thanks for the quick responses fellas! I went with the var for the reasons you outlined above and also the much less severe negative impact on lipids. Good reminder about the taurine i totally forgot about that.
adequate hydration is not that big a struggle for me typically because unless I'm cutting (which I do very infrequently) I usually consume 1.5 to 2 L of 2% UHT choc milk every day (by Fairlife, fantastic macros for such a delicious drink - 240 mlL = 140 cals has 13g carbs, 13g protein, 4 g fat) in addition to the standard tall glass of water every 3-4 i'm awake.
completely agree regarding dosage - my experience has been similar good quality 40 mg var was plenty and the pumps on that were insanely painful (although it did result in some fascial stretching which was nice) when doing isolation work