There are some things that you feel that you really should do. I’m not really into “shoulds”. One person’s “should” is another person’s “shudder”. However, when it comes to health related “shoulds”, I like to at least try them out.
In this challenge, it was to meet the daily guideline of drinking 8 glasses of water everyday, about 2 litres, that is the recommended amount for health.
The benefits of drinking water are first off that we can’t live without it. It comprises about 60% of our body composition so is one of those life essentials. Many of us don’t drink enough, though, partly because we drink other things, partly because many of us don’t like the taste, partly because we get lazy. I’m happy with the taste of plain old tap water, but we live in an area where it’s pretty good straight from the tap, even without a filter. Laziness is a different matter.
A few more benefits that make the daily recommendation attractive are:
A glass of water first thing in the morning wakes up your body.
Chances are that if you have regular headaches then you may be dehydrated. Drinking enough fluids during the day should aid in reducing the frequency, assuming that the headache isn’t related to something more serious.
Weight Loss Aid
If you are prone to weight gain, drinking a glass of water before your meal will help to prevent you from overeating at each meal, leading to an overall reduction in calories. It is also useful to have a glass of water before reaching for a snack, ensuring that you only eat if you are hungry rather than bored.
Prevention of Cramps
Whenever I don’t drink enough water I am sure to get cramps, usually in my feet or calves whilst sleeping.
Good for the Digestive System
From general digesting of food to, erm, getting rid of the waste, water keeps everything working as it should.
Good for the Skin
Being properly hydrated helps to flush toxins out of the body, rather than them remaining in your cells. After a few weeks of Christmas chocolates, this is definitely something that is an attractive proposition. Plus, hydrated cells are much plumper looking, although wrinkles won’t be eliminated, much the pity.
How did the challenge go then?
The challenge was to drink 8 glasses of water a day. I decided that “a glass” was about 250ml and did not include tea, coffee or any other drinks.
I think it is good to stay hydrated, but to be frank, I don’t want to give up my tea in exchange for water – especially in the colder months.
- Drink 8 glasses of water a day – approx 2 litres
- Other drinks can be had but do not contribute to the total
I must admit, I like a glass of water in the morning following my yoga. It is nice and refreshing and often needed if the session has been putting me through my paces. I also like to drink water with my midday and evening meals, so no difficulties in having at least three glasses a day.
I like a cup of tea to start my work day with, so I resolved to pour a glass of water to have alongside that. Then another at elevensies. All going good then. That’s five and just three more to get in.
Mid afternoon, I have another cup of tea. That’s six. How to get another two in?
That was the least of my worries though. All this extra liquid was interfering with my working day. Getting up for a comfort break every 60 minutes was okay when I was working alone, but when involved in a two hour consultation, it led to several occasions where I spent up to 30 minutes wriggling in my seat.
Attempting to have one before bed was also a big no-no. Again, more frequent visits to the bathroom in the middle of the night did nothing for my sleep quality.
I’ll have a cup of tea.
I just can’t drink eight glasses of water in a day, especially in the colder months. Plus, if it’s going to interfere with my sleep or working day, that can’t be good either, can it?
This challenge was actually completed last year, and I had hoped to see some improvement in my skin. As it happens, the biggest improvements were seen when I changed what I was eating and the products I was using on my face and hair. I’m sure the water was good for my skin, just no good for spots, so take that into consideration if you want to up your water intake but fail to see a change.
I think I’ll just stick to ensuring that I don’t get thirsty through other means, including tea, coffee and food, and continue with my morning and meal time water.
If you want to start drinking more water, then here are some observations and other tips:
- It’s easier to drink more if the water is to hand. Having a glass of water on the desk made me drink more, as did having a glass to hand in the morning.
- Keep a bottle in your bag when you are out and about
- Being consistent makes you want that glass in the morning
- Swap carbonated drinks for water – they are empty calories (and if they are zero calorie drinks, just what is it that you are drinking?!)
- If plain water isn’t for you, you could add fruit or mint
- Water is always better cold or hot, not tepid
To sum it up, I would say that as long as you drink something, and don’t let yourself get thirsty, you’re doing good. The 8 glasses a day is a guideline for total liquids and doesn’t need to be just water. Experimenting with different drinks and times of day will also be of benefit – but alcohol doesn’t count.
Do you like 28 (or maybe 30) day challenges? What have you tried out? Did you bin it or schedule it after the trial period? Share in the comments below.
Grab your own 28 Day Challenge Template at the link below.
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Until next time, remember, if the excess baggage is weighing you down, you can always leave it in lost luggage.