I have a hard time drinking enough water throughout the day. If I had my way I would live on coffee alone and never drink plain water ever again.
Coffee = energy for me.
Yet when it comes to MS, drinking water throughout the day is extremely important. It helps my heat regulation (overheating is a huge issue with MS) and is hypothesized to lower my fatigue levels. Because coffee is considered a diuretic, drinking too much in lieu of water isn’t helpful to someone who deals with MS.
Staying hydrated is hard because water is boring. Bland and tasteless, it’s hard to keep drinking the necessary amounts of water.
Based on my weight, I need to drink about 94 ounces of water every day which is an overwhelming number. While drinking this much water may be a suggestion, there are a lot of benefits to drinking plenty of water each day with or without MS.
The Importance of Staying Hydrated
As a runner, drinking enough water helps keep me in peak physical form for training and races, providing my body fuel for temperature regulation and reduce fatigue.
While this study was done on men, getting dehydrated can lower my cognitive performance and mood, both are their own separate issues with MS. Water won’t be a cure-all for my ongoing fatigue issues, but it might be enough to boost my energy levels day-to-day.
For anyone who has been on a diet, they know that water is suggested as a “filler” for food. Feeling hungry? Drink a cup of water to fill your stomach before turning to food. I have personally found this only works so far and so long for me. I will either forget to drink the water or continue to overeat anyway.
That’s all well and good, but the issue is getting the water into my body in the most efficient and painless manner possible.
Making Hydration Fun & Efficient
Disclaimer: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience and weren’t influenced by any outside sources. Read my full disclosure policy here.
Drinking 94 ounces of water each day is boring. It feels boring, it tastes boring and looks boring.
I’ve tried different ways to jazz up my water: herbal & green teas, flavored sparkling water, cold versus warm water, and adding fruit to flavor flat water. Sometimes masking the water isn’t enough, sometimes the medium in which I drink the water hinders me.
I’ve tried various containers: Camelbaks, Nalgene, novelty bottles, etc. They all work well in their own ways, but they never work quite right.
With each container, there might be one thing I really like but some major drawback: it comes with a built-in straw but can’t fit in my car holder; it keeps my drink at the right temperature, but the opening is too big. That sort of thing. With what I currently use, I put up with the drawbacks in order to get my daily water requirements in.
Or I don’t bother at all because it’s too cumbersome.
I have a mental set of criteria that determines if I use a water bottle or it sits in the back of the cabinet taking up space until I throw it into the donation pile.
The Perfect Water Container (for me)
- Holds enough water so I don’t have to constantly refill it
- Keeps the liquid whatever temperature I want (hot liquids stay hot; cold stays cold)
- Good grip, easy to carry
- Easy to drink the water with minimal spillage
- Can fit in my car cupholder
- Easy to clean and store
- Can withstand being stolen by a toddler (it withstands abuse)
What I found
Instead of ignoring my need to drink more water each day, I set out to get a new water container that would actually get me to drink with minimal fuss and I would continue to use.
I got a hot/cold 24-ounce tumbler from Reduce®.
How it Holds Up to My Criteria
How Much Liquid?
Because this is a 24-ounce tumbler, I only have to refill it 4 times throughout the day to get my daily intake requirement. The fewer times I need to refill it, the more likely I will remember to get my recommended amount.
Now it doesn’t quite hold 24 ounces – I put it to the 12-ounce can of “flavored sparkling water beverage of choice for Millenials” test and I only got 1.75 cans into the tumbler. Only getting one can in doesn’t bother me because I prefer to cut it with flat water.
I typically like to drink lukewarm water, but when it’s filtered it comes from the refrigerator. Summer months mean I want colder water, winter months mean warm or hot. Maintaining that temperature preference is important and the tumbler is able to do that for me. I put cold, filtered water in it the other day, set the tumbler down for a few hours and it was still the same temperature when I came back to it. The same go for teas and hot lemon water.
This is particularly useful for when I am running errands and don’t want to bring the container into the store with me: leaving the tumbler in a hot or cold vehicle for a duration of time means that when I come back the temperature fluctuation is minimal. Reheating is unnecessary when using this tumbler which is also a positive thing.
Having MS means that I have issues with my grip occasionally, so not having to worry about slippage is important. This tumbler has a nice grip at the bottom, though it would be nice to have something closer to the middle. I have smaller hands so it feels off balance holding the tumbler so low while it is full of a liquid. Likewise, because the grip is on the bottom it means that it won’t slide on any surface I place it which is useful when dealing with a toddler.
Ease of Use
Now – the big thing for me: the opening of my water container. I am clumsy and I don’t think MS has anything to do with that.
When I tip a container back to drink from it, I inevitably dribble water down my face and spill onto my shirt. Water, not a problem; coffee or some other staining substance, major problem. So whenever I get a chance, I stick a straw into my beverage holders and play the game of “the straw is too short so I have to retrieve it” or “the straw is too big and I can’t shut the container.”
With the Reduce® Tumbler, I have 3 different (4 if you count taking the lid off) ways to drink from it which allow for flexibility. The tumbler came with a straw that can handle both cold AND hot liquids which I actually like.
I sometimes like to drink my warm tea with a straw. I know. Blasphemy.
But on the days I want to take my coffee to go and not use a straw, it converts to a flip lid like any normal hot beverage carrier. Super easy to sip from and small enough that dribble is minimal.
The lid itself is fairly secure, though if it falls over some liquid will spill out through the flip lid part. It’s a minimal amount of liquid, so if you catch it in time, it shouldn’t drip more than a drop or two.
Car cupholder Ready
The second most important thing to me is its ability to fit in my car cupholder. I commute or run errands less often because I have a toddler in tow, but when I leave the house I would like to have something that can easily fit into my cup holder. Nothing stinks more than a bottle of water flying off the passenger seat when you come to a stop (or making the passenger hold it).
This also means that bringing it into a coffee shop to get it filled up is a possibility, versus all my other water bottles/containers.
Cleaning and Storage
Cleaning this tumbler is a bit cumbersome compared to my other containers: I like to be able to drop something into the dishwasher and not think about it. But this is an issue with any insulated hot container, not just the Reduce® tumbler. The force of the dishwasher jets can damage the insulation and shorten the lifetime. So I have to handwash the container itself, but I can put the lid and straw in the dishwasher.
We live in a small townhome which means we’re limited on storage space for my reusable beverage containers. The less excess containers we have, the better. Having a container that can switch back and forth between hot and cold liquids means that I can get rid of the containers that hold one type of liquid temperature.
The Toddler Test
Finally, let’s talk durability. Whatever I drink water in front of Jai, the container needs to be durable since it will be stolen by him. In the week I spent with my new tumbler before writing this post, Jai stole it many times and dropped it twice.
While I use it with the straw most of the time, this means that some water or tea will spill out of it when dropped, I don’t have to worry about it cracking or breaking like some of my glass containers and because it’s not glass, Jai can handle it safely.
It will get scuffed, which is disappointing, but this happens to any container on a hard surface and not a design flaw in the Reduce® tumbler.
A Good Tumbler
All of this is to say that I have found my new everyday beverage holder. I love it’s durability, flexibility, and versatility and it’s already gone a long way in helping me get my daily water intake.
I am actually really glad I got the opportunity to try out this tumbler and have already looked at some of the other options Reduce® offers for reusable containers.
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