The Healthy Habit that Changed My Life

WaterSince my mid teens, I’ve suffered horrible migraine headaches. For years, I had more headache days than non-headache days every month. Not a fun way to go through life.

A little over a year ago, I was starting my second and final year of grad school and I could hardly make it through my classes. The odd sleep patterns that come with being a grad student, the hours and hours of reading small text, fluorescent classroom lights, stress, bad eating habits. . .you get the idea–all of these things only aggravated my migraines and made me more miserable.

I knew that drinking plenty of water supposedly decreased migraine frequency and could help get rid of them once they’d hit, so I’d make sure to drink more water. But when I took a good, hard look at my water consumption, I realized that I was not drinking nearly enough water.

Now, I know there’s been some debate about exactly how much water we really need. It obviously can’t be 64 ounces a day for everyone across the board; age, weight, and activity level are just a few of the factors that must be taken into consideration. But I was lucky if I got even half of that into my system on a daily basis!

So I decided I was going to start drinking more water and I would use the 64-ounce “rule” to get started. I bought a 32-ounce CamelBak bottle from Sports Authority and vowed to drink two full bottles a day. Let me tell you, it was hard!

I’m not kidding. I have never, ever been a big water drinker (to be honest, I’ve never taken in enough fluids altogether, water or otherwise). I had to pee constantly and I felt miserable drinking all that water. But after just a week or so, everything changed. I felt completely different: I was warding off migraines, feeling less sluggish, and I didn’t need afternoon coffee to wake me up. It was incredible!

Now, on most days, I actually drink more than 64 ounces since I workout regularly. Of course, I still get migraines every now and again, but they are few and far between and usually a lot less severe. Little things that used to set them off–like driving–no longer bother me. And I take way less Excedrin, which my liver probably thanks me for.

Quick side note: it probably sounds absolutely silly, but don’t drown yourself in water to get rid of or prevent migraines. Water intoxication is a real (and dangerous) thing. It’s unlikely that you’ll get to that point, but it’s something to be aware of.

So that’s that. This one little healthy lifestyle habit has changed my life. It may sound dramatic, but it’s true: drinking more water has decreased my headache days, given me more energy, helped my digestive system, and has just plain made me feel better all around. Plus, it’s great for your skin (insufficient water consumption = dull complexion, less skin elasticity, and even acne!).

What little healthy lifestyle changes have made a difference in your life? I’d love to hear from you!

P.S. – I am not affiliated with CamelBak or Sports Authority in any way, I just thought I’d share some specific insights into my shopping habits 😉

(Image: Dreamstime)

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