Have you ever wondered if you drink enough liquid every day? And no, I’m not talking about coffee or soda. We’re talking good ol’ fashioned clear water.
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms discussed below, you’re probably not drinking enough. Read on to find out how a little experiment highlighted the benefits of drinking 2 liters of water a day.
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How much water is enough
A thorough scan of Google confirms a fact that everyone can agree on. There is no set amount of water that every person should drink every day.
Your body will need different amounts of water depending on your age, size, activity level, climate, etc. In other words, an active 15-year-old in a humid climate will need substantially more water than a sedentary 30-year-old working in climate control every day.
That’s not to say you couldn’t use one of the available calculators to give you a base level.
However, what is more valuable for your health is monitoring for these signs of dehydration and adjusting your intake accordingly.
The water experiment
Based on my personal stats and activity level, I embarked on my mission to try the age-old advice of 8 cups of water a day (or approximately 2 liters).
I only drink water, so that was not a big adjustment for me.
I also don’t go anywhere without my water bottle. I’m so used to having it in my hands, my husband has stopped me on several occasions from walking into a restaurant with it. I’m a little bit addicted to it. And I have no problem with that!
Based on what Google had to say about being well-hydrated, I expected to observe the following in my 2 week trial period:
Now, I contemplated giving you a day-by-day breakdown but by day 4 even I was bored! So instead I’m going to give you the big picture.
I was okay days 1 and 2. Then day 3 hit. And I peed every 30 minutes. Or at least it felt like it was that frequently. In reality, it was probably more like every hour. And a few times during the night.
Either way, I was pretty much over it by the time my body adjusted on day 6.
After day 6, I regulated to be about normal. It was also a healthy light color. But that is pretty normal for me, so no change there.
As far as bladder irritation goes, it was a slight bit improved. Obviously I don’t have any scientific proof of this. Just a general statement that it usually bothers me at about a level of 6 and with more water it bothered me at about a 4.5. We’ll call it a win. I would have liked to see more improvement, though, so just 1 thumb instead of 2.
I’m going to admit, I’m pretty sure I skewed the results on this one. I have basically been eating everything I shouldn’t for about a month now. That has resulted in more headaches than I get if I’m eating properly.
So, what I’m saying is…I had the headaches. And it was 100% my fault. And I’m pretty sure there isn’t any amount of water that would have changed this.
What I don’t know, though, is how much worse they would have been without the water.
Unknown. It is really impossible to tell whether the water had any effect. I think the experiment would have to happen in a much more controlled environment and probably for longer than 2 weeks.
Since I improved my diet, which you can read more about here, I have pretty decent luck with digestion issues.
My previous symptoms of IBS are mostly gone. Granted, I tend to cause irritation to my gut when I get free-and-loose with my diet. Which I have been lately.
The point of this is, I don’t have terrible digestion issues. I eat. I digest. My body removes it.
So how do I know if this was improved or not?
In case I haven’t mentioned it repeatedly in the last few sentences, my diet has been crap lately.
I think it’s safe and fair to say, I have not experienced the gastrointestinal issues I would have if I weren’t experimenting with the benefits of drinking 2 liters of water a day. This one earns a definite two thumbs up because I didn’t experience issues despite my best efforts otherwise.
The State of My Skin
For ease of discussion, I have combined the last few points into one category: what does drinking water do for your skin?
Fall months and winter are particularly nasty on my skin. My face rash (thanks fibro, again) always gets much worse, I itch, and look a bit like a snake despite unholy amounts of lotion. And it’s full autumn here in Colorado as I write.
I’m also 34 and noticing some **gasp wrinkles! Nothing too major, but a bit around my eyes, nose, and on my forehead.
So I was particularly looking forward to seeing how 2 weeks of strict water intake worked for my skin.
Definite improvements here, even after only 2 weeks.
My skin is mostly clear, which I have been struggling with since I’m eating poorly right now. I am not experiencing my usual autumn ‘dry skin itchiness’. The fine lines in my face are ever so slightly less.
Absolutely, no questions asked, two thumbs up here.
I saw improvement in all areas I was able to subjectively measure.
I learned a few lessons along the way, as well.
- Drinking 2 liters of water a day doesn’t happen by accident. At least not in the first 2 weeks of doing it.
- Drinking slightly warm water is easier than cold water. But I prefer cold water so I choose to make it more difficult on myself.
- Some days it is much easier to drink 2 liters of water than other days. However, it did get easier as the two weeks went along.
- I noticed benefits after only 2 weeks. I can’t wait to see what happens as I continue to increase my water intake.
There are definitely benefits to drinking 2 liters of water a day.
You might be interested in reading someone else’s take on how important water is, especially with chronic illness. Check out this awesome post over at Notebook and Glasses for more info.
I believe they will be different for every person depending on their water needs and current intake. However, it is so worth the effort.
Even just a two-week trial period has given me a new outlook on finding simple ways to improve my health. And when you have chronic illness, like me, finding an easy way to improve your health is a huge deal!
This is a relatively easy adjustment to make, all things considered. It doesn’t require money or pills or lifestyle changes. It is a great place to start for those looking to make small and incremental improvements to their health.
Pick an amount, drink it for two weeks, and let me know what your results are!! I look forward to hearing everyone’s experience.
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