Life · Me

Does drinking water really benefit us that much? An experiment

Every article we read to do with health and fitness tells us we must drink more water. Apparently it’s the ‘elixir of life’. Plants need light and water to survive. Are we really that different? Now that the longer days are here, I decided to embark on a experiment. 1 month of water drinking. What change would it really bring to me? Is it worth all the praise it’s given?

Starting picture & initial thoughts

I’m not a big water drinker. I mean, I only drink water but I hardly drink any at all. The smallest recommendation of water to drink is 2 litres a day, I hardly drink 250ml a day. I don’t drink full glasses, just sips here and there and I know it’s not good. With the amount of exercise I do, I think I should be drinking closer to 3 litres but for now, any improvement is good.

I wanted to see what drinking the right amount of water can actually do.

I’m not a pretty picture to begin with. I have terrible skin and have done for a while, I have a malfunctioning digestive system and my hair is always dry. I struggle with energy and get dizzy when ever I stand up. I’m hoping that water will help me with all this.

I can’t help but hope that water is as great as it’s portrayed to be. There are so many beautiful women who claim water is the secret behind their beauty. It’s such a simple thing that we take for granted and if it can provide staggering results, it will honestly amaze me. To be honest, although I’m hopeful, I’m not expecting much other than an increase in the number of times I go to the toilet a day! Maybe it will stop me being so dizzy 24/7 but other than that, I think my problems are deeper set. We’ll have to see!

 

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My trusty water bottle

 

What does water claim to do

In preparation for this experiment, I’ve scoured the web to see what water is claimed to do so that I can provide a complete analysis on water and it’s abilities.

From what I’ve gathered, water is capable of:

  • Stops headaches and dizziness
  • Clears your skin
  • Plumps out your skin/ Gets rid of wrinkles
  • Helps remove toxins and fight infections
  • Aids weight-loss
  • Keeps you ‘regular’ (in terms of toilets habits!)
  • Improves concentration
  • Helps you exercise better
  • Boosts energy
  • Keeps your blood thin enough and therefore your organs healthy
  • Helps your kidneys and decreases chance of kidney stones.

This list might not be interesting to some of you but for me, it seems to be capable of solving every problem I want sorting. The one’s in bold are my main interests. I don’t want Kidney stones but I haven’t classed that as a main interest as I can’t actually record any difference it makes as it’s not visible. The same with keeping your organs working. Of course I want that but I don’t have the medical equipment needed to track any differences water brings.

 The experiment

So here we go, my plan of action:

From Monday 27th March to Thursday 27th April, I will be drinking 2 litres or more a day and recording anything I notice. The 2 litres will be spread throughout the day but in particular when I wake up/Breakfast and after school and dinner. I won’t be changing anything else about my lifestyle REALLY dramatically during this time.

To make sure I drink enough, I will carry a water bottle with me and actually refill it and not be afraid to go to the toilet during lessons as this is one thing that stops me drinking water. If I don’t drink the water, I don’t need the toilet, therefore I don’t need to ask to go to the toilet. Simple! That’s how much I hate the school toilets! However this needs to change. If I fail to drink all 2 litres in a day, I’ll drink the excess the next day on tops of my designated 2 litres for that day.

Week 1 thoughts

Week 1 started off fairly successfully. I didn’t really notice anything different until the last few days of the week, other than a huge number of trips to the loo!! I don’t actually know how many times people normally go for a pee each day but for me, before this experiment, it was twice, maybe three times a day at most.

Since starting this experiment, I’ve been going to the toilet 5 times a day at minimum which is really a huge increase for me! After just 2 days, my family said they felt my skin was looking a lot brighter and while the bigger blemishes weren’t gone, the smaller ones seemed to have disappeared. In the last few days, the bigger blemishes also began to disappear although the redness was still there.

Towards the end of the week, I noticed a huge improvement in my digestion. Everything about it was becoming more ‘normal’. 2 Litres is actually a lot less than I thought it was and as long as I remembered, it wasn’t too hard to drink enough. The dizziness was still there throughout the week especially when standing up after a long time sitting down and I didn’t really notice an increase in my energy.

 

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How much water it felt like I was drinking some days!

 

Week 2 thoughts

Drinking water this week has been so much harder and I have no idea why… even though it felt like I was drinking a LOT of water, I still ended up having to ‘binge’ on water at the end of the day. I know it’s apparently not as effective as drinking it slowly throughout the day but at least I’m still drinking it, right?

I’ve really struggled with my lips drying out this week which isn’t something that normally happens to me. I don’t know if it’s at all related but I thought I’d include it anyway. I’ve really noticed improvements with my digestion which is great and in my opinion, my skin is looking a lot better. I haven’t noticed an increase in energy at all and I’m getting even more dizzy. I really don’t know why it has got worse.

I haven’t done much exercise this week so I don’t know if anything has changed there but I do think it’s improved my concentration as revision has actually gone OK this week!

