I’ve never been especially adept at hydration. If you’re confused by that statement because “being adept at hydration” literally just means “drinking water,” please know that I am equally as perplexed and frustrated by my own inadequacies. My entire life, I’ve struggled with drinking enough water. There’s likely a lot of reasons for this, ranging anywhere from laziness to total lack of self-preservation instincts, but I like to think it’s because there are so many better tasting beverages out there that make water feel like a waste of time. In this moment I can hear health professionals across country the sighing heavily, and I would like each of you to know that I, too, am disappointed in myself.
I’m sure people will read this and have suggestions for me. “But diffused water!!” someone will inevitably posting in the comments section, thinking that they are, in fact, being helpful. To you, sweet soul, I will say this: I have had your diffused water. I’ve owned countless water bottles with difficult-to-clean diffusers and filled them with ungodly combinations of fruit, herbs, and vegetables in an attempt to trick my body into drinking the one thing it needs to keep me alive. And it always works, for three days.
Three days is what it takes for me to get sick of slicing lemons and rinsing mint and studiously replacing said ingredients before they get soggy and gross. Three days is what it takes for me to forget my fruit-laden bottle in my car overnight and return to a hot, mildew, pulpy mess in the morning. Three days is what it takes for me to abandon the notion of being a better, healthier person and revert back to my former dehydrated troll state. Thank you for your attempts at saving me, but I am too far gone.
So, when I was tasked with attempting to drink double the amount of recommended water a day for an entire week, I jumped on the opportunity. Hydration for my own benefit? Boring. Ordinary. Passé. Hydration for the sake of an article where I get to talk about what a sh*tty person I am? A great time. Sign me up. Break out that soap box.
According to the Mayo Clinic Website, the amount of water we should be drinking per day is a simple question with no easy answer. This is literally my least favorite kind of question. Countless anonymous, omnipotent health gurus and doctors and highly opinionated women with no qualifications around the internet will quote anywhere from 1.5 to 3 liters a day. That’s how much they think it’ll take to offset the questionable substances I insist on pouring in my body week after week. Fools.
Across the board, it seemed like everyone could agree that about 2 liters a day was optimal, which means that for this experiment I would be consuming 4 liters a day. This is wild for many reasons, first and foremost being that I get maybe a single liter of water on a good day. I don’t even want to tell you what a bad day looks like in the event that my mom reads this and then calls and yells at me.
When you research drinking water (something no functional human should have to research, and yet here I am) there are any number of articles that will tell you that doing so isn’t just a necessary by-product of being alive, but a beauty and weight loss hack. As if water is this secret elixir that was recently discovered in an untouched cave in Peru and we suddenly have access to its magical properties.
Water clears your skin! Water helps you lose weight! Water, when mixed with soap, makes an excellent cleaning solution! All of these things are turned into bold headlines, heralded as newsworthy facts and not just obvious statements, probably because people like me are still Googling things like “benefits of water.” The first bullet on any of those lists should be “it keeps you alive,” but that’s just not enough for us anymore, is it?
If water is going to force me to be alive, it better also give me the skin of a 16-year-old super model and the flat, bloat-free stomach of that same 16-year-old super model. Basically, if this recommended 68 oz of water a day doesn’t turn me into Kaia Gerber, what is the point?? Why am I wasting my time??
Well, after seven days of forcing four liters of water into my body, I can tell you the point: you feel good.
After one week of sufficient hydration I can finally recognize what it feels like to be truly dehydrated and let me tell you, in case you weren’t aware, it doesn’t feel great. I can now say, without a shadow of a doubt, that I have been frequently treating dehydration with almost anything but water. Food. Iced coffee. Sleeping. Iced coffee. Unnecessary snacks. Iced coffee. All consumed under the guise of “I probably need this” when all I needed to do was drink some damn water.
So while the main item in the pro column here is, “my body is finally functioning in the manner for which it was designed,” I would be remiss to not mention the cons. Do they offset a healthy lifestyle and fully operational organs? No, but they were still annoying.
