coffee has been my coping mechanism. My Stanley, it holds up to a 1.1 quarts of coffee and keeps the brew piping hot all day. Not to mention, it keeps me alive all day. It’s become my favorite Stanley, in fact:

Andrew’s Favorite Stanleys

  1. Stanley coffee thermos.
  2. Stanley Hudson
  3. Stan Musial
  4. Stanley Kubrick
  5. Stanley Cup

I finally realized after putting down more than a quart of Starbucks Sumatra each day for the past month that maybe I’ve got a problem. Maybe I’m doing something wrong. I’ve successfully given up pop/soda, but replaced it with nothing but coffee and the occasional Sugar Free Rock Star. Add to the fact I’m working out six days per week with aide of a highly caffeinated pre-workout mix and I’m drinking a glass (or three) of shiraz every night (for heart health), it’s easy to see why I’ve been feeling like crap lately: I’m dehydrated.

It should be noted I make roughly 60 phone calls each day at work, and since that can mean up to three hours on the phone, I don’t have time to get refill after refill of water. Not to mention, I don’t have the time to relieve myself every 15 minutes. My beverage intake is strategic in that it keeps me awake, alert, and dehydrated so that I don’t need no stinkin’ bathroom breaks.

Well, that’s changing today. I normally sweat like an oversaturated sponge, but I noticed that wasn’t happening yesterday while working out. I felt lightheaded, a little disoriented, and actually thought I might pass out. I think I was experiencing what publicists describe when the Lindsay Lohans and Britney Spearses of the world pass out, only my dehydration is legitimate and not related to cocaine. At all.

According to the Mayo Clinic’s Web site, men should consume roughly three liters of water per day, and an additional 12-20 ounces on days of rigorous exercise. So apparently I’m going to have to wear swim trunks and a catheter to work today. I’m going for it though, because the way I’ve felt the past couple nights actually scared me. I’m drinking this cup of coffee to my left and one more at work, but then, its nothing but the clear stuff.

Oh, but caffeine. Sweet, sweet caffeine. However do I cope without you? The reality is I drink so much caffeine lately, I’ve become impervious to it. Maybe even immune. This is extremely boring for you, but a major lifestyle change for me. My belief is if caffeine is ineffectual at the point, my body shouldn’t notice its absence, right?

I’m curious, fellow members of the workforce, how you get your daily water intake each day. Any tips or tricks? How can I make this work in place of my coffee? Will it help if I fill my Stanley coffee thermos with water and food coloring and hope for a placebo effect?

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10 thoughts on “A Caffeind’s Bout With Dehydration

  1. This is pretty much on-part with a blog I’m working on right now.

    I’m doing the same plan to cut out soda/energy drinks and I’m not a coffee drinker by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, I hate that crap. So I generally fill a cup about 3/4 full with the black-death, then pour in a ton of half-and-half and a bunch of sugar.

    In the end, the health benefits vs. soda/energy drinks are probably completely canceled out, but at least it’s free?!

    I have been putting myself through a rigorous system to ensure I get plenty of water. We’ve got the gigantic water jug thingity-thing at work, so much like coffee, water is free. I have one of those big ole 64 ounce Gatorade jugs that I fill with water every morning and I try to down two of those a day.

    Granted, my bladder is furious.

    • Oh…and for the missing caffeine–which I’m also completely impervious to at this point–I generally pop like three or four No Doze in the morning.

      It’s proven quite effective.

  2. Here’s my routine…take it for what it’s worth…I grab a large glass of juice on the way out the door (OJ, V8 Splash, or AJ). This gets me through until the pot of C is going at work. I have 2-3 cups throughout the morning and then I cut it off by 9 AM. I drink water the rest of the day…anytime I get craving I go slam some water or chew gum (for me, gum makes any sort of drink, even water, task like garbage). In the afternoon when I’m starting to fade, I eat an green apple. The sugar and sweet taste get me through the afternoon. That’s what I got…

  3. Watch out for the caffeine headaches…they can be horrendous…if you are prone to them, wean yourself slowly off the caffeine. As far as the energy, as suggested by Dan use fruit, raw vegetables or Andrew, you like almonds…use those for energy, something natural not processed…

  4. Well, back in my working days, I felt very strongly about hydration. When I was at the bookstore I would buy the gallon jugs of Chippewa Springs water, and went through it at a rate of roughly two gallons every three working days. Very refreshing.

    And the, um, results? Well, I was keeping it clear, that’s for sure. Most shifts I would end up popping into the men’s room every 15-20 minutes, which was actually a best practice of sorts. As anyone who has worked in retail will probably agree, the restrooms are where bad, bad things happen. So having a built-in reminder to constantly check in there was great. Oh, the stories I could tell…

  5. So I don’t work all day long, but instead I sit in class for 7 hours. Last semester I could not function without caffeine. Two cups before class, some during class, and after class. And it stopped working for me. I could drink an entire pot of coffee right before bed and it wouldn’t affect me at all! I would get terrible headaches without it. I “detoxed” over Christmas break and now I just drink water. I rarely drink soda or pop. How do I do it you ask? I bought a water bottle that has a straw. Don’t they say that you drink more if you’re drinking out of a straw? For some reason I thought that’s maybe why they put straws in drinks at the bar… maybe not though. Anyways, my amazing water bottle fits 24oz of water and it’s made by Camelbak. Ever since I stopped drinking caffeine I feel so much better and surprisingly I don’t need to take naps anymore. At first it sucks- going to the bathroom like every hour, but your body will hopefully get used to it eventually. Good luck!

  6. Piss clear. That’s my motto. To do this effectively, steady water consumption throughout the day is a necessity. The bathroom breaks can be an annoying by product, but if you’re sitting in a cubicle all day making phone calls, it’s good exercise! Coffee is for chumbolones.

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