For health, everyone knows the ‘drink 8 glasses of water per day’ rule, right?
Actually, that old 8×8 rule is outdated and probably came from a misunderstanding, however there’s no denying that most of us don’t drink anywhere near enough water – in 2010, a report from The European Food Safety Authority suggested that the minimum levels of water consumption should be 2 litres for men and 1.6 litres for women, or between eight and ten glasses per day.
The arrival of my review Ion8 bottle gave me an opportunity to see if drinking more water would improve my health.
I was one of those women that rarely touches water and I drank far too much caffeine. Each week for work, until recently, I’d buy a 24 pack of Coke Zero or Pepsi Max – and that was just for the office, I’d drink even more at home.
At the time my ‘review bottle’ arrived from Ion8, I’d been reading an awful lot about the dangers of aspartame.
I’d always be moaning how I need to lose weight – I don’t eat huge portions and have next to no appetite, but by the time I do come to eat, I’m starving and will grab a few chocolate bars in place of a meal. It’s a pattern that has not been good for my health, I’m hugely overweight, and riddled with arthritis in my toes, ankles, knees and wrists, all of which would benefit hugely from weight loss. A 10% weight loss is proven to reduce arthritis – in my case, I needed to lose 22lbs.
Starting at an embarrassing 16 stone (nearly double the recommended weight for my 5ft 1ins frame) the 10% goal meant reaching 14 stone 6lbs – so rather than just write a review of my new shiny purple bottle, I’d use my new Ion8 bottle to form healthier habits – and to see if it would have an impact on my weight and health.
The dangers of drinking diet soda
Dr. Brian Hoffmann, assistant professor in the department of biomedical engineering at the Medical College of Wisconsin and Marquette University was lead author on a major scientific study into the impact of aspartame, which found links to both diabetes and obesity. Hoffman told Newsweek:
“Despite the addition of these non-caloric artificial sweeteners to our everyday diets, there has also been a drastic rise in obesity and diabetes.
“The results suggest artificial sweeteners change how the body processes fat and how the body gets its energy; both of which are precursors to obesity and diabetes.”
A separate University of Texas study on over-65s found that drinking artificially sweetened fizzy drinks tripled gains around the waist across a ten-year period.
I also suffer from seizures and aspartame is linked anecdotally to increased seizure activity, although scientific research does not support this – however, when I stopped drinking the stuff for 6 months because I worked in a place that had water filters and coffee machines within reach of my desk, I recall my seizures seemed to decrease.
For all the reasons above, I decided a change of habit was in order and while not totally eliminating diet drinks, I decided that my drinking them to excess was probably contributing to my poor health. Rather than following a formal or restrictive diet, as hunger has not really been an issue so much as cravings, I thought I’d make one change, drink more water and see how it went.
Why refilling disposable bottles is a bad idea
For the first week, I sat in work with an old plastic 2 litre bottle of water that I topped up daily from the tap, so the timing of the Ion8’s arrival was perfect.
There are reasons that I probably shouldn’t have been refilling that old disposable plastic bottle at all.
Plastic, like aspartame often raises issues about safety. Hard plastic can contain BPA, and research has shown that BPA can seep into food or beverages from containers that are made with BPA and possible health effects of BPA on the brain, behavior and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children, as well as increased blood pressure.
While most disposable water bottles don’t contain BPA, a new study from Germany tested the water in disposable bottles and found estrogenlike compounds, most likely leaching out from the plastic. Nice.
Essentially, look at what you are drinking from – and decide for yourself if it will be good for your health.
Ion 8: made from Tritan, so healthier and a great looking, usable bottle
The Ion8 is made from a material called Tritan, a hard, durable plastic which does not contain BPA and independent third-party tests proved it to be free of estrogenic activity – so refilling your Ion8 is a much healthier alternative than just buying disposable water bottles.
I’ve used the bottle for nearly 2 months now – and unlike the tatty old bottle, my Ion8 looks stylish, is comfortable to carry and can come anywhere- to meetings, in the car, on walks with my dog, you name it, it’s been handy, durable and easy to use. It fits in the car cupholders, is hard to spill (unlike the soda cans, which I’ve wrecked many a keyboard with) and I’m told can take a drink from -10C to 96C (although I’ve only used mine for water).
The Ion8 range offers a huge range of sizes and designs, from a 350ml that’s perfect for kids right up to a huge 1l version, as well as sports and cycling varieties – but I wouldn’t swap mine. I can verify that it’s lived up to it’s reputation, it hasn’t leaked once, it also looks great (my other half actually tried to steal it) and is attractive – what more could a girl want?
Well, this girl wants to see results from making a change – and I am pleased to be able to report positive results.
The results of swapping Diet Soda for Water for 2 months
Two months on I’ve reached that 10% goal and am 22lbs lighter – and more importantly, I haven’t really been trying hard.
I have drunk water where I’d normally drink soda, that’s pretty much it. The odd day, I’ve thought about what I’m eating, but believe me there have been plenty of days where I’ve eaten sweets and rubbish – but the slow, steady weight loss has continued regardless.
Disappointingly, I don’t look hugely different, and I’m still overweight. This isn’t a fat girl gone slim story, to reach the ideal weight range for my height, I’d have another 86lbs to go.
However, my size 20 clothes (some of which were creeping up to a size 22) now range from comfortable to very loose (with some falling down), and I would probably squeeze into an 18 now, though comfort is of course, important. However, I’m still losing weight, and the change has been so easy there is no need to stop.
The beauty is, I haven’t joined a diet club, I have eaten exactly what I want, and while I have perhaps had fewer binges, and eaten out less, believe me, I’ve had plenty of junk and have not felt deprived at all – not once. I haven’t increased my activity levels either, in fact I had to cut them down due to a disk problem in my back. I’ve just literally DRANK MORE WATER!
The extra water has made me realise that all the caffeine was possibly dehydrating my body, leading to cravings for hydration that I was trying to meet with chocolate – however I certainly haven’t given chocolate up. This has been the easiest diet and the only one I’ve been able to stick to, and the Ion8 bottle has helped me put the new habits in place.
Cutting out the additives
It seems that, for me, sorting out my hydration is they key to sorting out my weight – and while I could have done this without the Ion8, it’s certainly made it easier.
The huge impact of more water has made me think about other areas of my life, realising that by not cooking, I’m trusting someone else to decide what I should allow into my body. I’m now shopping more consciously, looking for more local suppliers – after all, if you wouldn’t buy a car off someone, why would you buy food from them? Yet most of us don’t have a clue about who it is that grows and produces the food we eat.
I’m not fully reformed and by no means a health food freak, but I’m making tweaks and changes where I can. I know bake my own bread, cookies and treats so I know exactly what goes into them, and keep the ingredients as simple as possible. I’m choosing organic milk, to avoid getting unwanted antibiotics.
Sorting out my health is my highest priority, no matter what size I am. I am still struggling with arthritis, developed a new back problem and still have the occasional seizure – and these are what I need to tackle, what I put into my mouth as food is just as important as the medication I take.
The next change I will be making will be to switch from tap to filtered water – mainly because of the reported toxins and high levels of fluoride in tap water – and I’ll still be using the Ion8. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.