Jun 01

The #WaterOnlyChallenge is On


For the last month, I’ve managed to drink only water. Now I’m going to take that challenge to the next level and commit to the entire summer.

No sweetened drinks. No tea. No alcohol. No coffee (okay, I didn’t drink coffee anyway).

Not even club soda or Perrier.

Just still water only.

I’m doing this for a few reasons.

  1. No matter how many times I think it through, I can’t come to any conclusion that justifies a drink form for anything I should be getting from food. Water is simply the best thing I could drink at any given time, period.
  2. From my own data, I keep finding non-water drinks can “modify” eating habits in ways that aren’t immediately obvious, particularly sweetened drinks. I also have been observing a lot of interesting habit changes from coffee drinkers after they’ve quit that leads me to suspect this too is a heavy influencer that may be less apparent to the user.
  3. I drank soda my whole life and switched to diet after going keto, but I’d like to kick the habit entirely. While I have phases where I drink little (usually out of conscious effort), I likewise have had several times where I drink it very often and this is usually coupled with stressful periods or intensive deadlines. Thus, I’m using it as a means of “instant joy stimulus”, as I like to call it.
  4. There’s another reason I won’t reveal until after the experiment is over.

Through the course of this keto lifestyle, I have tried to cut out diet soda on three separate attempts, all of which failed. But I mean to at least exceed the record of abstinence this time around. If I can make it to the end of August, that will be an impressive four months total.

Consider this my battle cry.

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35 Comments on "The #WaterOnlyChallenge is On"

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A.D. Keto

I managed to go the first six months of keto soda-free. Then diet soda slowly snuck back in, and now I probably have at least one Zevia or a Diet Coke every day. I may need to tiptoe into it with flavored seltzer, but I think this is a great idea.

Jack Ruston

I’ve wound up on this path too, broadly for the reasons you state. I occasionally have carbonated spring water, but even that has a tendency to make me want to drink it even if I’m not really thirsty.


I’d like to hear more about the changes you see when people drop coffee. I dropped it in favor of iced unsweetened mint green tea. My body just didn’t want coffee anymore. I loved it though.

Jack Ruston

By the way, the Paleomedicina guys tell me that coffee seems to have less negative impact than teas, in terms of the various markers they monitor in their patients. They’re not sure why. This is an aside that isn’t directly relevant, other than for those who read this and decide to ditch coffee in favour of tea. It would probably make more sense to follow this example of ditching anything and everything in favour of still water.


I’m not sure about that. Green tea has shown some benefits, though mostly in epidemiological studies, which we know are mostly useless. There are some RCTs though. I’m now having two cups of green tea per day, in addition to my 3/4 cup of cold-brewed coffee, diluted to 1-3/4 cup.

As for soda, I was very low fat, low sugar for a long time, so I never developed a liking for soda. I avoid it now (even the zero calorie versions) due to possible insulinogenic effect. (If it’s sweet, I assume this causes insulin to go up.)

Michael Jenkins

Does the restriction include broths?

Nanci O'Connell

Good question. If doing a ful fast during this time and needing a crutch I would think broth is better than anything else.

Bob Dennis
I’m pretty fortunate on this one. I was never “addicted” to soda, diet or otherwise, although I certainly drank them throughout my life. But, I recall at probably age 10 or 11, on a family vacation, I mentioned to my father that the Coca Cola I’d just had still left me thirsty, and he said something to the effect that water was best to quench thirst. That has always stuck with me. So, especially since going low carb about nine years ago, I drink almost exclusively water. I have an occasional green tea, and an occasional beer or wine. I… Read more »
Matt Bailey

‘ I also have been observing a lot of interesting habit changes from coffee drinkers after they’ve quit that leads me to suspect this too is a heavy influencer that may be less apparent to the user.’ Would you mind elaborating a little more please?


Thank you for the post, I couldn’t agree more about what you posted. I too have tried to kick my diet soda habit, and have failed largely due to the same reasons you posted. I’ve tried substituting with other zero carb drinks, including flavored sparkling water and have never been able to stick to it. My best success was one (prior to going Keto) where I followed a vegetarian way of eating for 6 weeks, which I suspect I was largely successful due to the increased vigilance. Good luck, interested to hear how it turns out.


Go Dave! I was a diet soda junkie for years and have not had soda for about 15 years now. It was tough because of the ubiquitous availability of soda and something about that acidic carbonation was really addictive. I can tell you now that the taste of diet soda now is really awful since I haven’t had in so long. Hang in there!

Hi Dave, I have been on a zero carb diet for the past 2 months and low carb for the previous 6 months. I have had great results with the diet. I had my cholesterol checked this past week and the numbers freaked my doctor out. He said that he has never seen numbers this high before. From what I have read on this site, I wasn’t too alarmed but can I get your opinion on them. I have been taking Lipitor 20mg for the past 10+ years and would love to stop taking it eventually. My Creatinine level came… Read more »
Judy Baker

I’ve been water only for years and years, except for some herbal teas and a rare sip of my husband’s diet soft drink. When I do get a sip, I always wonder why I did it–the taste is not even sweet, just sharp and acidic.


Sounds like a hard row to hoe


Wish you good luck. Got to know you’re not alone for this 😉
This year, i stopped to drink alcohol, and drank only sparkling water, and glass of red wine few times maybe.. Since 1 week, i try to drink only still water, See you end of august 😉


Is there a reason why you would be cutting sparkling water? Since I started keto (about 3 month ago) I only drink sparkling water and its been great! I learned to love it (especially topo chico)


Good luck, Dave. Sodas a hard one to kick, but you can.