Tuesday, 31 March 2015

My first 30-day challenge: drink 3 liters every day

Pouring water into glass via photopin Creative Commons
I found my first 30-Day-Challenge! Water, water, drink enough water! Why this challenge? Because I often have headaches and it is very likely it is because I don't drink enough water through the day. Also, it seems to me that this challenge is not too difficult to start with.

For years, I wanted to drink enough water, but I cannot stick with it. I forget to drink, often I just ignore the thirst, because I just got a bigger fish to fry. Now I 'm going to focus on this one goal for a month until drinking enough water turns into a real habit. But the question arises: how much water should I drink? I would like to specify a value, to which I can hold on.




It is interesting that the German Nutrition Society (DGE) only recommends 1.5 liters of fluid per day for male and females. The Canadian counterpart recommends 3 liters a day for men and 2.2 liters for women, the American Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends to drink and eat for women 2.7 liters of fluid a day and for men 3.7l. You see, the guidelines differ. The individual fluid needs might be different, anyway, depending on your personal condition and circumstances.

The nutrition societies count all food that we consume during the day: all liquids including coffee and tea and a lot of foods like fruits and vegetables have a high water content, too. The ratio of liquids we get through drinking and eating is normally about 80 (drink) to 20 (eat). Our fluid requirements increase further when we are active.

So what am I going to do? How much water am I going to drink the next 30 days? And there are those who say that too much water can be harmful to the body: but for an healthy adult only at 7 to 10 liters per day.

The journalist Sarah Smith has taken the test before me (here). She claims to look ten years younger after having been drinking three liters of water a day for 28 days. What is your opinion? I think she tricked at the before-after shots with make-up and light. Nevertheless, it is undeniable that drinking enough water might not only be a relieve for headaches but also can improve the general health and appearance of my skin. I am truely interested in whether I will notice a difference!

Since I eat quite a lot of fruits and vegetables, I decided to drink 2.5 liters of water a day plus(!) my usual green tea (approximately 500ml). I still nurse my youngest and I drive every day 40 minutes by bike (with about 40-50kg in the bicycle trailer). So I think that recommended 1,5l of water by the DGE are not enough for me. Three liters of fluid a day won't hurt. If they do, I'll certainly notice in the next 30 days :-)

How do I implement the water experiment? I want to drink the water as evenly as possible throughout the day. I have anyway quite well trained myself to drink 1 liter of water in the morning until 11 am (after sleeping I often feel really dried out). Then I am going to drink at noon again 750 ml and shall pass another 750 ml before sleep. That should be doable, right?

I won't change any other habits during those 30 days I can just focus on drinking enough without letting myself get distracted by other ideas.

I will also run a Challenge diary and document how I feel, if for example I get a headache, I get tired and I'll write down exactly what I've been drinking during the day. But I do not know if I'll actually publish every day. I do not want this to be too boring for you:-)

If you feel like joining the Challenge I'd love you to report your experiences in the comments down below. This is nothing but a mini-challenge, but that is how it works: conquer the world with baby steps :-)

Photo credit: Pouring water into glass via photopin (license)

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