Aug 26, 2013

well-being... drink

I've decided to talk about 'drink' before 'eat', because up to 60% of our body is water. What we drink will affect our bodies much quicker than food, intravenous drugs and medicine aside. Case in point: alcohol consumption.

Health experts have always told us to drink 8 glasses of water everyday, while some had said that we should only drink when we are thirsty. What do I do? I drink at least 2 liters of water every day, more if I'm out in the sun. And according to Mayo Clinic, I'm doing right.

The water I drink is plain water, not sodas, not flavored water and definitely not alcohol. I’ve always believed in simple plain water. My drink ‘vice’ is fruit juices. I do drink lots of fruit juices, especially orange juices. However, I’m trying to cut it down as I know that these juices are loaded with (artificial) sugar. When I do buy juices, I will try to get those that are 100% fruit juices and with pulp (for orange juices).

a beer or two.. with friends..
When it comes to alcohol, I do drink once in a while especially when the company is right. With my sweet tooth, no surprise that my drink of choice is sweet liquor, like Kahlua, Baileys, Irish Cream and those sweet desert wines. I’m not a great fan of wine or beer, but I will drink when there’s nothing else on offer or when everyone else is drinking it. During my years in Singapore, I used to drink a glass or two by myself, especially during weekends, cos it helped me to relax and not be so tensed up. I like the feeling of total relaxation, but I will only do that alone or with people whom I can really trust.

Yet after hitting 35, I stopped drinking by myself. My family has a history of liver-related ailment, with 2 (paternal) uncles of mine succumbing to liver cancer in their forties. So I decided to stop drinking. It makes no sense to play roulette with my liver. It is already working overtime, as there are far too much toxic in the food I had (unknowingly) ingested over the years than for me to further burdening it with voluntary consumption of alcohol.

I was never a coffee drinker. My dad is a tea drinker and there was no coffee in the house until I went to Uni. When I was in NUS, coffee didn't help me stay awake when I need to cram for my exams. But it all changed when I started working. Suddenly, I can’t sleep if I drink coffee after 2pm. Nowadays, I will drink a cup of coffee if I have morning classes. Just one cup, no more. I prefer black coffee, either with no sugar at all or very sweet. Two extreme ways of having my coffee. :)

I’m not a fan of sodas or gassy drinks. I only drink them once in a while when I have cravings for them. I drink tea, be it green, English or Chinese tea, but only moderately. I learned the hard way how ‘potent’ these teas, especially Chinese and green tea, are to my body. In one particular month I had more than 20 cups of Chinese and green tea, and I had the worst menstrual cramps ever. The cramps were so severe that I was semi bed-ridden and had to take the maximum doses of painkillers for 4 days! Thus for now, I only drink tea 3 times a week, one type per week.

So what is my take on drinking? Well, do everything in moderation and listen to your body. Take note of what you are drinking. Be mindful of what your body tells you. I will know that I didn’t drink enough water the day before, when I suffer a running nose the day after. So in order not to suffer from ‘burst pipe’, I will make sure I drink enough water every day. I always have a glass of water beside me when I work on my laptop.

All in all, drink more (plain) water and skip the alcohol. 

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