8-Day Hydration Challenge
By Rachel Miller
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS- Water is the foundation of good health, or in words of Leonardo da Vinci, “Water is the driving force of all nature.” From the moment humans are born, our bodies need water in order to function and survive. Humans should consume roughly 64 ounces of water every day and the consumption of water offers an abundance of benefits: flushing out toxins, boosting energy levels, hydrating skin and improving overall health.
Now, I’m a pretty avid water drinker. I’d say I’m relatively active and consume a good amount of water on a regular basis. I also like to indulge in the perks of a morning cup of coffee, as well as a
liquid libation or two in the evening after a long day, but one day I noticed I was more tired than normal. I had gotten a great night’s sleep, but for some reason I could not get moving, and walking up one flight of stairs was challenging.
Something had to be wrong (amid the pandemic, I had a minor freak-out). But then I noticed how dehydrated I was and how my body was reacting to lack of water, and decided my body needed a change. No more coffee. No more wine. No more tea. No more juices. It was time to flush out the toxins, replenish and rejuvenate my body.
Water. Water. Water. Day one of the experiment and I was already tired of water! I think the excitement of beginning this hydration process got away from me and I overindulged on the first day, leaving me feeling so unbelievably full and bloated. Towards the end of the day, I found myself forcing sips from my water bottle, but overall this was a great kick-start to hydration.
Starting this experiment, I knew cutting coffee out of my daily consumption would be the hardest challenge. I thought my morning cup of coffee was just a part of my routine, but the lack of caffeine consumption produced a significant effect. On day two I was extremely sluggish and tired, and felt my concentration was at an all-time low. But on the plus side, I was starting to feel more hydrated and significantly less full than the day before.
I couldn’t stop going to the bathroom. Feeling my body literally flush itself out is great and all, but having to pee every 30 minutes? Not so much. The caffeine depravation kicked into full gear, leaving me even more tired. The smell of coffee brewing in the office was a real teaser, but I was determined to stay strong.
How is it possible to be so thirsty when I’ve only been consuming water? I woke up several times throughout the night (yes, to use the bathroom) but also completely parched. This resulted in me chugging water at 3:00 a.m., only to reawake and visit the bathroom an hour later. I wonder if I was consistently under-consuming water before and now my body was craving its new “normal” amount. I felt I was FINALLY reaching my body’s hydration needs after 4 days of only consuming water.
This was the day I finally started noticing changes. My bathroom visits had become more regulated. My bloating reduced significantly, my face was full of moisture, and I truly felt rejuvenated. I also had a noticeable boost in energy. Natural energy without the consumption of caffeine?! Who would have thought?
Day six was the hardest day for me to get through – my day off. I do enjoy a glass of wine or two on my night off, so staying away from that was challenging, but I noticed my stomach was a bit slimmer, probably due to the fact that I cut out the extra sugars from alcohol.
So, I just carried my Nalgene with me for the day and sipped my H20 during Happy Hour.
This was an active day, so it was an easy day to consume water. Water actually served as a relief during the day’s activities and by the end of it I found myself trying to catch on my hydration. Let me tell you, water had never tasted so good. At this point in the challenge my body felt very regulated and my hydration had become a hobby.
The final day. That was so much easier than I thought. I actually considered extending this to ten days – maybe even two weeks – because I was feeling great! But wine tastings were a must at work, so I decided to end it how I originally had planned. I will definitely do this challenge again. Now, it feels less like a challenge and more like a lifestyle that I think my body will thrive on, leaving me rejuvenated, hydrated, energetic and rested.