I Drank 96 Ounces Of Water Every Day For A Week And This Is What Happened
I recently learned that the average woman is supposed to drink 96 ounces of water every single day, which sounds like a lot, especially since I don’t really drink water unless it’s in coffee or if I’m painfully hungover. But that’s what doctors and Michelle Obama recommend , because it’s good for your health. So I figured that I should probably give it a shot. I’ve also been breaking out recently, and I’ve read in dozens of women’s magazines and websites that drinking more water is the magic cure to my acne woes.
I challenged myself to drink the recommended amount of water every day for a full week to see what the effect would be on my skin and my overall well-being. Would the acne on my chin clear up? Would the dark circles under my eyes disappear? Would I look 10 years younger, which this British woman claimed happened to her after drinking three liters of water per day for a month? There was only one way to find out.
The only part of my regular routine that I changed was to drink more water — specifically, the 91 ounces of H2O recommended by the Institute of Medicine. I didn’t change my meal plans, my alcohol consumption, my skincare regimen, my sleeping patterns, or my workout frequency (which, for the record, is totally nonexistent, but that’s a whole other story). My biggest worry was how my bladder would react to this new influx of liquid, but peeing a lot was a risk I was willing to take, given that the benefits could be miraculous.
It seemed silly to buy a gallon of bottled water every day, especially since I live in New York City, which has some of the world’s cleanest and tastiest tap water . So my first step was to dig out a water bottle from the collection that’s been amassing under my sink. I ended up choosing my trusty Nalgene, which holds 32 ounces of water . And I set a goal of drinking three full bottles per day, for a total of 96 ounces — a whole five ounces more than the recommended amount, because I’m nothing if not an overachiever.
Carrying my Nalgene around with me everywhere was a crucial move. Keeping the bottle nearby made it easy to continuously drink the water (because it was always right there if I wanted to take a sip) as well as to track the amount of liquid I was drinking.
I was able to get into a routine pretty quickly, and ultimately, I was surprised that drinking that volume of liquid wasn’t as challenging as I anticipated — especially over the course of a whole day. When I actually broke it down, I had over 17 hours each day, between the time I woke up and the time I went to sleep, to drink 96 ounces of water. It’s a lot of time, especially when I think about how I used to regularly drink a 40-ounce bottle of malt liquor in a single sitting when I was in college. (Get at me.) I created a water consumption schedule: One Nalgene-full before lunch, one bottle after lunch, and one bottle to be drunk after I got home for dinner. Breaking it down in that way helped make the task feel more manageable and less intimidating.
Let’s just get this out of the way: I peed a lot. I took 12 trips to the bathroom on my first day, but then stopped counting, because it was creeping me out to keep such meticulous track of something so personal. The only time this was an issue was when access to a bathroom was limited — like the time on the fifth day of the experiment I was forced to wait in line at a bar bathroom behind four or five other women after drinking over 64 ounces of water and two beers that day. I seriously feared that I would pee in my pants. But I quickly learned how to adapt to that problem, making sure to use a bathroom when it was available and before leaving any building.
Even with all the extra trips to the ladies’ room, though, drinking 91 ounces of water every day for a week was pretty straightforward. I reached my goal six out of seven days, and the day I missed (Sunday) was only by half a Nalgene.
Here’s the bad news, though: There wasn’t a huge change in my skin over the course of the week — probably because I didn’t change anything else about my routine. The acne on my chin subsided a little, but it’s hard to know if that’s because of the increased water intake or because I just waited it out long enough. On the last day of the experiment, I found a small zit on my right cheek, so really, I ended up slightly worse off than when I started. The dark circles under my eyes that I hoped would be erased totally stayed put. I took a makeup-less selfie every morning when I woke up to track the changes, and to be frank, I can’t tell the difference between any of the seven pictures. See for yourself: The picture on the left is me on the first day, and the one on the right was taken on the last day.
So a week of drinking 91 ounces of water each day wasn’t enough to make my skin glow. But there were other positive outcomes that I didn’t anticipate. Making that one change in my routine made me much more conscious about the other less-healthy aspects of my day. My coffee consumption remained static, because I’m relatively addicted to the stuff (which is another story for another day), but my typical late-afternoon caffeine headaches disappeared, and I was drinking less soda and booze than I normally would.
I also found that when I did drink a glass of wine or a beer, I was actually drinking a glass of water alongside each , as recommended. And because I knew I had a daily quota I needed to meet, I found myself grabbing my water bottle for a sip before I went for a snack, and then eating less food than I probably would have otherwise.
Even if my skin wasn’t markedly improved after a week, I’m going to keep on carrying around my Nalgene and drinking my 91 ounces of water. Maybe one week just wasn’t enough time to see any significant results. Maybe I’ll break out less over time. Maybe my dark under-eye circles will be erased. Since it was so simple to incorporate this healthy habit into my daily routine, and I’ve found it easy to continue well after my formal experiment ended, why not just keep doing it — especially if that’s what doctors recommend, right?
Besides, my friend said my skin looked "radiant" the other day, so at least there’s that.
Need more life hacks? Check out Bustle’s best beauty tips here (and follow Bustle on YouTube for more hilarious videos!):
Images: Author; Giphy
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The Amazing Benefits of Drinking 96 Ounces of Water a Day
March 12, 2015
Confession: I pee a lot these days. A lot. Like, an average of 15 – 20 times per day.
