The Migraine Girl’s secret to staying hydrated

I want to preface this by saying I know I may sound a little loony here, but I must share this news.

I have learned how to drink as much water as I should each day, and the secret is in the STRAW.

Like many migraineurs, I do best when I drink way more than the “required” eight 8 oz. cups a day. I aim for much more than that, and sometimes I do well and exceed my goal.  Most days, however, I tend to look at the clock and realize it’s reached the afternoon hours and I’ve barely had an entire glass.

Recently I went to a local joint to pick up breakfast to go.  I’d forgotten my reusable water bottle at home so ordered a cup of water from the bakery.  As I waited for my food to be made, I drank the entire 12 oz. of water without even realizing what I was doing. I got a refill before I walked to the car, and once I sat in the car I realized I’d absentmindedly drunk more than half of the refill before pulling out of the parking lot.

Then I figured out what was happening:  having a straw made it so much easier to gulp the water down.  No unscrewing of the water bottle lid, no cold water on my sensitive front teeth, no risk of my clumsy self spilling the liquid down my shirt (which I do more often than I care to admit).  I told a friend, “I am going to have to get one of those cheesy reusable cups that has a built-in straw! I’m going to look like such a dork, and I don’t want to spend over $10.00 on that, but I think I’ve got to do it.”

A few hours later, I walked into my bookshop to check in with my staff.  “Oh, the Community Council on Aging dropped off this cup for you, full of goodies, to thank you for the donation you made.”  Lo and behold, there was a reusable plastic cup with built-in straw full of candy and treats.  And it was all mine.

Since this miraculous acquisition, I have been staying really hydrated and between the unseasonably cool temperatures this summer and my water chugging skills, I have had no heat- or dehydration-triggered migraines at all this year!

Are there others out there who have trouble keeping up with their recommended water intake?  What tips and tricks have you employed to make sure you stay hydrated, especially in the summer?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

View Comments (20)
  • Beth
    4 years ago

    Everyone please be careful!! I too drink a lot of water. Somehow I drank too much!! I was just released from hospital after a 3 day stay. My sodium levels were very low!! Please don’t make this mistake!! The Dr said to drink a sport drink too. It will keep your electrolytes in balance! I’m still battling a migraine brought on by 3 long days under florecent lights…a trigger for me!

  • MigraineSal
    5 years ago

    I am on Topiramate and have found it to be sooo effective for me . . . I really didn’t like the 2 week side effect bedding in period and had to be on sick leave during it as it affected my vision and walking and I felt like a zombie but all was back to normal after the 2 weeks and the migraines had significantly improved. Luckily I had done my research and understood that 2 weeks was the “usual” side effect problem period so I set myself the target of sticking with it whatever the side effects for the 2 weeks and it was worth it as it changed my life. I had to up the dose after 3 months but have managed to reduce it again to the original dose and wouldn’t want to go back to my migraine days without it.

    I also looooove iced water and am enjoying a large glass via a straw ( as usual ) as I type !!

  • The Migraine Girl moderator author
    5 years ago

    Way to do your research and stick with the treatment, MigraineSal! 🙂

    Glad you are a fellow water enthusiast. 🙂

    -Janet G.
    “The Migraine Girl”

  • Christina
    5 years ago

    Hi – our 10yr old son suffers from chronic migraine; we were just talking this morning about how he doesn’t get enough fluids and ways to help remedy that. So glad I found this site and wanted to say thanks for taking the time to post such a “crazy” realization and suggestion. Makes complete sense to me!! BTW – we are locals living in Watkinsville.

  • The Migraine Girl moderator author
    5 years ago

    Christina,

    I’m disappointed to hear that your son suffers from migraine disease, but I’m pleased you have found this article useful. Let me know how the hydration goes once you incorporate the straw. Perhaps a reusable water bottle with a straw featuring a design or character he loves will help him drink more.

    I own a bookshop in Athens–if you ever drop by, please introduce yourself! 🙂

    -Janet G.
    “The Migraine Girl”

  • kajsa
    5 years ago

    I’ve got several Camelbak Better Bottles (with bite value + straw), and I go through water like crazy. As someone else said, you do have to remember to clean the straw + bite value periodically.

