There are a million different people out there that will tell you a million different reasons why you should drink more water every day. And when you start asking WHY you should be drinking that much water daily, you're sure to get two million different responses.
So rather than read about what everyone else thought, I decided I was going to find out for myself what would happen if I started drinking 1 gallon (128 ounces) of water a day for 30 days. Now before I get into what happened to me, here are some of the things that I was expecting based on what I had read and heard from numerous sources:
Improves protein synthesis
Increased fat loss
Improved brain function
Detoxifies (flushes your system)
Now there were a few others things I read and heard about, but these were the ones that seemed to be mentioned everywhere I looked. I expected to experience at least one or two of these effects by the end of my 30 days of drinking 1 gallon of water per day.
One of the hardest parts of drinking a gallon of water a day is NOT the drinking but the peeing! For the first few days it felt like I was getting up to pee every 10 minutes. Truth be told, it was probably more like every 20 minutes. But STILL....every 20 minutes gets old after a while. So then I found myself trying to hold it in just so I wouldn't have to get up. Bad idea. This is not only uncomfortable but also unhealthy on many fronts.
Thankfully after about a week, my body got used to the fluid intake and began regulating itself. By the end of week 2, I was pretty much back to my normal bathroom schedule. So if you are going to give this a go...be prepared and make sure you have a bathroom nearby during weeks 1 and 2. This may vary from person to person, but I would be remiss in my responsibilities as a writer if I didn't share this with you.
Drinking to drink:
When drinking a gallon of water a day you are bound to be drinking when you are not thirsty. If you only drink when you're thirsty you'll never make it. I realized this day 1 and found myself having to finish 1/2 gallon of water at 8pm. Needless to say, this didn't make for a restful morning of sleeping in.
In an effort to simply make it through the gallon I decided that I was going to take long, hearty, 10 second chugs every hour. This worked spectacularly. By early afternoon I was nearly done with the gallon.
By week 2 finishing the gallon of water by 7pm became somewhat of a game. I came up with different "drinking games" in my head which got me to drink the water more regularly. And once the peeing every 5 minutes thing is under control, it gets fun. In fact, it became a HABIT.
By week 3 I found myself reaching for the 1 gallon jug instinctively every so often, as if I had been doing this for years. When I would reach for it and it wasn't on my desk I would frantically look around for it. Not that I was dying of thirst and needed a drink to survive. It just became part of my routine. And that leads us to my next discovery.
After 30 consecutive days of drinking one gallon of water a day, here's what happened to me...
For starters I was VISIBLY leaner. Now, full disclosure, I wasn't over-weight by any means but we all can tell when we've leaned out a bit while looking in the mirror post shower, right? Despite working out 6 days a week and maintaining a clean diet with low carbs, I absolutely noticed a difference in by body fat at the end of the 30 days. Frankly, I was kinda shocked. All that time in the gym and sipping water throughout the day got me past that plateau.
The next big thing I noticed was that some of my minor aches and pains in my joints had subsided. Once again, full disclosure, I am by no mean suffering from arthritis or anything even close. But after some long, hard workouts I would feel those little aches here and there. But while drinking the gallon of water for 30 days they almost all disappeared. Once again...I was kinda shocked.
The one thing that was the most surprising to me was my increase in mental clarity. Running a company has me going in 10 different directions all the time. Thankfully I have a great support team behind me. But every once in a while I would still find my mind wandering a bit and getting off task. Increasing my water intake to 1 gallon per day, without a doubt, improved my focus and concentration during the course of my day. Now....here's something that was a side-effect that I didn't realize until well after this 30 day test: always sipping on water kept me from EVER thinking about being thirsty OR hungry.
I'm 6'2 and 215 pounds. I lift heavy weight 5-6 days a week. I EAT A LOT. Often times what distracted me from my tasks was hunger. But while drinking the gallon of water every day, I noticed that I didn't think about my meals between my meals (I typically eat 5-7 meals a day). I would also typically get up periodically to get a drink of water or stop for a drink if I was on the road. But with my gallon of water always by my side, this never happened.
I pretty much never get colds (just knocked on wood). I might have 1-2 drinks per week. Sugars and processed foods are NOT part of my diet. So it's hard for me to say if I got any form of "detox" while drinking a gallon of water a day for the thirty days. What I can say is I never got sick, my digestion (gut) was great, I always woke up feeling rested and I definitely had great energy throughout the day. Could it be from the detox effects of the water? I truly can't say. But I'll take feeling good any day of the week.
I am now a believer. I continue to drink a minimum of 120 ounces of water every day. I feel better than I've ever felt before. l'm still experiencing all of the benefits I listed above and then some.
To anyone reading this (especially police officers and first responders) I can truly attest to the benefits of drinking a gallon of water a day. Everyone and every body is different...I know this. But if you've been looking for something small, easy and inexpensive you can do to look, feel and live better, I say give it a try. You have nothing to lose (water is free from your tap...that's what I drank) and a lot to gain...except weight. You'll probably lose weight! Go for it.