You know how we should all be drinking lots of water? People say drinking gallons of water makes your skin luminous, but isn't that all theoretical? I rejoice every time I come across a study that says, "Meh, you don't have to drink THAT much water." Because drinking lots of water is kind of a hassle, mainly because what goes in must come back out again. And don't we all have better things to do than run to the restroom 20 times a day? I was holding fast to the "meh" school of water drinking until I saw this: Daily Mail writer Sarah Smith drank 3 liters of water a day for four weeks and showed the results. You guys, it took years off her face. I'm convinced now.
You'll have to see the before, during, and after photos, but wow. When she says it took years off her face, she's not exaggerating. It could be a change in the lighting (the "before" photo is a bit darker), but it sure looks like drinking a lot of water made her skin more luminous. She also lost a bit of weight and reports that various bodily functions are much improved. So okay, okay, UNCLE -- I definitely want to drink more water!
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So, how to get started? In case you were wondering, 3 liters equals 101 ounces, or roughly 12 cups (not to be confused with glasses). To my mind, that sits just between ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!? and (gulp) okay, maybe I could do that. According to the Institute of Medicine, an "adequate" amount of fluids for women is 2.2 liters or 9 cups a day (3 liters for men) -- and that's fluids, not just water. I should also add that Smith recommends talking with your doctor before attempting to inundate your system with this much water. That aside, though, how to manage to drink more water?
1. Start first thing in the morning. I've got a head start on this, actually, because I've been starting my mornings with a cup of hot lemon water. But even if you don't do that, your body will love a glass of water first thing in the morning (unless you're pregnant -- I could never drink water on an empty stomach during my pregnancy).
2. Drink tea. Smith says tea counts -- not so much tea made from some sort of sugary syrup or powder, but actual brewed tea and tisane.
3. Drink iced tea. Check the labels to see if it's brewed from real leaves and make sure it's either sugar-free or is at least low in sugar (15 grams or fewer).
4. Buy a water bottle and a carafe. Keep the bottle around with you during the day. Keep the carafe and matching glass by your bedside.
5. Use a filter. I'm lucky enough to live in a city with water so delicious, it wins awards. I'm not kidding. But if your water is brackish or otherwise not-delicious, invest in a water filter (whatever you can afford is going to be better than nothing).
6. Spa-ify your water. Keep a jug of water with cucumber slices, mint leaves, or citrus slices in the refrigerator for a low-sugar way to flavor your water. It's a small thing, but doing this to my water makes me feel fancy.
7. Drink before you eat. People will debate this until the sun goes down, but it's worth trying: Have a glass of water before every meal.
How much water do you think you drink a day?
Images via Liz West/Flickr, ©iStock.com/Kesu01