Week 3 thoughts

This week was a week spent completely at home and so it was a lot easier to remember to drink my water. Suddenly I was back to full water and I spent 3 or 4 days feeling generally ‘squidgy’ from the amount of water I’d drunk. I was constantly feeling bloated even when I was ‘weeing’ constantly! As usual dizziness was a unchanged factor of my week. Digestion was really great and my skin was OK. Not much changed between week 2 and 3 other than feeling like a marshmallow filled with water!

Week 4 thoughts

This was a sports based week as I went off to France for Rowing Camp so it was really tested that side of water drinking. I was still feeling dizzy but it wasn’t as bad as it had been for the last few weeks and made me feel a lot more concentrated. I can’t say I felt a massive burst of energy but my rowing definitely was some of my best rowing and the energy levels might have been due to how hot it was out there.

As I was out in the sun, I did tan and burn a little bit but this burn didn’t peel for once, instead it just faded to tan. I’m putting this down to the water keeping my skin more moisturised. A friend complimented my skin for first time ever!!! I don’t know if any of you know how happy this makes me but it proved to me that the water was providing actual results with my skin not just ones I was forcing myself to imagine.

Results & Final thoughts

These final few days, any dizziness I’ve experienced has been as a constant feeling at the back of my mind but it’s presence hasn’t been too bad. I think being hydrated has helped me deal far better with being tired too, I feel much more awake even when I’ve been awake all night. I have to say that I have been impressed with how water has helped my skin and also my digestion.

Of course, this experiment isn’t a completely fair test as I’ve been living my life while drinking more water so every day has been different. However most of the changes my life has gone through recently should have hindered the water’s power, not helped it. For example, I’ve re-introduced chocolate, sweets, cake and biscuits into my diet at the start of week 3. I can’t say I noticed a massive difference since reintroducing it all whereas I know I have in the past years, particularly with my skin, so I completely thank water for this.

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Is water all it’s portrayed to be?

So, water promised me pretty big results and has it reached the expectations my research set out for me? Lets have a look:

Stops headaches and dizziness. I haven’t really noticed a difference in this over the last few weeks. The dizziness did decrease in the final week but, although I don’t know what helped, I don’t think it was the water. I only got 1 real headache during this experiment but I don’t really get many headaches normally.

Clears your skin. Yes, yes, yes! I’ve noticed such a difference. I sort of felt water would help but it still surprised me. This is definitely the area I was happiest the water achieved. I wish I’d photographed a before and after to show you the difference. Maybe if I start lacking in my water drinking again, I’ll repeat the experiment and include photos!

Plumps out your skin/ Gets rid of wrinkles. While I haven’t noticed if I’ve got rid of wrinkles (because thankfully I don’t have too many), I have noticed an increase in hydration, which I imagine would remove wrinkles.

Helps remove toxins and fight infections. I don’t really know but I haven’t got ill while drinking the water?! That being said, I’m not a very sickly person normally so it’s not saying much…!

Aids weight-loss. I can’t say I noticed any but to be fair, I wasn’t wanting to lose weight so that suited me. If anyone else does this experiment, I’d love to see if they notice any difference in weight…

Keeps you ‘regular’ (in terms of toilets habits!) Possibly the thing I was second most happy about. I’m not going to go into much detail because I’m talking about toilet habits for goodness sake, but if you struggle with digestion etc, I recommend drinking enough water!

Improves concentration. I assume it was the water that made me more concentrated for revision over the holidays although it might be the looming exams! I’d say it did help partially as I just had to remember to drink water so my brain was more switched on, if that makes any sense…

Helps you exercise better. I had rowing camp in the middle of this experiment, aka the ideal time to test this out and I must say while I’m not suddenly world champion, I feel it did help partially because I got less tired out and I sweated less which is surprising given how warm it was.

Boosts energy. I’ve not had ‘bouncing-off ceilings’ sort of energy but I think it’s increased. Or at least I’m not as tired as usual even though I’m getting even less sleep…

Keeps your blood thin enough and therefore your organs healthy. Not really something I can tell but I feel like they’ve been healthy in the last few weeks. I mean, they haven’t been unhealthy so therefore they must be OK!!

Helps your kidneys and decreases chance of kidney stones. Again, it’s not something I can really check… I’d like to think that drinking my water in the last few weeks has helped but I don’t really think a month will have helped in the long run! I’ll update you when I’m 80 or so with whether I’ve had a kidney stone or not!!!

The results, while not completely promising everything the websites have told me water would do, have encouraged me to drink more water. I mean, knowing me, I’ll forget within the next few days but I would love to keep it up during exams and through to Prom. Just imagine if I could take prom photos with clear-ish skin!! That would be amazing!

If anyone else wants to try and remember to drink more water, let me know and I might create a ‘Water’ group chat on twitter where we basically remind each other to drink water and share any results we find. Ok, that sounds very geeky but if you like the sound of it, let me know!!

 

xxx

(This is the longest post I’ve ever written (2200 words!!) and it’s something very different for me so if you’ve enjoyed it please let me know and if you’ve REALLY enjoyed it, I’d love it if you could share it with your friends!)

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