Drinking More versus Peeing Now

(perhaps a greater conflict than David versus Goliath, Apple versus Microsoft and people who eat apple cores versus people who don’t, all put together)

In a startling realisation of the lengths to which first world problems can ruin any aspect of comfortable life, I recently discovered one of the hardest choices to make as a human being with a toilet and easy access to a toilet: if you are thirsty, but also need to pee, which do you do first?

The most immediately beneficial solution would be to pee first, clearing your bladder of liquid before starting to fill it up again, ensuring you have immediate relief, and that you can get on with your life, by drinking more water or in whatever other capacity, as soon as you can.

However, there are long-term problems with this solution, primarily that it only makes your next toilet break come that much sooner; practically, if your bladder is entirely empty after going to the toilet and you drink immediately after to quench your thirst, you will resume your day with your bladder with some liquid in it. If 80% fullness is the volume of water required to make you pee, drinking second means you will resume your day with, say 1% fullness, as opposed to the zero per cent if you had drunk first.

And this is why I am in favour of the ‘drink first, ask questions later’ method; I am rarely in a position where I am genuinely full to bursting (although I have been there occasionally, and it’s not fun), and so I am able to fill my bladder to, say, 81% of its total capacity for a few seconds, before I walk briskly to the toilet and reset its fullness back to zero per cent.

There are problems with this system, however; it works if your bladder’s fullness is only approaching the peeing threshold, because we can all hold it in for a little while longer in a pinch, but if you’re already at 99% fullness, another drink will simply push you over the edge into apparent incontinence, as you hit the ‘You shall not pass’ red zone of 100% fullness.

There is a mythical third way, however, one that seems dirty and silly at first, but on closer inspection makes perfect sense: do them both at once.

This will require the mental toughness to take a glass of water into the bathroom which some people lack, as they assume that everything that enters the bathroom must be inevitably contaminated with faeces and the bits of hair that clog up the drain after a bath, unless they are bleached to high Hell. If you can get past this mental block though, this method is excellent.

You get the benefit of the second method, as you leave the bathroom with a totally empty bladder, but none of its risks; even if you push yourself up to 100% fullness, you’re on the toilet anyway, so you can let it go comfortably. It’s also much faster than the other two methods, as the two actions are conflated into one simultaneous one, so if you try to micro-manage every aspect of your life like I do, saving a few seconds here and there can really help you get stuff done.

There is a slight danger that you’ll pee yourself when pouring the drink in the kitchen in the first place, before you can even get to the bathroom, but this is a risk I’m frankly willing to take.

Ultimately though, I feel such a decision is about picking the right solution to the appropriate problem; if you’re at 99% fullness, pee first, but if you can take a little extra urine, drink first or try the holy third way. Whatever you ‘choose’, it’ll be less of a conscious decision that you spend time thinking out in your head in advance, and probably more of an impulse, that you decide that you can take the extra water, so you’re going for it.

I suppose there is a certain foolishness in trying to rationalise impulsive decisions based on bodily functions into justified and thought-out solutions, as reactions to our body’s chemistry are likely to be impulsive and, obviously, natural: we do whatever the Hell we feel like in each particular scenario. And with that, I’m going to drink out of my Pug Mug while sitting on the toilet (because standing up while drinking means you can’t see where you’re aiming).

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