Most of us know that the daily recommended water intake is eight, 8-ounce glasses, but sometimes that’s easier said than done. It’s especially hard if your all about dat juice, bout dat juice OR diet soda. I recently read an article that talked about some killer benefits of drinking 96 ounces of water per day . After learning the amazing things that water can do for your body, skin, hair and mood, I was convinced that my daily water intake needed to skyrocket.
Before my 96-ounce water challenge, I was averaging around 32 ounces of water per day. I would fill up my Nalgene ( fancy little water bottle ) in the morning and finish it by the end of the day, thinking my hydration needs were being met. I was wrong. I’ve been on this water journey for a bit over a week now and I’m already starting to notice some great benefits. First, I’m eating noticeably less. Staying hydrated really helps me to determine whether or not I’m actually hungry or just thirsty. Second, my training runs are measurably better. I used to be plagued with leg cramps and side stitches during my runs. Now I can finish my daily mileage without incident.
I was wrong. I’ve been on this water journey for a bit over a week now and I’m already starting to notice some great benefits. First, I’m eating noticeably less. Staying hydrated really helps me to determine whether or not I’m actually hungry or just thirsty. Second, my training runs are measurably better. I used to be plagued with leg cramps and side stitches during my runs. Now I can finish my daily mileage without incident.
I’ve been on this water journey for a bit over a week now and I’m already starting to notice some great benefits. First, I’m eating noticeably less. Staying hydrated really helps me to determine whether or not I’m actually hungry or just thirsty. Second, my training runs are better. I used to be plagued with leg cramps and side stitches during my runs. Now I can finish my daily mileage without incident.
The downside of this challenge is always having to pee. Always. You will constantly need to pee throughout the day. If you don’t mind all the sideways glances from your coworkers when you head to the bathroom for the 7th time that morning, then you will have no problem adjusting your daily intake of H2O.
Think you might want to try the 96-ounce water challenge? Read on to learn about more of the benefits of upping your water game!
Water Jump Starts Your Metabolism
Drinking water can help burn fat and help you feel full so that you eat less, as well as boost your metabolism. We often confuse thirst with hunger, so next time you’re reaching for a snack, pour a glass of water instead.
A study at the University of Utah revealed that people who drink eight to 12 glasses of water every day have higher metabolic rates than people who drink four. This could be due to how the body works to “heat the fluid to your core temperature.” Cold water might be the way to go, so keep your bottles in the fridge or have ice cubes on hand.
Drinking water also helps avoid water retention and belly bloating . When you don’t have enough fluids, your body retains water to prevent dehydration. Add more water to your daily routine and experience a slimmer waistline.
It Hydrates Your Skin
Many other beverages are actually considered “liquid-drainers,” as opposed to water that essentially hydrates. Our skin is loaded with toxins that prevent it from healing properly and looking the way we want it to. Water works to get rid of these contaminants so that clear skin is achievable. (Note: I’m starting to notice a slight difference in my skin!)
Dehydration also causes premature aging , so unless you’re looking to layer on a few years, drinking a surplus of water could be the answer. Your skin will look fuller and healthier.
Water Boosts Your Mood
Water is known to give that extra energy lift that leads to a better mood. If you’re feeling tired and grumpy, the answer could be more water. Dehydration can put a damper on your mood. Researchers at The University of Connecticut discovered that dehydration could affect the areas of your brain that control your mood . And when you’re in a bad mood, you definitely don’t look or feel good. When you’re feeling proactive, you’re more likely to smile and glow.
A recent study showed that people who drank less water were more pessimistic and viewed tasks as more difficult. Allowing little things to affect your mood instantly sets yourself up for a bad day.
It Makes Your Hair Grow
We all want strong and healthy hair, and drinking water helps with exactly that. When your hair is hydrated and strong, it tends to grow a lot faster. When your hair is dry and dehydrated, it breaks a lot more, which prevents growth. Your hair is hydrated from the roots, which soak up the water. Additionally, water supports your cells and gives them the vitamins that assist in hair growth. And healthy hair goes with every outfit.
Most of us know hydration is important during exercise, and water has many benefits for our bodies internally. But as it turns out, it’s great for our exteriors as well. It’s vital to remember that water is important outside of the gym too, and it should be drank consistently throughout the day.
You’ve Got Options!
I understand that water isn’t the most exciting of drink options. I even know people that actually hate the taste of water – that’s ok! There are plenty of options to explore to get your H2O levels where you want them.
- Infuse water with fruit – This is one of my favorite techniques when I want to shake up the flavor of my water. Explore flavor combinations by adding different types of fruits and herbs together. Just add the fruit and herb combination you want to your water bottle and let sit for a few hours. The best part is that you’re favoring your water with healthy options! This post has a ton of great recipes – strawberry and basil? Um, YUM!
- Try a naturally flavored sparkling water – Any La Croix fans up in here ? If any of you have gone on the Whole30 journey lately you’ve probably already jumped on the La Criox train, at least that’s how I was introduced to this carbonated can of magic. La Croix is naturally flavored sparkling water. The truly amazing thing the product, though is that it tastes just like the natural flavor of the fruit. It’s wonderful. 10/10 , would recommend.
Without it, the negative effects on your hair, skin, weight and attitude are noticeable. Pour yourself a glass and let the results speak for themselves.
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