H2 Oh…?

I know, in general terms, that staying properly hydrated is important. But, why exactly?

I know that drinking less Diet Coke and more water would be a Good Thing.

I really started thinking more about it after reading a post from cHoCoMiLkRoCkS.

I sit here looking at this dark brown murky liquid that I’m about to pour into my mug of ice – and I just know that it can’t possibly be something I should be putting into my body.

I tell myself I’m doing a little better when I drink the caffeine free variety – but it still can’t be very good for me. With all that coloring and carbonation.

I tell myself that if Diet Coke is the worst of my addictions, that I’m not doing too bad. But does that mean it’s Ok to continue drinking it with reckless abandon?

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With all the caffeine I consume, I am most definitely in the “constantly dehydrated” club. I have my periods where I stay off it, and get a fair amount of water in. But what difference do I feel? And what other things get all mixed up in that? How can I tell if what I’m feeling is indeed the difference between being hydrated versus dehydrated?

There are times where I try to drink water after my Diet Coke. But, that doesn’t do the trick, because the caffeine has a lifespan in your system – acting as a diuretic and preventing that water from doing what it would normally do. Instead it has me running to the bathroom like someone with undiagnosed diabetes.

How long is the lifespan or duration of caffeine? According to some random internet “stuff” I’ve found, it can take anywhere from five to seven hours to eliminate half of the total amount of caffeine in the blood stream. What?! That means that the caffeine from the Diet Coke I drank at 10:00 AM might still be floating around my system at 10:00 PM?! Oh man…

I know that being dehydrated is bad. But I don’t have a good understanding of all the “bad things” it does to my body. It makes conceptual sense that it probably has an affect on my blood sugar (because the volume of blood?) and the ability for my insulin to “do it’s thing” (because it’s in my subcutaneous tissue, which must be impacted by my hydration level).

So – what does the all-knowing and awe-inspiring OC know about this issue? Spill it folks! I want a better conceptualization of what the heck I’m doing to myself! Thanks!

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Scott K. Johnson

Patient voice, speaker, writer, advocate, and Senior Community Manager at Blue Circle Health. Living life with diabetes and telling my story. All opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent my employer’s position. Read more…

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