I Drank a Gallon of Water a Day for 30 Days. Here's What Happened.
I was stuck on a listless 6 train in NYC, 50ft underground, holding on to a gallon jug of water I'd been carrying all day. It was the most intense pressure my bladder has ever been under, the hardest I've ever had to pee in my entire life. Such is the kidney-popping life you lead when you are drinking glass after glass after glass of H2O.
When I agreed to drink a gallon of water a day, every day, for a month -- or, what is commonly known as the "Water Gallon Challenge" -- I expected positive results: better skin, more energy, a girthier penis (I mean, maybe?) And I got some of those things, which is tight. But it was also way, way, way more cumbersome than I ever could have imagined. You like, really have to try hard to drink a gallon of water a day. But I did it anyway, mostly because my company literally paid me to do it, but also, because I wanted to learn something along the way. Allow me to extol my newfound aquatic knowledge to you, dear, probably dehydrated, reader.
Day 1: It begins
I usually don't consume liquid by the gallon (except for beer, high-five, dawg!). And I have no idea how many cups are in a gallon because I skipped that day in fourth grade to go to SeaWorld. So, I decide the best way to do this is to just get a big dumb jug of water and carry it around with me all day. Which is weird, right? This is way harder than I expected. I sit myself down at 11:30pm and fully focus on drinking water in order to reach my quota for the day. It’s a weird feeling to have to commit body and soul to the purpose of drinking-just-to-drink. And I'm not even getting buzzed!
Day 5: I'm peeing every 20 minutes
I like to drink water. I really do. My body (and I’m assuming everyone else's) is 60% water, but no normal person drinks a gallon of water a day. You have to really try! I'm drinking when I am decidedly un-thirsty. I don't feel different. I just feel really full all the time -- and I'm eating less. Plus, I am peeing every 20 minutes. Everyone in the office thinks I have a drug problem because I'm in and out of the bathroom. It's also hard because, naturally, I come across non-water beverages I want to drink. I've been double-fisting water and alcohol at bars, which I guess is a good thing? But again, so much pee.
Day 10: I've become... handsomer?
Something is happening. I notice it the most in the morning. Normally, I need a cup of coffee ASAP to get my motor a' runnin', but I've been waking up refreshed, and with more energy than normal. Which is nice. I kind of feel better, too? Maybe it's just a placebo effect though. I think my hair might have an angelic sheen to it now, but I consider myself very good looking in general so I'm not sure. It’s also cumbersome to bring this gallon of water with me everywhere I go. And drinking the whole gallon in one day is not becoming any easier. I practically sleep with the thing under my arm in order to get my required 128oz in every day. I do get looks from people, but carrying around this gallon has made my forearms stronger... I think.
Day 15: I am a ball of energy
I definitely have more energy. For sure. I'm barely drinking any coffee anymore, coming down from drinking two to three cups per day. When I go running in the evenings, I feel a little faster. My sleep is more consistent. And this sounds weird, but I feel less hot. No, really. When I go to sleep my body temp ranges somewhere between 98.6 degrees and the surface of the damn sun. This has gone away and I don't know why. Something else: I now find myself incredibly thirsty whenever I'm not drinking water. Like my body has acclimated to my new super-hydrated lifestyle. I might never be the same.
Day 20: People say I'm happier
I don't know. Maybe I am? I did rewatch Beetlejuice today, so that might have something to do with it.
Day 25: I'm becoming a better person
I'm still peeing so much. And it's always crystal clear like Zima. My girlfriend says my skin looks clearer and I definitely feel like I have more overall energy. It's a weird thing to say... but I think I just feel better. I ask my editor if she thinks my work has improved during my period of hyper-hydration -- she says, "Not noticeably," which I'll take as a firm "Probably." It's also definitely easier to get the water down; I'm no longer struggling to drink. I've adapted to the gallon and now it's become part of me. I have callouses on my hand from the jug handle and frankly I feel naked without its cool plastic touch in the curve of my palm. Also, I feel like people respect me more. Just kidding, they don't.
Day 30: Free and clear (pee)
The final day of my challenge. I’m peeing a lot and I'm thirsty all the time. I feel like my grandpa. But unlike my grandpa, damn, I do feel good. I think drinking a full gallon of water is a little excessive, but I did realize that I certainly had not been drinking enough this whole time.
I would probably not recommend this exact challenge to anyone, just because it will make your stomach hurt and your friends and family think you have a debilitating drug problem. This is my decidedly un-scientific opinion, but putting a quota on the amount of water someone should drink, in a blanket statement meant to govern all people, is ridiculous. If I was outside, doing manual labor, I would need to drink more than I do sitting down and writing Internet articles.
If I was 400lb, I'd need to drink a lot more water than my not-400lb self. But everyone should drink more water! It will make you feel better, and people will like you more. Also you can pee four times in eight minutes, which is a super-cool party trick.
Oh, by the way, I totally peed between subway cars. Don't tell de Blasio.
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Wil Fulton is a staff writer for Thrillist. He's peeing right now. Follow him: @wilfulton.