First of all, it’s really hard to drink four liters of water a day. What you’ll find if you attempt to do so is that, once you’re no longer thirsty, you have a difficult time remembering to continue to drink water. There are ways around this, but I can’t really put into the words the shame you feel when your “DRINK WATER RIGHT NOW!!” reminder pops up on your laptop while it’s plugged into a monitor during a meeting and you’re forced to explain to your coworkers that you actually require the assistance of technology to do something vital for your own existence.
Also, being fully hydrated means that you pee. A lot. Constantly, even. Enough times that people will start to get worried about you. I don’t want to project my own insecurities onto my coworkers, but if I watched someone get up and go to the bathroom twice an hour, every hour for eight hours a day, I’d assume there was a UTI involved. Or they were hungover and taking power naps on the bathroom floor. Not that I’m speaking from experience.
Did my skin miraculously clear up? No. Did my increased metabolism result in magnificent weight loss? No. Did I become a Neutrogena model over the course of seven days? Obviously not. However, if they’re interested after seeing my expert selfies below, my DM’s are open.
As demonstrated by these (makeup free) before and after pictures, you’ll see that I look about the same except that my stress zits have accomplished an entire lifecycle during the length of this experiment. Seeing as how those tend to pop up any time I’m PMS-ing, I didn’t expect any amount of water to make a difference. But I also refuse to judge the success of this venture on the aesthetic effects that I may or may not have experienced.
Despite what any number of Instagram pages or low quality videos that your moms friends share incessantly may tell you, not everything in the year 2018 has to be a “hack.” I’m not here telling you to drink water because it will magically clear up your skin or make you drop two dress sizes in time for that big event without actually dieting or exercising or suddenly make that cursed amulet in your attic stop whispering turn you into a health and wellness guru. I’m telling you to drink water because it’s good for you. And while that may seem like a boring reason in a world of Goop and Beauty Hacks and Instant Fixes, it should be enough.
Images: Betch Ivy Carter; Giphy (2)
Your skin is wrinkly and dry, your mouth is a desert, and your entire body feels like that of an 85-year-old arthritic woman. Dehydration can cause a lot of weird issues, so chugging water and upping your general hydration is a must. But drinking water can sometimes be annoying (#firstworldprobs), and nobody wants to get up to pee 65 times in one day. Luckily, you can eat your water. By that, I mean eating certain foods can also give you the water you’re desperately craving, help dilute the vodka in your veins (can I live?), and bless your organs with much-needed vitamins and minerals. These are an easy fix to help get your shit back in balance without going on a juice cleanse or like, giving up pizza.
Want sexy skin AND to be hydrated without chugging water? Make a salad full of cucumbers. The potassium and magnesium will keep you face lookin’ fly while the water may help battle the hangover you’re currently sporting.
The clue is in the name, idiots. At about 93% water, this summer treat is a great option if you’re laying on the dock/beach/shitty patio chair in your ugly backyard. Plus, watermelon’s spongy quality makes it perfect for soaking in alcohol—just saying.
Weird, but true. High in fiber, high in water, low in calories, and shitty in flavor (sorry, but it’s true), try to incorporate some non-fried eggplant into your future to reap its benefits which like, slightly outweigh its sponge-like quality.
Zucchinis, which are just shittier cucumbers, are also full of water. These bitches are about 96% water, but eat it raw or else you’re totes getting rid of the water that’ll heal your unhealthy ass. Try some zoodles (spiralized zucchini for those of you who don’t even internet) with salt, pepper, lemon, and olive oil for a healthy fix.
Often ignored as a shitty breakfast garnish (get outta here), cantaloupe is about 90% water, only about 50 calories, and has some vitamins. All that may make you feel better about actually eating cantaloupe.
Yay! As long as you’re not one of those people who can’t eat pineapple cause it makes your tongue itch (sad), this fruit is super hydrating AND has anti-inflammatory properties. It’s like natural Tylenol, kinda.
7. Bell Peppers
Does not count if they’re stuffed in a burrito. Bell peppers, the stars of any crudité platter, are about 92% water and full of vitamin C.
Our least favorite and saddest desk snack makes an appearance as a water-filled snack. It kinda makes up for the depression that comes with eating celery at a party while all your other friends eat pizza rolls because you’re trying to lose three pounds. Anyway, celery is about 96% water (4% rage) and is packed with calcium, iron, zinc, and more.
