Lucie Loves... Health & Wellbeing // Sleep deprivation, lethargy, bad skin, headaches - could water be the answer to all my problems? Here’s what happened during my 30 day water challenge

ION8 Ultimate

Sitting down to write my next blog, you would usually find me with a glass of wine in hand. However, I find myself reaching for my bottle of water. How very unlike me.

I know the importance of drinking plenty of water - I just don’t do it. So what changed?

It all started just over 30 days ago when I decided to hop on board the latest trend – the 30 day water challenge. I’m a sucker for trying out anything new, especially if it’s going to make me look a little better and feel a little brighter - with the least amount of effort. What can I say, I’m lazy?!

Some celebrities swear by drinking a gallon of water a day, saying that it gives them flawless looking skin, it reduces headaches, it boosts energy levels, and some even mention signs of weight loss. Ever the optimist, I was hoping to achieve all of this in just a month. And what had me completely sold was the fact that it’s free! All I would need is a refillable bottle and a tap.

 However, I didn’t wade into this challenge without doing my research. There are risks that come with taking in more water that your body actually needs, so where one person may need a gallon a day, others - especially if you’re not particularly active, like myself - don’t. So for me, setting a target of two litres a day was about right.

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This amounted to around 4 of these bottles of water a day. This ION8 Ultimate bottle is a leak proof BPA free (that basically means ‘non-toxic’ to you and me) water bottle that can be flipped open with one hand and has a lockable lid to prevent spills.  And best of all, its reusable – so it’s a lot better for the environment than buying bottled water. This was my new best friend for the next four weeks. Pretty stylish hey?

So how did I get on?

Day one, and it was full steam ahead. Full of motivation and striving for those positive results, I had managed to drink 8 full bottles of water by the end of the first day. Double the amount I had set for myself - that’s pretty good going for a girl who usually wouldn’t manage to finish one bottle in a day! If I can keep this up, this challenge will be a walk in the park (not literally - if I’m being completely honest, absolutely zero exercise is going on with me just lately).

Day two went with a little less enthusiasm. Today was a chore. I struggled to drink 4 bottles of water throughout the day- but then I managed to drink an extra 2 before bed?! Oh, and I’ve spent more time in the bathroom today than doing any actual work!

Day three and I’ve lost a couple of pounds in weight. Hurrah! And - everybody at work is also on board. Feeling positive again.

Day four – everyone at work is no longer on board. Thanks for the solidarity guys! As for me, I’m soooo tired and soooooooo hungry - here lies the perfect recipe for 'cranky bitch mode'. Motivation has left the building!

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So it’s been a week, and I’m pretty bored of drinking water now. You wouldn’t think it, but it’s hard work to get four bottles of water into your body a day! I feel bloated - borderline pregnant, my body is starting to push out all of the toxins (major breakouts), I’m still very tired, and have become all too familiar with the bathroom at work. But, it’s still early days I guess – hoping week two will be better.

Week two - I feel constantly bloated and very nauseous (although I have read that this can happen if you drink too much water at once – sipping small amounts and often seems to be the way forward). Oh, and those few pounds I lost? Welcome back!

Almost two weeks in and it becomes apparent that trying to consume 4 bottles of water a day when there’s nowhere to refill the bottle is somewhat difficult. A day at the farm and I’ve spent more time wandering around looking for the nearest tap than looking at any of the animals. Luckily we found a café where the ladies kindly refilled it for me - several times. They even complimented me on the fancy pants bottle - I told you it was stylish! And on another positive note, my body seems to have got used to my increased daily intake of water now, so I’m no longer using the bathroom as often. (*Breathes a sigh of relief* - as the queue for the toilet at the farm is huge!)

Week three, and I can finally feel the benefits of this challenge - about time! I’m sleeping like a baby. I usually don’t sleep well at all, but for a few days now I’ve had a good eight hours - ten in some cases! I could get used to this. In turn, I’m feeling a lot more energised and ready for the day. The downside to this week - constant hunger pangs! 

Week four, and I find myself in a much better routine. Feeling energised throughout the day, becoming tired at a normal hour, going to bed earlier and getting a good night’s sleep. I’ve had no headaches for as long as I can remember - but I haven’t noticed any significant improvements in my skin, and I’m still feeling bloated. I’m still hungry - and eating everything in sight!  I’m dreading the final weigh in!

 Spot the dog! - Daisy wanted in on this one

Spot the dog! - Daisy wanted in on this one

So, day 28 and I was kind of glad that my challenge was coming to an end. I had noticed some great benefits, but forcing myself to drink four bottles of water a day, when sometimes I just didn’t feel like it, made me feel sick - and fat! And getting on those scales at the end of it all was an absolute shocker - maybe I should have gone for that walk in the park!

What I didn’t expect..

Firstly, I didn't expect that drinking water would be such an effort. If you're thinking of doing this, you will need to be committed - but I do promise that it gets easier.

And secondly, having looked forward to no longer having to drink water, I wasn’t expecting for my body to actually crave the stuff! 

So, I have continued to drink plenty of water, but rather than forcing myself to drink 4 bottles every day, I just keep my bottle with me and sip it throughout the day - and believe it or not, some days I’ve managed to drink 3 or 4 bottles of water without even realising it. I’ve now started to add some fresh fruit to my water bottle, just to change it up a little – as tap water can get very boring!

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So as naïve as I was to expect big changes and amazing results, there was no weight loss to report (quite the opposite), and no clear skin miracles - but it’s definitely got me into much better habits.

 No more tired eyes - before and after the 30 day challenge

No more tired eyes - before and after the 30 day challenge

Update: As I sit here looking through the photos that I took both at the beginning and at the end of my challenge, I have noticed that my under eye area is looking a lot less tired, which has made me think that this challenge probably had a lot more positive results than I even realise. Drinking more water is definitely something that I want to continue to do.

Have you tried the 30 day water challenge? How was it for you?

If you would like to get your hands on one of the ION8 Ultimate water bottles, they are available at leakproof.co.uk. I’ve been pretty impressed with this bottle throughout my challenge, so much so that my daughter now has one of these bottles for school. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times it has been dropped (as teenagers do), and is still as good as new. The only slight design fault that I would mention is the vented cap. The hole sometimes leaks water out of the top as you tip it up to drink from it – and on occasion I have ended up with water on my face, much to the amusement of my work colleagues. As they say, if you can’t laugh at yourself, there’s always someone who’ll do it for you!

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