Jeni Marinucci: Panic Button Years


I Traded Half My Daily Coffee for Water & Didn't Kill Anyone

Here's how you can do it too

I Traded Half My Daily Coffee for Water & Didn't Kill Anyone

Bad habits are hard to break. I know this to be true because I have several (hundred) of them. Like talking too loudly to sometimes being abrasive and "bossy," and consuming way too much caffeine, to cutting my own hair every few months during hormone-fueled bouts of self-loathing. Oh, and I also don’t drink enough water.

Water is a pretty controversial subject in some circles. Stand at the staff room coffee pot at 3pm on a Tuesday and suggest switching to water after lunch. Go on; I dare you. You’ll be lucky to leave with your life. Because you know what makes you irritable? BEING DEHYDRATED.

A lot of us don’t drink enough water, but I really wasn’t drinking any water. Most days, I’d head back to the coffee pot for the third fill-up and realize I’d had nothing to drink all day but caffeine. Sometimes the only water I’d get each day came from my toothbrush. I can rationalize any bad habit (try me; it’s my superpower) and over the years I've told myself things ranging from too much water would dilute the blood in my caffeine stream, or that it was boring anyway, or that the two wilted leaves of lettuce garnish on my deep fried cheese balls would provide all the H2O I needed. Told you I had some bad habits.

But, just as most people would suggest that professional hair cuts are an act of self-care, making sure I was hydrated was equally important to my well-being. Now I had to be the one to realize it.

But here’s the thing.

I am generally not a beacon of positivity or patience. If I was going to drink more water, the increased bathroom visits better have some payoff. I have stuff to do and this can’t be complicated. I don’t want to have to keep cut up pieces of juicy fruit for fancy immersion water tumblers or add stickers to a calendar to remind me to change complicated filters. So I’ve accepted and approached the Wellness Week Challenge with Nestlé Pure Life Sparkling Water as much as I do any other challenge. I will do it, but you had better make it easy or it ain’t happening. “User friendly” is my jam (and was also my nickname in high school). Besides, coffee is 85% of why I don't hurt people 91% of the time. 

May I be blunt. I'd rather watch Frozen for the 7,000th time than drink flat water. Nestlé makes sparkling water drinkable and it became my new liquid best friend for the week. For seven days, I drank it in increasing amounts, from “what is this bubbly clear fluid?” all the way to “so this is what normal pee looks like!” (Um, not like maple syrup, apparently.)

Here’s a quick synopsis of my week of water:

Day One

Coffee or Water? Coffee. Coffee or Water? Coffee. There’s water in coffee, so that’s a start right? Google tells me that doesn't count; my partner tells me I have a “problem.” I choose some water after two cups of coffee. There are bubbles in it. This is not coffee. It feels funny on my tongue but in a good way. I'm scared. 

Day Two 

3:12pm. I've had a litre of sparkling water throughout the day. Takeaway: My bathroom needs repainting. 

Day Three 

"Hi babe. Can you pick up some toilet paper after work? Get the BIG pack." 

Day Four

I'm down to two coffees a day and upped my water intake to almost 1.5 litres each day and more if I exercise, so 1.5 litres because I don't exercise. I feel pretty good and the caffeine crashes aren't happening, so I have sustained energy throughout the day. I also don't seem to be snacking as much. Downside: I learned not to leave the house without peeing if there is ANY chance of getting stuck at elementary school carpool. 


Day Five

I decided to try and drink only ONE cup of coffee this morning. Day five dawns, I have my one cup. I have a sick kid at home, my teenager wants me to drive her to a mall two towns over because they have better French fries, and I have a project due at work. This was maybe the wrong day to cut caffeine. OMG, I can't feel my legs. I think I am rethinking this challenge but I am spiteful and strong and I WILL DO THIS. Okay, let's have some water and get some perspective. Breathe, breathe. We can do this. I haven't burned anything down all week so I am on a roll here. 

Day Six

It's a weekend night. I drink gin on the this night. Guess what? I swap out my regular tonic for Nestlé Pure Life sparkling water with lime flavour and this has several effects: I save several hundred calories, I still get the gin in my belly, and the following morning I don't feel like someone knit my brain a too-tight sweater.  

Day Seven 

There's a can of sparkling water in my purse, I can’t find my coffee cup and I don’t even care. WHO AM I?

Now, I’m no math wizard, but I started thinking that if I was able to #RethinkMyDrink for a whole week, with positive results (everyone lived!), maybe I should keep it up. It sure is nice not to have the caffeine boomerang hit you in the face while you're climbing the stairs up from the laundry room at 4pm. I’ll still enjoy my morning cup (or two – let’s not get crazy) but after that I am all about the bubbles. I'm a few weeks past my initial seven-day trial and I'm still going strong. The bathroom visits even calmed down as my bladder started to understand this wasn’t a feast or famine situation and I now spend the bulk of time in rooms of my house that don't hold toilets. As for forming new habits, I’m feeling pretty confident in my new abilities and I’m considering applying the seven-day challenge principle to other areas of my life that need work.

I may even call a professional hairdresser.



Want the easiest challenge you’ll ever take and maybe win a trip in the process?

It’s time to Rethink Your Drink! Register online at and pledge to switch out one of your regular drink choices for a Nestlé Pure Life Sparkling water once a day for seven days.

Not only will you receive a coupon to save $3 off a case of Nestlé Pure Life Sparkling Water, six Canadians will have the chance to win a luxurious weekend away in Toronto.

It’s time to add some sparkle to your life. Register now.