HOW MUCH WATER SHOULD WE BE DRINKING?

HOW MUCH WATER?


Emily here. It is not unusual for me to present strange ideas to the team. This one was no exception. I was tired of reading online articles trying to figure out what my water intake should be. Every article gave different advice, no doubt triggered by some advertising angle.

So I challenged the team to one month of water drinking. I can’t believe it has been a whole month already. 

What was the challenge?

Well, it started with 4 giants jugs from Amazon. Then we decided we would drink the whole damn thing every day at first. We even decided to write up a pee chart to see just how much we were each going.

The results were fascinating. Each one of us had an entirely different experiences so we have each written our own. 

One thing we learned pretty quickly is that our bodysuits were not going to work for at least a week, since we were all in the bathroom so much.

 

EMILY'S EXPERIENCE:


So what was my experience?

As someone who maybe drank 5 beverages a day that INCLUDED water, I for sure didn’t drink water just because. If I am working out, sure, but I never really felt like I needed it. I always went by my pee colour to be honest. If it was really yellow I drank water but it never was really yellow unless I had been drinking.

The first day that I drank that much water I felt fine and actually woke up 2lbs lighter which I thought wow this is amazing. The second and third day were absolutely awful, I felt light headed, tired, and moody. 

I have always been one who is in tune with my body, I am not a big fan of being sick or taking any medication so I knew this would be a good exercise for me.

 


I kept going and of course would fall off on the weekend. I started noticing a pattern that I was feeling better when I drank less so I did more research and made a personal decision to reduce it by half. 


Still drinking two litres, I was blown away that I started to crave it. I think too, the large bottle became comforting which is strange lol. I would see Frances hugging hers so maybe we all started to get attached. Mine was named Donna…no joke. 

One month later, I still drink two litres a day and can probably retire Donna to a smaller sized bottle. My personal and NON medical opinion: If your pee is clear stop drinking water. You hydrated hunny.

My water type: I used to be proud of my unfiltered water until Rebecca and I saw a naturopath. No more, I filter that shit.


REBECCA'S EXPERIENCE:


I'm someone who drinks a decent amount of water to begin with so I didn't expect to feel as disgusting as I did the first two days after starting. I had a headache and it felt like I was getting sick. It was rough and continued throughout the week.

The first week, I felt SO gross and the amount of times I peed increased quickly, being clear the majority of the time.

By the second week, I felt less awful but I didn't have as much energy as I had expected. However, I found that if I finished the bottle right before bed, I would still feel like I need a glass of water, even though I was already hydrated.

For me there weren't serious changes and I wasn't overall feeling great, so halfway through I started drinking about a litre less; 2.2 L was good. Drinking a whole gallon (3.8 L) is probably not realistic for me to stick to long-term as I have to pee every 20 mins lol. I don't have time for that.

At the end of the challenge, I noticed the overall positive physical change that I liked, was that my lips were less dry and more plump.
 
Now looking back, I'm continuing with this challenge to see if there's any changes over the long-term. But, I'm sticking to the decreased level of 2.2L.

CHELSEA'S EXPERIENCE


The first week sucked. The second day I woke up feeling exhausted, very foggy, not motivated to work, and had no energy. It took a couple days for my body to get use to the water and to get back to its normal feeling.
 
By the second week, I wasn't struggling to get all my water in. I felt better overall and I craved water more. Unfortunately, I gave myself a UTI from holding my pee. So if you live a life that doesn’t let you frequently take bathroom breaks, don't do this challenge..lol. Trust me, a UTI is not worth it.
 
The third week I was really hoping to notice changes in my skin but in reality they were only minimal changes. My lips feel more hydrated, my skin less dry, and my breakouts seemed to be a bit less severe. I also noticed in the third week that if I wasn't drinking my whole water bottle (sometimes on the weekends I drink less) my pee colour was very yellow, even though I was still drinking more water than I had been originally. It seemed like my body was getting rid of more toxins.

By the fourth week I was really enjoying the challenge. Now that it's over, I was and still am drinking between 3/4 - 1 whole bottle each day and am planning on continuing.

I like the ease of the large bottle because it is a good way to track how much you do drink. I find myself also drinking less of other beverages (like juice or sparkling water) and more just straight plain water which I think is a good thing.



Overall, I feel like drinking this challenge improved my energy levels significantly and made it easier to get out of bed in the mornings.
 
