Thursday, 10 July 2014

Could You Do The Water Challenge?

During a normal working day I say 'drink more water' a hundred times over.  As a reflexologist it is plainly evident when a client is suffering from dehydration, however, many people are still unaware of just how beneficial drinking water can be.

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
  • Headaches
  • Lack of Energy
  • Feeling Lightheaded
I am hoping to see a significant difference in my skin, health, wellbeing and weight by the end of July.  I know it's already starting to work because one of my lovely clients asked if I'd changed my make-up brand!

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


  1. I was sitting outside a cafe the other day and couldn't help noticing that a lady at a nearby table was having a meeting with some sort of counsellor. "Drink plenty of water to get all the toxins out of your system," advised the counsellor, as she slurped from an extra-large coffee cup and smoked a fag!

    1. On a more serious note, I should add I'm still drinking boiled water by the gallon. I highly recommend it for those days when you want a warming drink or something to soothe your throat and cold water isn't very appealing.

    2. Haha thanks for sharing Douglas, I can think of a plethora of clichés for your cigarette smoking lady - 'lead a horse to water', 'in one ear, out...' oh you get the idea! I tried the boiling water after you mentioned it before, I add a slice of lemon for a zesty start to my day, most enjoyable :-)

    3. Hi Shelley,

      In case my first comment wasn't quite clear... it was the counsellor who was drinking coffee and smoking the fag! Boiled water and lemon sounds good.

    4. Oh dear, as a therapist I have to 'walk the walk' otherwise my clients wouldn't take me seriously, the smoking counsellor doesn't sound like a very good role model!

  2. I exceed 3 litres a day easily — I just get really thirsty if I don't! I carry a pint-sized bottle with me everywhere, so I don't need to buy any or find a shop.

    1. That's great Hayley, it's taken me a while to build up to drinking this much but now I do I feel so much better.

  3. Interesting. A few months back I decided to go cold turkey on my diet coke addiction, and just drink fizzy water all the time - already the (ahem!) waterworks are working better, and I won't go into the rest of it!!! I eat masses of fruit and veg anyway, but I really think the water is making me feel better as well. Actually, your post has made me think 'must step it up a bit', so thanks!!

    1. Thanks for sharing Terry, we often know exactly what we need to do to feel better, but forget it occasionally. I definitely need a reminder! My fruit and veg intake is improving so with my water challenge I should be bouncing off the walls by the end of the summer ;-)