I finally reached my hydration goals. I know this because my water bottle told me

Some reading, and actually listening to my wife, has led me to the theory that many of my problems stem from not drinking enough water. I made that sound as if we had an intellectual to and fro about it, but in truth I came to bed one night and told her I’d just done a wee that looked like Lucozade and she commented that I had eaten an embarrassing amount of food that day, when I should have been drinking.

After the initial awkwardness of having eaten so much that my wife had made a mental note to talk to me about it, I had to accept that she was probably right.

I’m pretty cynical about the idea of being hydrated. But we seem to have moved into an era when it is absolutely at the forefront. We have all had to make water bottle choices, and check our urine against a colour chart.

I understand that if you don’t stay hydrated, you aren’t operating at 100%. My issue is: how many of us need to operate at 100% most days? I get it for doctors and the like, but I recently went for a family day out with friends and one of them was carrying a water bottle in his hand, as if he might need to emergency hydrate before tackling the hedge maze.

Anyway, I did a bit of research, and it turns out everything I’ve said in that last paragraph is bollocks and it really is important to hydrate in a way I really haven’t up to this point. I have a history of overeating and this is something that can be combatted by drinking more, plus I have a history of low energy, which can be combatted by drinking more. The potential of this life change is endless. Could it be that if I had just hydrated more, I would actually be a jolly person with a BMI that doesn’t concern my doctor?

I bought a water bottle that had a scale showing where you should be at various times of the day, with little messages on it like: “Good drinking!” and “You’re meeting your hydration goals!” I assumed that these were pretty much pointless, but I have to admit that when I got to 4pm and the bottle said, “You’re on target – well done!”, I actually felt proud and realised that I would feel a lot better about myself if people praised me for completing very small tasks, like a child. Then I wondered if I should ask my wife about that. Then I became worried that I was becoming an adult baby fetishist, so I decided just to focus on the hydration.

I was feeling more alert in the afternoon, but it is difficult to tell if that was because I was better hydrated or because I had been told I was a very good boy by my water bottle five times that day. I also had the weird thing of going to the toilet and feeling a sense of pride at how clear my urine was. I had made a change, it was going to stick and I was feeling good about it.

I think it was midway through taking a piss by the side of a road, having been almost reduced to tears with desperation, that I realised there were some downsides. I had taken a wee before getting into the car taking me to work, but within half an hour I had been anxiety inducingly desperate again, without anywhere obvious to go.

I am now urinating 35 times a day, 31 of them between the hours of 2 and 5am. Nevertheless I am persisting. I am sharper, I am less hungry, and I am contemplating nappies at night.