If I had a dime for every time someone said, “you need to drink more water”- well, you know how this story goes. As a health enthusiast, I’ve read articles, attended seminars, and had personal trainers explain to me the endless benefits of staying hydrated. But, I never made it a priority. I stuck with my coffee, sodas, and the cardinal sin of them all- energy drinks. I figured all of these were basically MADE from water. That counts, right?
That said, it’s no mystery why staying hydrated is the center of health fads and why so many health professionals have been hyping up the benefits of drinking water. Things like clearer skin, less bloating, higher energy and even bettering your mood are at the top of the list. It’s one thing to read/hear all of these benefits, but I wanted to know for myself if this being hydrated business was worth the hype.
How much water do we really need?
How much water does it take to be “hydrated?” I’ve heard it all- from 8 cups to a gallon a day. Going from a few ounces here and there to a gallon sounded preposterous. So, I decided to stick with a simple hydration calculation I learned from Rachel Hollis’s “5 to thrive program.” Drink half your body weight in ounces a day. Simple enough. For 30 days straight, I would drink half my body weight of water in ounces a day.
Within the first week, the results were astounding
- I felt less bloated. As someone who drinks at least 3 cups of coffee a day, plus 32 oz. of diet soda, I felt bloated on the daily. After only a few days of forcing the ounces of water down, I noticed that the bloat was entirely gone.
- I dropped a few pounds. By the end of week one, without changing my regular workout routine, I noticed that I had dropped 4 lbs. Studies have shown that dehydration leads to water retention as your body is desperately trying to hold onto any H2O it can. So, it’s no mystery that with extra hydration, I lost the water weight and some.
- I felt more energized. By 11:00 am each day, fatigue hits me hard- both physically and mentally. After just 3 days into my 30-day hydration challenge, I felt more energized than any energy drink or cup of coffee could ever provide. I had the energy to go longer and harder in my workouts and felt more alert during work- even during those long afternoon meetings.
- I felt less snacky. So, snacking is a way of life for me. It isn’t surprising to find me with a bag of something here, or a can of something there. To my amazement, I felt full and satiated most of the day. Studies have shown that 72% of the time we feel hungry, it is actually a form of thirst and dehydration.
- My skin actually glowed. I am a sun worshipper and have exposed my poor face to elements with minimal (aka no) protection. I live in an extremely dry climate and my face mimics that of the desert in which I reside. Just days into this hydration challenge, I have had so many people tell me that my skin looks amazing. I’ve even had people ask what skincare line I started using.
- My mood improved. This absolutely shocked me. I am not a morning person. Like, don’t talk to me until I’ve had my 3rd cup of coffee kind of gal. It’s honestly because I wake up most days dehydrated, with a banging headache and zero energy. Just weeks into my hydration journey, I found that the headaches were gone- that I actually felt chipper in the morning and my overall mood was improved.
The results are in: drinking more water was absolutely game-changing. After forcing the ounces down the first few days, it was easier to stick with it as I started seeing some astounding results. It’s not rocket science. Our bodies need water. Definitely more water than we give them each day. So why not try it out? Try for 30 days, two weeks, one week, whatever. You will be amazed at what hydration will do for you.