Data Visualisation 1 – Drinking Patterns

Having found my hydration levels to be low through the Vivoo urine test (+app), I decided to focus on my drinking habits, which forms an essential part of my work routine. To simplify the data capture, I didn’t include milk from cereal (which wasn’t daily) or omit cups of coffee which were half-finished, as the process of logging data was during the making of a brew or top-up of my water bottle. The water bottle icons indicate each time I refilled my Hidrate Spark water bottle. I was thinking of adding another variable such as ‘space where the drink is consumed’ but it turns out nearly all my drinking was within a room I spend most of my day in due to remote work and lockdown. I was also considering adding virtual spaces where the drink was consumed through website and email logs, but that would have been a bit more planning to capture as I could potentially be moving between several virtual online spaces while consuming a drink over a period of time. I could have possibly considered drinking water standing, sitting or lying down.

I was on an OMAD (One Meal A Day – Fasting); which I did to see what impact it would have on patterns and results. Two of the days were non-work days to see how habits and patterns may change. (I will let the reader see if they can figure out which days these were)

I started the sketching by exploring Evernote but decided to stick to using OneNote for the variety of colours and pens. I decided to experiment with an iPad and pencil as opposed to a Surface Pro (which I used previously) and really felt the difference; the iPad felt far more natural. Digital art also gives me a lot of space to experiment with, and I really liked the fact that I could zoom into a ‘square’ and draw as needed without having to create a very large axis. I decided to use the background graph paper and rely on colours as part of the visual language I was creating as the aesthetics were part of the visual impression of the story. I kept a column for each type of beverage water in the first, coffee in the second and any other drink in the third as I would often fill up water and have a coffee together.

There doesnt seem to be any correlation between total water consumed and caffiene:

Day 1: 3015ml water / 3 espresso (caffienated)

Day 2: 3263 ml / 5 espressos (caffienated)

Day 3: 4099 / 3 espressos (caffienated)

Day 4: 3108 ml / 3 espressos (caffienated)

Day 5: 3600 ml / 3 espressos (caffienated)

By the end of the week, I did another Vivoo urine test and my hydration levels had significantly improved. What impact does hydration have on memory and brain performance? How could I relate this to productivity? How would this be measured and/or captured? These are some of the questions I take with me for further exploration.

Vivoo test reveals change in hydration level over three week period

Extension

As an extension, I decided to plot the data of the water consumed from the Hidrate Spark water bottle; this device essentially works by digitally recording the difference in weight and hence water consumed against time. What is evident is I needed to extend my graph from 6 am to 12am to account for taking sips of water at night. Each dote below represent 10ml after rounding the total value at the specified time. On a specific day, exercised in the morning and later had a long walk on the treadmill, which can be seen in the graph below but not the one above which only accounts for when the water bottle is refilled.

Data generated from Hydrate Spark water bottle

5 Replies to “Data Visualisation 1 – Drinking Patterns”

  1. This is a really detailed exploration of your drinking habits Saqib, with a fantastic visualisation. I usually try to limit myself to one double espresso in the morning, but I see I’m going to have to up my game now!

    The hourly breakdown gives a really detailed sense of your drinking, and the icons and colours convey a real sense of busyness. The colours were well-chosen too, which allows one to see patterns across the week quite quickly.

    ‘I was also considering adding virtual spaces where the drink was consumed through website and email logs, but that would have been a bit more planning to capture as I could potentially be moving between several virtual online spaces while consuming a drink over a period of time.’

    This sounds quite interesting, and might be something to explore in future visualisations? It seems like a way to connect this activity more directly with ‘learning’? It would have been good to see a bit more here on how you thought this drinking activity might mean for your participation in this course, or for ‘learning’ in general.

    ‘Two of the days were non-work days to see how habits and patterns may change. (I will let the reader see if they can figure out which days these were).’

    Hmm. Not sure. My initial thought was days 1 and 4, because you had water much earlier, but then not sure if getting up early is what one does on a non-work day!

    ‘I decided to use the background graph paper and rely on colours as part of the visual language I was creating as the aesthetics were part of the visual impression of the story.’

    So what were you trying to convey through the aesthetics? Why the graph paper background, for example? In future reflections, it would be good to hear about some of these choices, and what you think they mean for the way the visualisation might be interpreted.

    Really great to also see this extension work – doing some comparisons between your hand-drawn work and other kinds of data tracking might be useful to continue as a theme across your blog.

    1. Thanks Jeremy – lots of good questions for me to carry forward to the next visualisation

      OMAD can be checked from which days I had the most bone broth
      During non-working days, I start with a keto-coffee and there is a slight change to my protein shake routine rather than 3-4pm-ish time

  2. Let me guess, you didn’t work on day 2 and 5, right?

    Having read your wonderful post, I refilled my bottle. Despite all ‘buts’, data can be empowering…

    What about coffee and broth, I remember I read it somewhere that they don’t really count as water. Have you taken it into account somehow? Has the technology mentioned it, maybe?

    The drawing is great! Thank you!

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