I want to begin this post by acknowledging that I’m a fairly healthy person. While I am by no means slim, I am considered in good health. Usually I get a glowing report from my doctor on my annual wellness visit. I’m a fairly active person. I take the stairs when I can most of the time, I don’t park in the closest parking spot to the door and I exercise 3 days a week. In my mind, I work out 7 days a week, but in reality, last week I only worked out 2 days. But the week before it was 5 days. In addition to my level of activity I also eat a pretty balanced diet. Though everyone knows this girl likes her pizza and champagne. I am a vegan wannabe and I have recently transitioned to a predominately plant based diet. When I am not a participating vegan, I am eating poultry, fish and some cheese. I think all these points are important to acknowledge because I’m considered a healthy person in general, but increasing my water intake greatly impacted by health.
There’s the good, but now here’s the ugly. I was always told I didn’t drink enough water. And I knew that was true. I was notoriously constipated most of my life. Honestly, I just preferred martinis over water. Then one day an ex-boyfriend noticed me sipping a bottle of water and yelled “that’s your problem, Nicole! You don’t sip water, you drink water, it is not a cocktail?” cue the heavenly music because I was transformed at that moment.
I just didn’t like water so I would sip on it and maybe get in two 16 oz. bottles a day. After his admonishment, I began to drink a glass at a time. I just drank it down and got it over with. That was when I began drinking the beloved mantra of 8 cups a day. And with that, I started to feel a little better. Began pooping every 2nd day instead of every 3rd day. Felt a little less sluggish too. But that was just the beginning.
Do you suffer with dry lips or hands? I noticed my hands were always dry and so where my lips. No matter how much lip balm I applied. Everyone would say… you’re dehydrated. Really? But, how could I tell if I was dehydrated? Well to start the color of my urine. Your urine should not have much color, in fact, your urine should resemble lemon juice (or clearer). Mine was generally yellow. And if I had a good night out with friends imbibing on martinis it would be a darker yellow. Dark urine is a tell-tale sign of dehydration.
Dehydration causes so many health problems and with the risk of sounding like an alarmist, even death. Our bodies can go a long time without food, but not water. Research shows, if your skin is dry and inelastic, if you have frequent headaches and if you deal with constipation and fatigued, then these are all signs you need to drink more water. Therefore, to look better and feel better we need to keep our bodies hydrated.
And come to find out I was not alone.
Statics show that nearly 75% of Americans are severely dehydrated.
So, what to do. It’s simple. Drink more water! I know you’ve heard the 8×8 rule. Drink 8 cups of 8 oz. of water a day. But if you still don’t feel your best then drink more. What could it hurt? Not a thing, it will you make you feel great take it from me. I upped my intake to a gallon a day. Here is what happened. The good, bad, ugly & AWESOME!!!!
I lost weight
Full disclosure. I was also working out more at the time I first began drinking a gallon of water a day. Also, I had transitioned to a mostly plant based diet. But, I still contribute the weight loss to the consumption of a gallon of water a day. Why you ask? Because I only ate when I was hungry. Like most people, I often think I am hungry (and eat) when really, I am just thirsty.
So, arguably if you stop eating when you’re actually only thirsty then you should lose weight. This is a simple math equation to my mind. You’re consuming less calories so you should lose weight in general. Calories in v. Calories out. Because I stay hydrated my body is never confused about whether it wants food or not. When I eat, it’s because I am hungry. Therefore, I naturally consume a lot less calories. So, it did contribute to my weight loss.
The more water I drank, the more I wanted.
The first thing I noticed the first couple of weeks into my journey was that I was always incredibly thirsty. Suddenly, I couldn’t get enough water in. It freaked me out. Why is this happening? Am I sick. Google made me think, I was diabetic. But the only thing that had changed was my water intake and eating more plants. What the hell was happening?
Well, I wasn’t diabetic. My doctor confirmed this. What was happening was that my body was asking for water because it wanted it. My body loved it. Before I had beaten my body down and let it know who’s boss. Me! You ain’t getting no mo water, so don’t even ask. My normal was all you get are martinis, so deal with it. My body did but not in a good way. But when I started to shift and be good to my body. When I start to give it more water, she liked it and wanted more.
