Does Your Body Actually Benefit From Drinking More Water? We Tested It – Here’s What We Found

My entire body thanked me for the challenge this week. I drink water. I know of a few people in my life that don’t drink water and that just frightens me. That being said, if I had to pick between coffee, wine, cider, or water, H2O would be thrown out very quickly. 

I didn’t think too much of this challenge going into this week. I knew I would be drinking significantly more than I usually do, but I thought it would be easier. Surprisingly, it wasn’t. What started off as a challenge to drink 3 water bottles a day ended in me practicing presence and mindfulness throughout the entire week.


How Much Do I Need To Drink? 

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When I did my initial research for this week, I found out that there was no magical water number. Everyone’s body is different, so everyone should be eating and drinking different amounts. In general, Medicine Direct suggests that men should drink 3.7 liters (about 15 + ½ cups) and women should drink 2.7 liters (about 11 + ½). Everyday Health suggests 12 glasses of any fluid (hello, iced coffee).

When to Drink Water

While you should be drinking water around the clock, there are certain times of the day when it’s crucial to hydrate.  Everyday Health suggests drinking 1-2 cups of water when you first wake up. It might speed up your wake-up time, and it balances out the 8-9 hours you spent not drinking water (unless you’re like me and wake up at 4 am, chug some water, then pass back out). 

You should also sandwich your meals with water intake. Drinking ice water before a meal will help you feel more satisfied and full. Drinking water after a meal will help you digest your food. My partner and I went out to eat a few times this week and before every meal he witnessed me chug about 2 glasses of water. Was it out of boredom or out of panic when I realized it was 7pm and I hadn’t had any water? Who’s to say?

Water Myths And Facts


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We’ve all heard so many reasons why we should drink water, but how many of them are true? 

Myth: Drinking Water Will Give You Good Skin 

Joshua Zeichner, MD, and a dermatologist told Byrdie that there wasn’t any science backing up the claim that water makes your skin better. The truth is more likely that water is necessary for your body to function, so yes, drinking water will help your body in every way.  

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Fact: Dehydration Will Take A Toll On Your Skin

If you’re dehydrated, your skin will show it. While it might not break out or have a dramatic effect, it will look ‘tented’ and lose some elasticity. If you want to keep your skin looking dewy, look into adding hydro-boosting skincare and avoiding activities like taking a long, hot shower or being in dry air. 

Myth: Drinking Coffee Will Dehydrate You

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Coffee lovers rejoice! Everyday Health says coffee technically counts as water because water is in it! Coffee shouldn’t be the only thing you drink (and no, the ice cubes in your iced coffee also don’t count), but it’s not as bad for you as some would say!

Fact: Water Isn’t The Only Way To Stay Hydrated

The water intake suggested isn’t just for the water in your bottle. You can also hit your water quota by eating fruits and veggies that are high in water content. Cucumber, tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, oranges, apples, and lemons are all full of water and will help you stay hydrated.  

Myth: If You’re Thirsty, You’re Dehydrated

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I think my uncle told me, “If you don’t need to pee after 3 sips of water, you’re in trouble.” This was very false and I definitely grew up believing that I was constantly dehydrated. Being thirsty means that you’re thirsty, nothing else. We’re all guilty of forgetting to drink water and it’s okay for our bodies to remind us to do so. If you’re thirsty all the time, that might be a whole other issue, but once or twice a day shouldn’t worry you. 

Fact: Your Body Will Tell You When You’re Dehydrated

It might not be as simple as just being thirsty, but you’ll know when you’ve crossed from hydrated to die-drated. Some signs to look for include: headaches, constipation, fatigue, hunger, slower brain movement, grumpiness, and overheating. 

Myth: Cold Water is Bad for Your System

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I haven’t heard this too often, but it is a popular water-related myth. People avoid cold water because they believe it contracts their stomachs and makes it harder to digest food. 

Fact: Cold Water is Just Water…But Cold 

Cold water isn’t going to cause your body not to digest food or contract your stomach. In fact, drinking cold water might actually help you burn a few calories. Because of the difference between ice water and your body’s internal temperature, your body works harder to maintain its original temperature when you drink cold water. This doesn’t necessarily mean that cold water is the weight loss pill we’ve all been searching for, but it does mean that cold water isn’t horrible. 

Myth: Water Will Make You Lose Weight

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There is no certain answer for this. Water does help you flush out toxins from your system, but if you’re only relying on 2.7 liters of water to lose weight, you might be disappointed.

Fact: Drinking Water at the Right Time Can Speed Up Fat Burning

One study found that drinking 17 ounces of water before a meal reduced the calorie intake by 13%. Another study found that drinking the same amount of water before a meal increased weight loss by 44%. And drinking water is said to boost your metabolism in general.

My Water

There’s a joke about emotional support water bottles. It’s not a joke, it’s my life. That being said, I haven’t used my water bottle nearly enough to rationalize taking it everywhere.  My Hydroflask carries 1.18L of water and I’m really rough with math, so I decided to drink roughly two and a half Hydroflasks of water a day. I also added in my three cups of coffee as well. Again, there was very little math involved, but I’m going to say that I drank enough water every day. 

There were definitely days when I was headed to bed and realized that I’d had very little water in the past 4 hours, but in general, I kept up with the challenge.

My Week

I started the week off really hoping that water would solve all of my problems. I was breaking out, sore, and tired. I also constantly had a headache because I don’t think I should be drinking three cups of coffee before 1 pm. I really wanted the water to clear my skin, improve my activity level, and overall make my life a dream. It didn’t.

But something that drinking water did make me do was be more mindful. Life can get a little crazy sometimes. I feel myself go on autopilot more often than I’d like to admit. I don’t practice mindful eating often and usually have my face and mind buried in a screen or a podcast while I shovel food and coffee into my mouth. 

This week, I had to be mindful of my water intake and take time to pause, listen to my body, and take care of it. Every time I reached for my water bottle, I paused and took note of how my body was feeling. I tried to track how often I drank throughout the day, but I didn’t want this form of self-care to become a chore. Yes, there were times when I would panic and chug my entire water bottle, but for the most part, I was more conscious of what I was putting in my body and how it was helping me.

The Results

I think every health professional will be happy to know that I will continue to drink water after this challenge is done. I know, I deserve a medal. Some of these weekly challenges are pretty difficult and don’t fit into my daily life too easily. Drinking water (even though it’s a lot) should become more of a daily habit for me. 

I really enjoyed this week, even if it meant I had to pee roughly 100% more than I usually do. This challenge helped me be more conscious of what my body needs and how to give it that. I also was able to practice mindful consumption and paid closer attention to what I was putting in my body. 

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I wish that something as simple as drinking water didn’t have to be a challenge in order for me to implement it into my daily life. I want to be more present and understanding of my body so that I don’t just drink water when it’s 4 am and my body is slowly dying. This week really put into perspective how easily we can neglect what our bodies need. In the future, while I might not drink 3 liters of it, I do hope that I can increase my intake of water and thus, my care for my body.


How much water do you drink in a day? Should you try this challenge? Comment below what challenge I should try next!

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