9. Romaine Lettuce
Now that the E. coli scare has passed, romaine should be your new bff if you’re looking to up your hydration. Like most lettuces and greens, romaine has a shit load of water (less than shitty white trash Iceberg) and a ton of folate, vitamin C, and beta-carotene.
Ain’t nothin’ like a few slices of tomato on white bread with mayo during the summer. Fun fact: tomatoes are about 94% water, so eating an entire tomato for lunch won’t only help your skin and hair (vitamins, fam), but it’ll also hydrate your dry ass.
Images: Rick Vos, Unsplash; Giphy (4)
We are all FULLY aware that drinking water is good for us. Want clear skin? Water. Trying to lose weight? Replace all meals with water. (Jk. Please don’t do that.) Want to look hotter in general? Water. Want to bring about world peace, get Trump impeached, bring back Obama for a third term, and ensure a lifetime of not having to work but getting paid for laying around? Probably water. You get the idea.
But there are magical things that this literal elixir of life can do for you that you may not have known about. Sure, chugging water may clear up your zitty face, but did you know if gives you a lot more energy? Probs not. So I rounded up 10 surprising benefits of drinking water. And no, Diet Coke does not count. Get to chuggin’.
1. You Won’t Be So Goddamn Tired All The Time
Water naturally boosts your metabolism and makes you super focused, since your brain is made up of like, water and other things (according to science). So, if you’re having trouble concentrating on the mile long to-do list on your desk, chug water and you may be able to focus on it.
2. You’ll Flush Out The Crap You’ve Been Eating & Drinking
Are your weekends full of drugs and binge drinking? Water can help flush those looked-down-upon activities right out of your system. By the miracle of peeing, you can help your body more quickly give the old heave-ho to those tequila shots lingering in your body.
3. You’ll Lessen Your Chances Of Getting Sick
My husband is currently laid up in bed for day three of “I can’t take care of myself and have the flu.” He could have prevented this by drinking enough water and boosting his immune system. That means that instead of watching a grown man moan about sinus pressure, I could have pressured him into taking me to a nice dinner. The more you know.
4. Your Headache Will Magically Disappear
Does your head hurt all the goddamn time? Do you attribute it to the idiots you work with everyday? It COULD just be that you’re dehydrated! If you chug water, the headache may actually disappear. If it doesn’t, good luck finding a new job.
5. You’ll Be Less Likely To Injure Yourself
Hey guess what? If you drink water, your muscles will stay limber, and your joints will stay lubricated (ew, but true). That means you’ll be MUCH less likely to fall while wearing your new BCBG flats, break your foot, and have to wear a fug boot for a week, all because you couldn’t quite get a grip on texting and walking. Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything.
6. Your Cramps Won’t Be Quite As Shitty
Brace yourself, cause it’s fucking true. If you have more water in your system when Red October rolls around, your muscles will be more elastic, and therefore, less likely to cramp up on you. Plus, you’ll be peeing out all that water weight anyway, so you can justify being like, five pounds heavier that week.
7. You’ll Be Less Poor
This is an obvious one, but, in case you missed it, water is FREE unless you’re drinking the bougie kind and/or living in Flint, Michigan. Honestly tho, save a few bucks, grab a sustainable metal bottle, fill it with not-disgusting tap, and chug. Your wallet will thank you.
8. You’ll Have Less Wrinkles
Yas, we know water is good for our skin (obv), but it can also help stave off the onset of wrinkles. By moisturizing your skin from the inside and preventing fluid loss, you lessen the likelihood of some nasty-ass crow’s feet on your face.
9. You’ll Eat Less
A great trick is to chug water BEFORE you eat. It’ll fill your stomach, make you feel full, and you’ll be more likely to exercise some goddamn self-control when faced with cake, cookies, fried chicken, etc.
10. You’ll Feel Skinnier
Don’t deny that you fucking love taking a grand shit, feeling 10 pounds lighter, and being able to squeeze into that body suit afterward. Yah, it’s gross, but chugging water will help maintain your ability to be regular. And that, friends, is priceless.
Images: Madison Bilsborough / Unsplash; Giphy (5)