What’s your poison

For my second round of “I’m trying to live a cheaper and healthier life” I present the age old question, what the hell do you drink? I’m serious. I’m terrible at keeping myself hydrated. You would think that’s a basic skill for survival. You don’t hear people complaining that they just don’t get enough air during the day. But I have chapped lips and dry skin on a regular basis because it will take me hours to figure out that I haven’t had anything to drink in awhile.

So I’ve been working more and more at drinking regularly throughout the day. Once I realized that downing an entire six-pack of Amstel Light at work would be frowned upon (“Hey, it’s light beer!”), I decided to move towards something less… alcoholic. But this made me realize that options for liquid refreshment can be very limited.

You’ve always got the ol’ standby of water. Sure, it quenches your thirst and by definition it has to have some hydrating effects, right? But it can just get so boring. The things got what, 3 atoms per molecule? What’s up with that? You’d think after all these millennia they might have improved it with a little more than your typical fluoride injections and lead deposits. But no, I’m still paying a premium for the classic H-2-the-O…

There’s iced tea – but something tells me trying to sun brew in my server room will cause at least a minor disaster. The vending machine is filled with soda – but Lisa Simpson ruined that for us… Seriously, what is there to drink anymore?

At home I got on this mega cranberry juice. Fortunately you can buy that in just about any flavor but… well… cranberry juice. I think they do make it like that now, but in order to drink it I cut it with some seltzer water. Yup, just fill a glass to the brim with seltzer, and a few drops of cranberry will do it for you. But all that mixing of drinks is bound to make a mess of my desk. So now I find myself splitting time between aspartame water from Target and Vitamin Water – which sounds much healthier but costs a lot more. What’s a semi-adult to do?

I miss my youth of drinking a gallon of whole milk a day and maybe some purple stuff late in the afternoon. I blame Sunny D for all of my woes…

10 thoughts on “What’s your poison”

  1. Water with lemon or lime or cucumber (really) is awesome.

    And I drink about a gallon of whole leaf tea a day. It’s usually green of some kind (gunpowder or sencha) and I make about two pots worth at a time, since you can reuse the leaves.

    Why not mix up a batch of your preferred somethingorother into one of those gigantic evian water bottles, and bring that to work with you?

    Less spill potential there.

  2. Definately make a half gallon of your favorite and bring it with you. Make it a “game” to see if you finish it by the end of the day.

    As for what, I tend to go herbal tea (I make it as fridge tea overnight) or Crystal Light (bought on sale with coupons). Water with lemon is also a favorite, as is a bit of any juice (my favorite is pomagrante) with seltzer. I also tend to enjoy V8.

  3. I’m all about water – the tried and true. It makes my skin glow :-). However, if that gets boring (and it often does) then you can always jazz it up with all kinds of crap. Throw in some mint leaves, or cucumber slices, or fruit. All of those things are relatively cheap, and with the fruit you can eat it after you drank the water (I think that’s an old Weight Watchers trick – it makes the water taste good and then you get a serving of fruit at the end).

    But I personally just keep a liter and half-liter Nalgene bottle at my desk. I fill one with ice water in the morning (which one depends on how much I’ll be at my desk that morning) and try to drink it by lunch time. I repeat that in the afternoon. That way I have gotten at least half of my requisite daily water in before the end of the day.

    I pee a lot.

    Oh, and those Crystal Light single serve sleeves are great when you don’t want regular water. There are plenty of off-brand ones as well to save you a few bucks. That is if you don’t mind filling your body with artificial flavors and colors (I personally don’t mind, but minding might make me a bit of a hypocrite as a food engineer!).

  4. I can handle plain water in limited amounts. I did the Crystal Light thing for awhile but am too lazy to keep that up.

    You could always wheel an IV around with you.

  5. I personally dislike plain ol water very much, but i still bring a Liter bottle to work every day and force myself to drink it before i go home. then i have another at night. that’s right above the 8 – 8oz daily servings we’re supposed to have, and, i’ve gotta tell you, it’s really helped my skin, lips, and hair, as well as curbs my appetite.

    I have some of those Crystal Light To-Go packets (it’s actually “Totally Light” by 4C – a bit cheaper) and the cranberry pomegranate is good. it says to use one in a 20oz bottle, but i use about half in my liter bottle.

  6. Who would have guessed my friends would be such a fantastic source of knowledge?! 🙂 Thanks for all of the suggestions. My goal for now is to bring a bottle of water with me everyday (the case we got contains 700 mL bottles) and then refill it at least once per day (that would mean I’m getting almost 6 8oz glasses just at work). I’m also going to look for those To-Go packets to “spice it up”.

    For home I really need to start brewing some real iced tea. Because I’ll be sick of water by the time I get home and still need to keep drinking.

    I was really weirded out by the cucumber water they sold at Target, but now two of you have mentioned putting slices in your water. I can only come to one conclusion – Target has brainwashed you! Actually, now I have to try that, too! (All hail our Target cucumber overlords!)

  7. HA! I never even tried Target’s cucumber water. I got the idea when I went to a day spa many years ago, and they had water with cucumber slices floating around in the pitcher. Very strange, but incredibly tasty.

    If you want suggestions on real tea, particularly loose leaf tea, let me know. I’ve become a pretty big tea fanatic in the past few years, to the point where I think I have 10 varieties in my house at the moment.

  8. Uh… maybe a third of a cucumber for one of those two quart pitchers? You can’t really OD on cucumbers, so I guess however many it takes for you to get a decent flavor.

    Assorted citrus slices and mint work nice too.

  9. I also got the cucumber idea from going to a day spa – it had cucumber slices and mint leaves in it and was wonderful! I also don’t know the ratio, but it seems like a trial and error sort of thing.

    I stayed at a hotel where they had strawberries and cantaloup floating in the water and that was also very tasty.

    As for iced tea brewed at home – great idea. I have one of those Mr. Iced Tea machines and it’s great. If you like to sweeten your iced tea I would recommend using Splenda – it dissolves much easier.

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