I remember reading an article in the Daily Mail back in 2013. Sarah Smith, a 42 year old mother, had taken on a challenge to increase her water intake for four weeks and written up her findings. The article was eye-opening - you can read it here.
The before and after photographs were what initially attracted me to the article, I had to check she hadn't been photo shopped! I was intrigued to discover how she had succeeded.
Always keen to take on a challenge I decided to follow in Sarah's footsteps and increase my own water intake, whilst keeping my clients up-to-date on my progress. I hoped to motivate my ladies to drink more water themselves.
According to the Daily Mail article I needed to drink 3 litres a day (this is the approximate equivalent of 5 pints) - more than the recommended 8 x 8ounce glasses a day. I found a large jug and measured out my 3 litres so I could see what I would have to drink (I'm a visual person so seeing it helps). I would need to finish the jug and then re-fill to the bottom of the handle to meet the 3 litre target.
On day one I had finished the entire contents by 11am. Fortunately it was a hot and sunny UK day so I'd found it very easy. Day two was very similar and I'd finished the jug by lunchtime. I work from home so my jug is located next to the sink in my kitchen and I am coming and going throughout the day. If you work in an office, warehouse, on the road or maybe you're a nurse/doctor where breaks are rare, you may need to rethink how you carry your water with you. Would a large water bottle be easier or maybe several smaller bottles dotted around your work space, locker, drawer or bag.
Thinking this through will help you succeed - planning is key. When I knew I had a day away from home I decanted my jug into a portable bottle and took it with me so I didn't lapse back into my bad habits.
So why did I choose to take on this challenge? I have always disliked the dark circles that frame my eyes. My skin is dry, lips cracked and my eyes itch when I get tired. All classic signs of dehydration.
Other Signs of Dehydration Include:
- Dark Urine
- Lack of Energy
- Feeling Lightheaded
If you are reading this and still thinking that you just can't bring yourself to drink that much water, remember that water makes up 60% of your body weight. Every system in your body depends on it to function. By allowing yourself to get dehydrated you will struggle to carry out normal, everyday tasks. You lose water through your breath, urine and bowel movements and perspiration, it's so important to replenish this water supply.
I may have a slight cheat for you - Certain foods can provide a portion of your fluid needs, fruit and vegetables such as watermelon and tomatoes are 90% more water by weight.
I did take a before photo of myself, but I'm too shocked to post it here today - what I will do is save it until I've completed a month and then take an after photo. If I'm brave enough to post a make-up free picture I will include them both, so keep an eye out at the end of July.
I have told several of my holistic clients about this challenge and I am happy to report that a number of them have taken the bait and are now fellow water babies, I even received a couple of photo messages of the jugs they bought - very proud!
I'm approaching my third week on this challenge and so far I can see subtle differences in my skin tone. I definitely have more energy, I don't have a head rush when I jump up from a seat, my stomach is slightly flatter and my urine is much paler. I do spend more time running to the loo but this seems to lessen as the day goes on so I'm not up all night. More importantly I'm actually enjoying it and feel much more upbeat. I see my lime green jug and it's a visual reminder to drink a glass of water, it's becoming habit which is a good thing.
Could you take on the Water Challenge? Start now and see how much better you feel by the end of the month - let me know how you get on.
Are you already an avid water drinker? So you have any tips to share that will motivate others to increase their intake?
Photographs courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net