One month ago, I made the pledge to drink 3L of water a day for 30 days.
I already knew that water is extremely good for you, and that I didn’t drink nearly as much as I should. Since I had so much fun doing the Wild Rose Detox, why not try a 30 day water challenge next?
I purchased a $10 1 liter water bottle and got started.
I blogged about the actual logistics of consuming so much water throughout the month:
Was it hard to drink 3L of water a day?
The first two weeks were a big adjustment for me. I found it difficult to drink so much water each day, I went to the washroom way too often, and I often felt uncomfortably bloated because of all the liquid swishing around in my stomach.
Around the 15 day mark, my body adapted to the increased intake of water. The last two weeks of the challenge were a breeze! It became no trouble at all to finish 3L by the end of the day, and in fact I would find myself done by 7-8pm. In the 4th and final week, I often drank more than 3L each day – my average consumption was closer to 3.25 – 3.5L on those days.
Did you notice an improvement in your skin?
I have to gush about this – I considered writing a whole separate post about this because the difference in my skin from a month ago to now is nothing short of remarkable. It exceeded all my expectations.
(In the above photo I am wearing concealer and BB cream as face makeup, in addition to regular makeup)
I showed the before and after to a couple of friends, and their remarks were:
“Did you use a filter in the second photo? It looks like you did.” (I didn’t!)
“You look healthier in the second one! Your skin looks dewy.”
“Your skin looks a lot more clear.”
I was planning on only posting the comparison photo in which I wore makeup, but I’m so happy with the results that I’ll post (gasp) a no-makeup comparison photo as well – for science.
When I started this challenge I was hoping that I would see more of an improvement in my pore size and oil control – but honestly I would’ve been overjoyed if I just got less breakouts.
The noticeable improvements in my skin include (ordered from most noticeable to least):
- Firmer and plumper (sometimes I walk around poking my cheeks like an idiot because they’re remarkably bouncy and squishy)
- More balanced skin-tone (less redness around nose)
- Decrease in acne and breakouts
- Reduced fine lines
- Diminished deep wrinkles – forehead and laugh lines
- Natural healthy glow
- Less oil production in the T-zone
- Smaller pores
- Less whiteheads and blackheads
For all my life, I’ve had bad skin. Break-outs, acne scarring, excess oil production, huge pores, you name it. Because of that, I’ve never skimped on skin care, and I will give whatever miracle skin cream I hear about a try. This year I have started noticing more wrinkles and fine-lines and I’ve also added anti-aging products to my permanent regimen. Cleanser, toner, exfoliant, AHA/BHAs, serums (diminish dark spots, brightening, balancing, oil control), sheet masks, clay masks, night cream, retinol, lactic acid, I have it and use it all – and my skin stayed relatively shitty (my god, can you imagine what would happen if I didn’t use everything??).
In total, my current skincare regimen costs approximately $600 – and the products will need replacing every 3-6 months.
I vented to my BF the other day over lunch,
“I can’t believe the $$$$$ I’ve spent on skin creams when all I had to do was drink water. They should replace all the ads in magazines for beauty products with just WATER! ” (Except no one can patent water and so no one would make any money off it ….)
The point still stands, 3L of water a day >>>>>> $600 worth of products.
I’m serious. I feel like such a fool for not trying it earlier. It’s not that I have perfect skin now, I definitely don’t. But it’s such a big improvement in such a short period of time FOR FREE that it blows all the creams and serums I’ve used out of the park.
Now I’m skeptical of everything:
Of all my girlfriends who have perfect skin, have they been drinking this much water for years and just keeping that to themselves?
When I asked them why their skin is so nice, why didn’t they just tell me to drink more water??
When I went to see multiple dermatologists as a teenager for my acne, why didn’t a single one of them just tell me to drink more water???
I’m not saying that water will FIX all skin problems, but surely adding it will not make anything worse, and it costs nothing!
WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TELL ME SOONER?!!!!!!
Really though, just for the improvement that drinking water has brought to my skin. I will continue drinking 3L of water everyday for as long as I can. In fact, I should up it to 4L and see if that makes it even better!! (… maybe next year)
Don’t you get bored of drinking just water?
The first two weeks, I was too full to drink anything else so I found myself longing for something that didn’t taste like water.
In the final two weeks, I’ve been able to handle drinking other liquids without feeling bloated. In addition to water, I have 1-2 cups of black coffee a day, and on a couple of occasions I have also had 1-2 glasses of wine. This past weekend I had a day when I drank 3 beers – in addition to drinking 3L of water!
Plain water is pretty boring tasting, so after the first week I started putting lemon juice and apple cider vinegar in my water. I put two tablespoons of lemon juice in my morning litre, and two tablespoons of ACV in the evening litre. This changed up the taste and made the water more enjoyable to drink – plus both additions are very healthy.
I’m too busy to drink so much water a day, how do you not forget?
There is only one foolproof way to avoid forgetting your water:
always carry your water bottle with you, whether full or empty.
Not a single day went by when I did not hit my quota – so this is a lifestyle change that is maintainable over the long term.
I carry my water bottle everywhere. To the mall, in my car, on airplanes (empty of course), to restaurants, I even walk around with it in my house. The few times I went a long stretch without water (several hours) was because I forgot my water bottle in my car or couldn’t bring it in with me (to a nightclub).
Of course, not everyone has a job where they can just walk around with a water bottle, but it’s something that you should keep as close as possible if you can.
It does look a bit silly to have a giant water bottle next to you in at a fancier restaurant or in a bar, but honestly, no one ever noticed except me – and now I’m so happy to be hydrated I don’t mind looking dorky.
Did it help you lose weight?
Honestly, I don’t think so.
I have heard from others that drinking cold water helps your body burn more calories. However, my weight only dropped 1lb this month – and that’s not significant enough to attribute to anything.
When I started the challenge, I considered that I might gain weight because of my body retaining more water. That didn’t happen, so if that’s something you’re worried about, you can be at ease. It is possible that you might be heavier for the first few days, but once your system adjusts to the increased water intake, everything will pass through.
Did it help your physical appearance?
Yes it did, in areas other than my skin.
My abs are more pronounced than they were one month ago. I feel less bloating in the abdominal area. I think this is because the water helps flush your digestive system so you become more regular and food spends less time in your intestines. (I could be completely off here) I have also been more regular than before – but not significantly.
Did it help your energy?
Yes – sort of.
Every morning, I leap out of bed because I have to use the washroom. This in itself is enough to give me a boost of energy I previously didn’t have.
Unfortunately I’ve been sick the past 2 weeks so I haven’t been doing cardio activity. I’m not sure how well the water has benefited my exercise routine but while I was able to run at the beginning of the month, I felt energized and more hydrated than normal.
If you’d like to add more water to your diet, I suggest trying something for a month so you can really see the benefits of doing so. If I just drank more water here and there, I might not have attributed any improvement in my skin to that, but there’s no denying the effect of consistent increased water intake.
I’d love to hear your comments or feedback on ways you have improved your skin, or if you’re an avid drinker, what made you start?