So I guess I was walking around dehydrated and was clueless to the fact. Most people don’t realize how chronically dehydrated they are, until they begin to experience the benefits of hydration. I don’t know if drinking enough water has been a challenge for you? But it certainly was for me.
Research shows that as many as 75% of Americans don’t even consume the 8-10 glasses of water per day that is recommended. This means that most of us are dehydrated and don’t even know it. Apparently, I was part of these statistics.
Recently, I decided to raise my water intake significantly. I wanted to see how my body would respond if I did so. I always knew that drinking water had it’s benefits, but it was always difficult for me to make this a sustainable habit. When I heard of something called the water gallon challenge, I took the plunge to see if this would assist me. I simply wanted more motivation.
Do you know what I quickly realized? How very little water I was actually consuming. Truth is prior to taking the challenge, I was drinking closer to 6 glasses of water some days even less. I was guilty of walking around dehydrated.
Here’s What I Learned When I Took The Water Gallon Challenge
It’s difficult to drink a gallon of water
Let’s start off with the obvious; you’re going to be in the restroom a whole lot. On average you will be visiting the loo every twenty minutes, so plan accordingly. I realized that if I didn’t want my sleep interrupted I needed to drink the majority of my water during the day, with my last glass by 8 pm. Flavoring your water with herbal teas makes it much easier to stay on track. No need to boil your water just let a couple of bags steep in your pitcher. I like to keep an iced pitcher nearby, to make refilling easier.
Your body needs time to adjust
Don’t be foolish and try to drink an entire gallon of water too quickly. It’s simply not wise and in fact, it can be dangerous. We need to give our kidneys time to flush out all this liquid. A phenomenon called hyponatremia can occur when our sodium levels drop significantly when we consume too much water in a short amount of time causing intoxication. In severe cases, it can even cause death. You must gradually increase your water to give your body time to adjust.
The more water you consume, the thirstier you became
Frankly, this really surprised me. After all you would think that if I was finally drinking plenty of water, my thirst would be quenched. However, at least initially for me, the opposite was true. This certainly made consuming more water a bit easier. From what I have read this is not uncommon. Once your body begins to receive consistently what it needs it begins to crave it. It’s akin to when your body gets accustomed to working out and it feels off when you don’t.
Your skin will be grateful
Two weeks into this water challenge I noticed that the dry patches on my face were gone, and my chapped lips were a thing of the past. A nice side effect indeed. All this time I just assumed my skin was patchy, when in fact it was just dehydrated. Drinking enough water will make your skin glow and will plump it up causing fine wrinkles to be less visible. Yeah that was exciting to see!
You will feel great
What motivated me the most to take this water challenge was to see how my joints would respond to the increase in water. It didn’t happen immediately, but I gradually noticed that my joints were cracking less and inflammation was dramatically less. I am sleeping more soundly and waking up with greater energy.
So what’s the big take away from this water gallon challenge?
It’s not exactly easy and it will take a concerted effort to drink a gallon of water every day. Practically speaking not everyone can lug around so much water and be discrete about it. Just the logistics of trying to have the water on hand can be difficult. Because I work from home it’s certainly much easier.
I think a gallon of water a day may sound admirable but it may be too much of a challenge for most. However, this challenge can make you more aware of what it feels to be fully hydrated and therefore more likely to refill your glass often.
The advice to obey your thirst makes sense once your body begins to crave the water. Prior to this water gallon challenge my main issue was I just was not thirsty. Because of this I rarely drank enough water to be properly hydrated. Thankfully, my thirst barometer is now working correctly and I am finally consuming enough water a day.
Do I think this water gallon challenge is a good idea? I must say that I am grateful I participated. Am I drinking a entire gallon of water most days because of it? Well I can’t say that I am now part of the water gallon club, but I do come close enough to enjoy the benefits.
What about you? Are you sure you are properly hydrated? What are some of your tips for increasing your water intake?
Let me know your thoughts and feel free to share if you enjoyed this post.
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