30 days, 30 gallons: a water drinking challenge

It all started with this picture:

I kept seeing this woman’s face on Facebook, linking to a post about her “amazing water transformation.”  I know water is good.  I’ve even written a blog post about how important it is.  But to be completely honest, I thought this woman’s water transformation was a hoax.  How could her face change that much?  It was only 30 days.  Where did her wrinkles go?  I’m going to get the number of her plastic surgeon.  For future reference of course.  He did a pretty good job.  All of these thoughts and questions flooded my mind.

So, like a typical skeptic (and self-experimenter), I decided to prove this lady wrong and put this water challenge to the test.  Though I started this water challenge thinking it was going to be a bust, I promise you I was nothing but shocked and amazed at how my body changed.

Here’s What I Did:

step 1

Take semi-embarrassing “before” selfie with no make up.

step 2

Make a public proclamation of the challenge (invite friends to complete it too and prevent self from quitting)

step 3

Drink lots of water.  A gallon to be exact.  Drink other beverages as needed (ie. coffee, tea), but they don’t count towards the gallon.

step 4

Keep drinking water.

step 5

Have some more water.  But don’t drown! Keep drinking a gallon for 30 days.

step 6

Take semi-embarrassing “after” selfie once the 30 days is complete.  Try to take it in the same light and at the same time of day (Unfortunately, I took my picture in a different spot, so the lighting is different).

Once I completed the water challenge, I put the before and after pictures side by side to see if I could tell a difference.

The Results…

I must admit, I didn’t notice much difference in my physical appearance.  I noticed a little less puffiness on the tops of my eyes, and less bloating in my stomach.   To be fair though, I didn’t start the challenge with any wrinkles or sagging skin, so I’m not sure what I was expecting to see change.  In addition, I’m not terribly observant, so maybe there was more of a change in outward appearance than I noticed.  One thing I can’t deny though, is the change that water had on how I felt inside.

Now before I reveal my water challenge results, please keep a few things in mind:

  1. I have no stock in water companies, nor do I benefit at all if people start consuming more water (ie. I have no hidden agendas or reasons to exaggerate my results.  And even if I did have reasons to exaggerate, I wouldn’t, because that’s not a part of my transparent, self-experimenting, science-and-research-loving nature.)
  2. These are things that I experienced- I can’t guarantee that you’re going to have the same results.
  3. I did not pee as much as everyone thinks, and after the first few days, I felt like I was back on my normal peeing schedule.  Some of the people doing the experiment with me, though, complained how much they had to use the restroom.
  4. Some of these are personal.

How the water challenge changed my body

  1. I lost weight.  It wasn’t intentional, and it wasn’t a whole lot, but it was about 3-4 pounds.  This is pretty significant if you think about it, because I wasn’t even trying to lose weight.  I was eating m&ms for breakfast (I know that’s bad- I’m working on changing that now!) and eating all the food I normally eat.
  2. I felt less bloated.  This makes sense, because of the weight loss, which was likely due to retaining less water.
  3. I noticed less puffiness in my eyes.  See above picture.
  4. I pooped (consistently) without the use of senna or laxatives.  Ever since I can remember, I’ve struggled with having regular BMs.  I could go a week to two weeks without going to the bathroom.  I would eventually feel so sluggish and full that I had to resort to taking some sort of chemical or natural laxative in order to have a bowel movement.  In the past, I tried drinking “lots” of water (which apparently wasn’t enough water or enough consecutive days of drinking), tried eating every kind of fiber under the sun, tried not eating cheese, tried drinking lots of coffee… NONE of those things worked for me.  After the third day of the water challenge, though, my constipation woes were completely gone.  I now have at least one BM per day.  In fact, as of today (Feb 8, 2015… I know I’m late on posting the results!), I still drink a gallon of water a day, and I have not gone one day without having a bowel movement.  It still amazes me to this day that the answer was so simple, and I feel silly for abusing my body all those years with fiber pills and laxatives, when all my body needed was more water.
  5. I stopped having the mid-day slump.  Have you ever had that crappy, tired feeling about an hour after lunch time?  I used to get that on a regular basis, but I no longer have it now that I’m drinking lots of water.
  6. I noticed “female” changes.  Specifically, my period was much more tolerable.  Typically during the first three days, I get these sharp and sporadic, bring-you-to-your-knees-and-take-your-breath-away type pains.  They get so bad that I immediately stop what I’m doing and freeze with pain.  And then once that “wave” of pain has passed, I don’t waste a second looking for some sort of ibuprofin to inhale.  Then I would continue to take some sort of OTC pain reliever religiously until the pain went away (usually 3 days).   After doing the water challenge though, I did not take a single OTC pill.  There was still a little pain, but it was so significantly reduced that I didn’t need to take anything.  There were zero sharp, bring-you-to-your-knees-and-take-your-breath-away type pains, and the only thing I did differently was drink more water.

Needless to say, the 30 day gallon of water challenge changed my life.  Drinking a gallon of water had such a profound impact on me during those 30 days, that I decided to continue this habit indefinitely.  I hope you are inspired to try the 30 day water gallon challenge, and I look forward to hearing about your water-drinking journey!

1 Comment
  • Lexie July 19, 2015

    This is very motivating. You looked very nice before you started, but I can see in the “after” photo that your face did lose some puffiness and your eyes seem brighter (although I would not have said your face was in any way puffy if I had seen only the “before” photo). Also, that weight loss is significant within a 30-day period.

    I just wanted to mention that another benefit of drinking lots of water is that it seems to reduce headaches. I was having daily migraine auras several years ago and found that drinking plenty of water reduced the incidence to once or twice per *year*. (I eliminated other triggers as well, but sufficient hydration was absolutely key.)

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