I drank a gallon of water every day for a week and here’s what happened

We’re all pretty well aware of the benefits of drinking plenty of water on a regular basis—from basic hydration to preventing headaches, our bodies are made up of more than 60 percent water so getting the recommended eight cups per day is a fair ask if we want to maintain optimal health.

But is eight cups really all we need? According to The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, we might not be hydrating well enough to keep our bodies running as smoothly as possible. In fact, studies show that the average man should actually be consuming closer to 15 cups per day, while women should be consuming at least 11 cups.

I’ve always gotten at least eight glasses a day, but I’ve found myself often craving water in the middle of the night or waking up in the morning and chugging glasses of the stuff. I’ve also heard that drinking a gallon of water each day does wonders on the skin… so I figured there was nothing to lose.

This is what happened when I swapped out my usual Perrier and iced coffee for a whole lot of water—sixteen cups per day, to be exact.

Day One

I’m a big fan of taking on mental and physical wellness challenges, so I figured adding a gallon of water into my daily routine would be a thoughtless, easy addition to my day-to-day. That being said, day one was a serious challenge.

I’m used to drinking the normal eight cups per day so doubling that had me running to the bathroom way more than usual—and quite frankly, it was hard to remember to space out my water breaks throughout the day so I didn’t have to chug a ton right before going to bed.

Day Two

I definitely had to wake up in the middle of the night to pee more than once last night—lesson learned. I need to get all my cups in well before my night time routine in order to ensure a good night’s sleep.

Happily, by day two my BuildLife motivational water bottle arrived this morning, which is designed to help you space out your water breaks while still getting an entire gallon before bedtime. This was a total game changer and I definitely recommend it to anyone struggling to get enough water.

Day Three

I think by day three I had finally found my stride—getting enough water was surprisingly easy with the motivational bottle. I slept through the night and actually began noticing improvements in my skin—it looked brighter and more smooth, almost like I had just gotten a facial.

I also began to notice my workouts go much better than they had in the past. I often get muscle cramps and Charley horses when I stretch or do intense cardio but my muscles and ligaments worked noticeably more smoothly.

Day Four

Honestly, who knew that increasing your water intake can make you feel so good? I almost always wake up feeling slightly hungover (and no, I don’t drink every night!) and I haven’t noticed that groggy, dehydrated feeling at all. I feel like that in itself was really worth challenging myself to double my water consumption.

At this point in the challenge, guzzling water throughout the day felt completely normal and second nature—even with the extra trips to the bathroom.

Day Five

By the final day, I was easily consuming at least a gallon of water per day, if not more. I was still going to the bathroom quite a bit more than usual but it was worth it for all the benefits I noticed over the past week. Not only had my skin completely cleared and brightened up, I was sleeping better, I had much less muscle spasms and Charley horse, and my ocular headaches were nowhere in sight.

While it can be difficult to remember to drink an entire gallon of water each day, for me, based off the results I achieved over the week, it will definitely be worth it to continue swapping out dehydrating drinks for plain water.