Week 1 Gallon a Day Challenge

Has it been a week already? I have been drinking a gallon of water a day now for 7 days straight as part of the Gallon a Day Challenge. I plan to continue this for 4 weeks to see if I notice any changes in my health and/or appearance from the beginning to the end. It’s time for a weekly update.

I’m finding it’s easier now to consume the 128 ounces. It’s becoming more of a habit. I drink one 16 oz. glass of water right when I wake up and one right before I go to bed. I also drink one right before every meal. There’s 5 of my 8 glasses right there. The first few days I was counting all fluid consumption (including my 2 cups of coffee) toward the gallon. I figured it would be a struggle to get all of that fluid down. Now I’m not counting the coffee at all. I’m hitting my gallon pretty easily.

Here’s a break down of some of the things I noticed over the week:

  • My body held onto the water for the first two days. I was bloated, bloated, bloated! Then, all of a sudden it stabilized and released the water.
  • I’m having some crazy night sweats. A lot of that is postpartum fluctuating hormones, but they seemed particularly bad this week. I don’t know if there’s an increased water consumption correlation or if it’s just unstable mom hormones.
  • Ehrm …things are moving a lot better. Yes, I’m talking about poop. I’d read that proper hydration results in healthy bowel movements and MAN were they right. It’s a moving! I actually feel really “clean” for lack of a better word and have less lower stomach pooch, which I’m told is sometimes due to backed up bowel.
  • My cravings are less frequent and less intense. This one has been really noticeable for me. I usually have terrible sugar cravings, especially late afternoon and at night. I’ve noticed that I’m wanting to reach for the chocolate less. I’ve been pretty “meh, whatev” about the Valentine’s chocolate we have in the house. Usually I’m grabbing for several pieces a day.
  • I haven’t really noticed any weight loss, but I haven’t been eating particularly great either. So maybe I should say the fact that I haven’t gained any weight is a win?
  • I have had not one, but TWO people tell me how great my skin looks!! Wow! I don’t particularly see it but we’re our own worst critics, right?

I’m hesitant to put these pics up because I look like absolute hell in both (ack!) but this is for science right?? Ha. Both pictures were taken about the same time in the morning and I have no makeup on (Ok, maybe a little mascara but a girl’s gotta wear mascara!). I also only put on my morning sunscreen, no extra moisturizer.

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I don’t notice any huge differences yet in these two pictures. My eyes seem a little brighter and maybe the bags under my eyes look a little less sunken and bluish. Overall I think I look less tired in the second picture. But, I’m getting the exact same amount of sleep (which is not a whole lot with a 4 month old!).

I wrote a post on tips for drinking more water during the day if anyone is interested in joining me. I will continue to chug, chug, chug with this water challenge and see what week 2 holds for me. In the meantime, if you need me I will likely be in the bathroom.

Tips for drinking more water

I am now officially on Day 5 of the Gallon a Day Challenge. The bathroom and I are very well acquainted right now. Ha! But I’m already noticing some changes! I’ll post a weekly update next week. When I started this, I thought “There is NO way I can throw back a GALLON of water!” It just seemed so intimidating. But, I committed and started to chug, chug, chug. I thought I’d post some tips that I’ve learned that are helping me drink more water.

1. Use a fun glass or bottle. I have been using my son’s Nemo glass a lot. It makes me smile each time I fill it up and I think to myself “Just keep swimming” and then I chuckle because my bladder is so full I feel like I’m swimming.

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2. Divide it up into increments that you can wrap your brain around. I like to use the Tervis small (16 oz) and large (24 oz) glasses. It’s easier for me to wrap my head around drinking 8 small glasses. I count them off in my head during the day.

3. Drink throughout the day. I drink 16 oz. as soon as I wake up and 16. oz right before I go to bed. That’s 2 of my 8 glasses done for the day. You can even space it out and set yourself calendar reminders to drink a glass every few hours. Sometimes I need a little reminder to take a break from work and drink. I know some people who fill a gallon jug each day and have increments marked in marker on the jug for morning, mid-day, afternoon, and evening.

4. Use a straw. I find I drink more consistently and mindlessly throughout the day if I have a straw in my glass. Otherwise I let it sit and then end up gulping down a large glass. If I have a straw in the glass it disappears quicker.

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5. Add flavor if you need. I do not like the taste of our tap water. I usually use the filtered water out of our refrigerator since it tastes so much better. But there are times when I don’t have that luxury. I carry a couple of tubes of Nuun All Day Hydration with me to drop into my water when I’m out and about. The subtle flavor really helps the drink-ability and breaks up the monotony of drinking plain water all day.

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Hope these tips help some of you add more water to your day. You can do it. Remember to “Just keep swimming!” 🙂

Drink more water – Gallon a day challenge

I’m sure many of you have seen the article floating around social media about the woman in the UK who drank 3 liters of water a day for one month. For us non-metric folk, that’s approximately 101 ounces. She took a before picture and an after picture and documented how she was feeling. The changes she reports are remarkable. And the before and after pictures are startling. She felt better, less headaches, better skin quality, and lost a bit of weight all by just increasing her water intake.

Confession: I do not drink near enough water. My fluid consumption revolves mainly around 2 cups of coffee in the morning, a couple of cans of sparkling water, possibly an iced tea and maybe one more cup of coffee in the afternoon. On a good day I’m getting 60 to 70 ounces of fluid. While that’s not entirely terrible, I can do much better. The old rule of thumb was to drink 8 glasses (8 oz) of water a day = 64 oz.  A lot of athletic trainers suggest a lot more – 100 to 128 (one gallon) ounces a day. If you scour the internet you can find recommendations anywhere from 60 ounces to one gallon. Recommended water consumption depends on several factors: temperature, physical exertion level, overall health, and weight. Some references also suggest going by urine color. A properly hydrated body should produce urine that is pale to light yellow.

Bottom line for me though is I feel like I don’t drink enough. My skin is dry. I’m fatigued often (could be newborn mom syndrome too, but it’s worth a try). I have massive luggage under my eyes. So, I’m taking the 30 day challenge. I intend to consume 128 ounces of fluid a day for the next month. I took a before picture yesterday sans all makeup (EEK!) and began drinking one gallon of water. I chugged and drank and chugged and drank my 128 ounces yesterday and I plan to continue for the next 30 days. The bathroom and I are getting very well acquainted. I’ll post a weekly update on how I’m feeling and any changes I notice. Stay tuned!!