As much as I love traveling in the Indian railways, I have always been terrorized by the condition of the restrooms they house. And when I was younger and less immune to the general lack of civic sense in India, I could never understand why amma planned way ahead. She would boil, filter, filter again and then fill the double cleaned 1 ltr coke bottles with gleaming water. When I was even younger, I would get my own Milton-water-bottle to garland my neck.
Once, when amma and I traveled with a legendary 22 pieces of luggage, ( more on that for another post! ), on a three night – four day train journey, my water bottle lay hanging on the hooks between the windows. And in a country where water is a luxury, stealing water, water painfully treated for a child is next to blasphemy! So amma lay watching through the night, owing to her habit to stay alert during train travels. The co-passengers had already observed the routine when amma filled my bottle two times a day emptying each coke bottle. Those were times when Bisleri and Aquafina hadn’t littered the Indian subcontinent. Finally on night three, her lack of sleep sent her into a doze and in the bargain, the co-passengers had swigs from my bottle. No sooner had the bottle been almost emptied, amma woke to turn the lights on, catching them red-handed and deeply hurt by all the stealth work happening! It brings a cold smile on my face remembering amma’s reaction that night and I must say she was quiet brave to travel alone to hell’s own city Patna, in the second class compartment with only a bunch of hooligans for company and a six-year-old to protect.
Now that I reflect on that incident, it only makes me realize how underrated water is in the country that I live in now. People are being constantly asked to add water to their diet, give up the mutilated versions – soda, sparkling water, vitamin water etc. etc. Again it is only the story of what is in abundance is never important.
I used to drink water only when dying of thirst in India, mostly it was the fear of having to use a public toilet that kept me away from water during travels. But, I have realized over the last few years that keeping hydrated is the next best thing to a healthy diet and it is sadly not stressed enough. So here are a few leaves from my book about drinking water –
- Buy yourself a good quality environment friendly bottle like these ones. Even better if it burns a hole in your pocket, it will make you put it to good use! Plus Gives you a stupid childlike happiness to use it. So that’s a first step.
- Ensure the bottle is always full, always with you and you are taking constant sips from time to time, whether you are thirsty or not.
- Try to drink hot/warm water after a meal, cold water solidifies the oil in your food and doesn’t help digestion
- Attempt atleast 6 bottles of water a day. Everytime you walk to the cooler to fill it up, you are getting some exercise and you are saving the world from plastic bottles!
- What goes in comes out : Don’t gulp down a bottle full in one go. The water has no use for your system. Attempt sips every 10 min or so.
- Tip from my old roomie who got me into drinking water regularly – Your pee should be clear and not yellow. That means you have a healthy amount of water in your body.
- Drinking hot water is a great substitute for coffee if you are trying to fight coffee addiction. Done that.
- Once you are in a routine, you will notice on a regular work day that on mornings your body can take almost 2 bottles full without a need to use the restroom. As the day goes on, it is almost proportional. That’s a good sign! Work towards it.
- Loving your bottle and keeping it with you everywhere is the most effective way to enforce all of the above! 🙂
So are you ready to drink your way to health with the world’s best drink???