Sunday, June 12, 2011

Drinking in Peru

Drinking in Peru

I've been a heavy drinker since my teens. To this day I remember the article I read when I was 13 that started it all. It recommended I drink an 8 ounce glass of water before each meal to make me feel full, and help me eat less. And shucks, if you've ever been to an all-you-can-eat restaurant, you've noticed they always keep your water glass very full, too.

Like many young adults, my drinking hit its peak during my college years. I remember riding my bike home a few miles in the summer heat, walking in the house and downing one 20 ounce glass after another, until I'd drunk a full half gallon of ice water. Back in those days we'd never hear of water intoxication. I was hard core, but I was one of the lucky ones.

After college, I found myself slipping into my old habits at work. Yes, coffee was nice, but you can't drink coffee to keep yourself awake on 100 degree California summer days. So I'd sip on a one-quart pick-me-up of ice water to keep me going through the day.

Sunday night found me at LAX preparing to board an all-night flight to Lima, Peru. I had a late dinner and some cranberry juice before boarding the plane. Then I boarded the aircraft, strapped myself in, put in the ear plugs and hoped I wouldn't snore too loudly on the flight down.
Much to my surprise, when I woke up on approach to Lima, I wasn't very thirsty. Once I got through customs, I bought a bottle of water from a vending and chugged about a third of it. And that was it. I had a glass of orange juice with lunch, but that one bottle of water lasted me all day. I added a tiny little bottle of San Pelligrinos with dinner and I have satisfied my daily fluid needs. What a pleasant contrast to semi-arid California, where I am always thirsty no matter how much water I drink.

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