Based off my experience I would suggest that it you want to try this challenge:
  • Ease in slowly: don’t begin drinking all the water at once as it’s a rough adjustment
  • Pee frequently - Don’t be the hero who only pees a few times a day. The UTI isn’t worth it
  • Buy a big bottle to track how much you are drinking: Before this challenge, I genuinely didn’t know how much water I was drinking. It's just good info to know.

FRANCES' EXPERIENCE

I've never been a water drinker. The only water I get in is in my coffee and food. So starting this challenge shocked my system BIG.

The first week, weird things were happening to my body. Like everyone else, the first couple days I felt foggy, bloated, and a bit snippy. I was not feeling like myself. But, I had some experiences that nobody else did. I'm going to get probably a bit too real with you right now, so brace yourself.

One was that I did not go number 2 for the beginning couple days. Normally, doing my business is somewhat of a regular and healthy occurrence for me, so it was extremely surprising.

Another, more hopeful, surprise was that the headaches I usually got before bed were gone (probably from previously being dehydrated...lol).

The second week was definitely the best. I felt so energized and focused. My appetite had lowered and I felt like I was craving water. This was definitely the stage I got emotionally connected to Stephanie, my gallon water bottle. This was also the week I peed my pants when I laughed a little too hard. Yes, you heard that right, I peed my pants. Practice your kegels.

Around the third week, I started craving water when I woke up in the morning, a feeling that I can't say I've ever had before in my life.

While I had my ups and downs in this challenge, I wouldn't say that I felt significant changes overall from drinking a gallon of water for a month (other than the increase in bathroom breaks and a slight decrease in my appetite). I was expecting crazy positive results like all those influencers claim it to have, but overall didn't recognize much.

I am planning on continuing this challenge into the future but I have decided to decrease my water consumption to about 2 L. I just don't think I need to consume a full gallon based on my size and exercise level.

From my experience and non-medical opinion, if you are considering trying this challenge, I recommend:

  • Playing around with the amount of water you drink: Everyone's necessary consumption is different so change up the amount you're drinking to figure out the right amount for your body.
  • Get a water bottle with times markers on the bottle: One of the main reasons I previously didn't drink much water was because I would just forget or didn't feel like anything was holding me accountable. Having the time stamps on the bottle, keeps you drinking consistently throughout the day.
  • Practice kegels: You already know why...lol.



Jill Palmer is a Pelvic Physiotherapist, owner of Pine Integrated Health Centre, and one of our customers. She says that the standard recommendation is 8 cups of water plus other fluids (ex. coffee, tea, juice, soup, etc.) The best way to determine your unique hydration needs is by the colour of your urine:

Lemon juice: perfect
Apple juice: too concentrated, concentrated urine is bladder irritant
Clear: too much water. There’s a condition called water intoxication and it’s when you dilute your body’s electrolytes too much. It’s very hard to do, so don’t worry about it, but there is such thing as too much of a good thing!
 
Jill also says that the average bladder capacity in an adult is 400-600 mL. A normal urine stream should last 7-10 seconds where it starts off slow, increase in flow rate, then tapers off like a bell curve. If your stream is too dribbly, too short, or too long, something could be improved.




Here is an exercise Jill recommends to strengthen your pelvic floor:


See if you can stop the flow of urine mid-stream

Don’t do this as a consistent exercise, but see if you can stop the flow of urine mid-stream. This will activate your pelvic floor muscles, which controls your urine, gas, and stool. They're also the ones that contract rhythmically during an orgasm and are a core stabilizing muscle for the body.

If you can stop the flow of urine without cheating (like squeezing your legs together, clenching your bum muscles, engaging abdominal muscles, or scrunching up your face), then you're doing basic pelvic floor muscle exercises (or commonly known as “kegels”).
 
Also try:
 
a) contracting fully and relax fully, repeat 10 times
b) contracting and hold for 10 seconds then fully relax, repeat 10 times
 
It should feel like a closing of your anus, vagina and urethra, and like an elevator is lifting inside your body.
 
Disclaimer: not everyone needs to be doing pelvic floor strengthening exercises. Some people leak urine, gas, stool, have painful sex, and pelvic pain conditions where “kegels” can make their condition worse.
 

To learn more about Jill and Pine Integrated Health Centre, check out the link below:




 

Comment down below if you've tried this challenge before and what your experience was.

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