I'm not what you would call a health fanatic. I don't watch what I eat, I like Mountain Dew, and I haven't purposefully exercised in about 3 months. Trust me, I consider myself ridiculously lucky that I have the metabolism that I do. However, I keep hearing on the news about how you're supposed to drink _x_ amount of water per day but lets be honest... water is boring. It's the Ben Stein of beverages. The only person I know that drinks the recommended amount is an opera singer and I'm far from that. When I was on Facebook, a friend posted this article from the Daily Mail and it got me thinking. If a 40-something mother in the UK can drink 3 liters of water a day and have such a drastic change in her appearance, what's my excuse? So, I went to the store, bought a gallon jug of water, and got to drinking for exactly 1 month, just like the Brit. I even got my own mother to join in from across the country, so age is no excuse not to try!
Now the UK mum took photos every week, so I did the same. Before I get to the photos, can I point out some things that most will fail to mention? You might want to keep these in mind before you start:
#1. Stock up on toilet paper. You think I'm kidding? You're going to be going to the bathroom at least once every 60-90 minutes (if you're drinking in 16oz. glasses) for about 10-12 hours a day. And no, it doesn't let up by Day 31. I tried to keep track of how many times I went to the bathroom in one day but lost count (and interest in counting) after 9. If you work in an office, you better hope you don't have to share a bathroom key with anyone else. And yes, your digestive system will become much more regular, in case you were wondering.
#3. GO DONATE BLOOD! I can't stress this enough. I've always had trouble giving blood in the past and even stopped doing it for a good 10 years because of my bad experiences. However, I decided to try again and because I had been so hydrated, my veins were nice and plump, which made it easier for them to draw from!
#4. Unless you have access to water all day, it's going to be very difficult to drink this much in a day. You really have to discipline yourself. I tried to drink 16oz. every hour and kept the gallon jug and a glass at my work desk all day. I found it was easier for me to complete the gallon in a day when the water was readily available. On the weekends? Not so much.
#5. Your body will get used to consuming that much water and you'll start to crave it. I'm not kidding, you'll actually be able to tell when you're thirsty and want more water versus grabbing a snack. It's weird.
So, after a month of drinking a gallon of water a day, were there any physical changes in my appearance?
I'm going to go with... sort of? It's very subtle and you really have to look for the changes. Mine certainly weren't as dramatic as the original post but some change is better than none, I suppose. I didn't Photoshop (please, like I would know how to Photoshop myself!) however my skin is less red, more plump, and not as flaky. The bags under my eyes aren't as visible, which is nice, however the wrinkles didn't go away. And my face would still break out once in a while.
Would I recommend others try this? Of course!... though I'll be honest, I probably won't do it everyday. While the original blogger said she looks 10 years younger, I look maybe 6 months younger. Oh well. If you can do this challenge, more power to you! If you can't, that's ok, one glass of water a day is better than none!
TOTAL COSTS: Free!
You don't have to drink fancy bottled water - I refilled my gallon jug with LA tap water everyday (though perhaps it wasn't very smart of me to try this water challenge during a drought!)
TOTAL AMOUNT OF TIME: 1 month
Of course, you can do it for as short or as long as you want
EASY-PEASY SCALE (1 super easy - 5 very difficult): 3 out of 5
I say this because 1.) you really have to be disciplined and 2.) water is so boring so it's easy for you to skip days, not drink as much, etc. If you have to, add some lemon juice or a Crystal Light packet to make the flavor more interesting!