  • The Migraine Girl moderator author
    5 years ago

    I’m drinking from my Camelbak now! 😉

    -Janet G.
    “The Migraine Girl”

  • lara
    5 years ago

    I have 5 nalgene 32oz bottles that are all different colors. I make sure to drain two a day and then wash those two in the dishwasher.

    The different colors makes it easy to keep track of which ones are dirty/clean and the 32oz size makes it easy to keep track of water intake.

    I never leave the house without a water bottle and my water bottle goes from room to room with me.

  • SASmith
    5 years ago

    The big thing to remember is keeping your sippy cup clean. Make sure to wash it (and the straw) out. I have a bad tendency to leave water in mine for days and just refill and start up again each day at work until I noticed that the straw was icky (I’ll forgo the details). So learn from me and my icky straw, keep washing.

  • The Migraine Girl moderator author
    5 years ago

    Yes, some of the reusable straws (especially the silicone ones that you have to bite to release) can get DISGUSTING. I went WAY too long without washing mine once because I didn’t even realize that what I was looking at was mold. Revolting! 🙂

    -Janet G.
    “The Migraine Girl”

  • sammijohnson
    5 years ago

    Yes!! I recently figured this out, too, and it’s made life much easier for multiple reasons. Now I just need some kind of holster to carry a water bottle around in 🙂

  • Jenny
    5 years ago

    Your not loony. I use a travel mug with a straw all the time. Initially started using a straw as my teeth were sensitive but I have soft tissue rheumatism and holding a glass was getting a bit awkward and yes I too was prone to spilling on myself or knock my drink over, which it not a good idea when you work with paperwork and a computer. So I started using a travel mug with a handle and inserting straw. It does make it easier to drink and keep an eye on how much you are drinking, along with making less mess when you send it flying, lol. If I do use a water bottle I prefer a sports cap, no need to unscrew just flip up. I often add a dash of diluting juice, nowhere near what they suggest on the bottle as way too sweet, just a hit of flavour.

  • The Migraine Girl moderator author
    5 years ago

    I like that “hint of flavour” tip! 🙂

    -Janet G.
    “The Migraine Girl”

  • Bree Hoffman CcHt
    5 years ago

    I too found it much easier to use the reusable plastic cup and straw. I keep mine in the refrigerator to take sips as needed. Sometimes, I flavor my water with; a slice of lime, lemon, orange,or a sprig of mint.

  • joycefowler
    5 years ago

    I have chronic stomach problems and anemia. As my stomach will not tolerate water, and yet I crave ice, I remedy the problem of not getting enough fluid (and save my teeth as I age) by purchasing an inexpensive Snow Cone machine which makes shaved ice. Great for cold drinks and just eating 🙂

  • Nancy Harris Bonk moderator
    5 years ago

    Janet,

    What a great idea! Thank you so much for sharing it.

    Nancy

  • AmyBabee
    5 years ago

    I used to drink 3 glasses of water every morning on waking up. Gradually I regressed to not drinking at all but will drink some during the day. Being on topiramate makes you thirsty and I chug water now at all times of the day (makes for a lot of bathroom visits too!). It has helped my digestive system a lot; clearer skin ..hopefully…sigh. What makes it easier for me is the 16 oz. sippy bottle I acquired – no straws but when I sip, I just want to keep on sipping. I also got a tiny blender for making smoothies, which increased my fruit/veggies intake.

  • Vicki
    5 years ago

    Arthrowe and Christine: Topiramate is generic for Topamax, which is considered a preventative, not an abortive. I’ve taken it for quite a few years and it works well for me. For some, the initial side effects are hard to deal with. I dealt with them because I got real relief! Most of the side effects passed after a while. I wouldn’t do without it!!

  • Christine E.
    5 years ago

    I’m curious about Topiramate, too. Efficacy, side effects, etc.
    And the straw idea is great!

  • Arthowe
    5 years ago

    This is great advice, Amy. I’m new to this site and a life-long migraine sufferer. I try and manage with Sumatriptan when i get an attack (which is often), but i’m considering trying a preventative triptan drug like Topiramate. (AT least i think it is a triptan). I’m also thinking of a blender.

    Question for the group: does topiramate work?

    Thanks all,

  • Poll