Here is the good news, it eventually leveled off.
After about 2-3 weeks I no longer craved water all day.
After my body got used to get served like a goddess she relaxed. She trusted she would get the water. I was finally hydrated. My lips were no longer dry but soft and supple. The lip balm now slid on my lips like silk. So, all is well that ends well.
I had to pee constantly.
Much like #2 this concerned me. Hell, it was inconvenient and embarrassing. If you’re in a meeting with a client and you have to keep excusing yourself, someone may think you are a weirdo or sick. But once I started telling people that I had recently began drinking a gallon of water a day, it was fine. In fact, most people engaged me on the subject wanting to know more. Most people acknowledged that they too felt dry mouthed a lot and suffered with dry skin and wondered if more water would help them. The ones that shared the journey later. We’re happy they did.
Ok more good news. This too subsided around Week 2. My body adjusted and I didn’t have to go to the bathroom every 30 minutes. Now I go to the bathroom like a normal person. Thank goodness for that.
My energy level increased
I couldn’t believe how energetic I was every morning I woke up and throughout the day. I noticed it around week 2. I began to feel more pep in my step. Additionally, I am a nap girl. Generally, I need a nap every day. Right around 2pm, I always felt sleepy. Despite my fairly decent diet and active lifestyle I generally felt a bit sluggish most of the day. Those days are behind me now. I feel so much more energized.
According to, Rima Kleiner, MS, RD and blogger at Dish on Fish, “Staying hydrated helps maintain our energy levels by keeping muscles energized. Plus, dehydration can manifest as fatigue or low energy, so staying hydrated will help prevent that.”
What does water have to do with energy in the body? “Your cells need adequate hydration to optimize the production of energy from food,” explains Dr. Barry Sears, leading authority on the dietary control of hormonal response and author of The Zone Diet. “If you don’t have adequate hydration in the cells, your ability to produce energy (such as ATP) is reduced and you feel fatigued.”
Even being mildly dehydrated can have effects on your mood, energy level and ability to think clearly, according to studies conducted at the University of Connecticut’s Human Performance Laboratory.
So, there you have from the experts and my own personal experience. Drink more water and you will feel energized. It feels good to not hit the afternoon slump anymore. I attack my days and workouts with energy now. Thank you, water!
I sleep better.
I believe in getting 8 hours of sleep every night. And because of my ‘night time regime’ I usually accomplish it with no problem. But have you ever woken up tired? I hate when that happens. I take my sleep very seriously so I’m greatly bothered when it doesn’t happen. After drinking a gallon of water a day, I would sleep soundly through the night and rarely woke up tired.
The only explanation I was able to find was a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition. It found that male subjects experienced fatigue, tension and anxiety when mildly dehydrated. As we know, stress and its symptoms can affect our sleep quantity and quality. Drinking more water reduces stress, who knew?!
Skin condition improved
Honestly, just like my overall health being good in general, so is my skin. I take excellent care of my face. But water has taken it to the next level. Do a Google search for “water for skin,” and you’ll find thousands of articles on the subject. Chugging multiple glasses daily is said to be:
But, my skin is glowing now before I add my products.
And, even better, I have fewer breakouts. And how do I love that. I hyper pigment so every time I get a breakout it leaves a blemish. And I hate to have any blemishes on my face. Never understood all the positive impacts of water, but it’s true. My skin is more hydrated on my lips, hands, feet but my face too!
So, to sum up my personal experience with drinking a gallon of water today, DO IT!!! If you are concerned with having optimal health, drink adequate water for your body. Don’t go off the arbitrary 8 x 8 glasses of water daily. We are composed of 50-75% water, and this element carries out vital processes in the body, such as regulating body temperature, carrying oxygen and nutrients to the cells, dissolving minerals and nutrients, aiding digestion, protecting body organs and tissues, lubricating joints, among others. So, drink up. You will feel so much better.