Today's post is a little different than our usual blogs. Instead of giving you general information about plumbing, I'm going to introduce myself (Hi, I'm Alanah!) and share a personal experience!
We've all been told a thousand times that drinking enough water is important, but studies show that 75% of Americans are dehydrated. After realizing that I was definitely part of that 75% and my water habits were truly TERRIBLE, I decided to take on a water challenge. For the full 31 days of May, I had to drink 64 ounces (the recommended daily amount) of water by 6:00 PM every day. It wasn't so much difficult as it was annoying, having to lug around a big 32-ounce water bottle everywhere I went, and not to mention having to use the bathroom so much more than I used to. (Is that TMI? Sorry.) But for the most part, I successfully made it to the full 64 oz every day.
Even after just a few days, I noticed all kinds of improvements in how I felt, and it only got better as the month went on. Here are some of the specific things I experienced:
1. Working out was easier.
I felt more energy and was able to do more reps in my workouts. It's no wonder; drinking water helps blood circulate through the body more easily, which brings oxygen to muscles.
2. No more bad breath.
Before this challenge, I carried gum with me constantly because my mouth was always dry and I had a gross taste in my mouth. But when I was well-hydrated, I noticed the bad taste was completely gone and I didn't need the gum anymore.
3. DRASTIC improvement in my anxiety.
Water is necessary in the production of certain hormones in the brain, including serotonin and others that regulate mood and emotions, and I definitely experienced that to be true. In situations that would normally cause my heart to start racing with anxiety, I felt in general much more calm.
4. No more crackly joints.
Sometimes when I would run up stairs, my ankles would make cracking noises with each step. Joints are supposed to be surrounded by a layer of water that protects and lubricates the joint, and after being hydrated for a month, I haven't heard my ankles or knees crack since April.
5. No more dizziness.
It's probably embarrassing for me to admit that I'd get a little light-headed every time I got up from the couch, but that's just how dehydrated I used to be. Being hydrated completely eliminated the dizziness.
6. Reduced headaches.
I used to get some form of a headache every single day, but this past month, I only experienced two or three headaches in total over the whole month. It was so much easier to enjoy my day and be productive when I wasn't in pain.
7. Increased ability to sing.
The few times that I had to sing at different events during the month, I noticed that higher notes were easier to hit and my voice's tone was smoother when I was hydrated.
8. Better skin.
Every single winter, I get patches of dry skin on my face that stick around until June, but this winter's dry patch went away by the middle of the month. And when it comes to acne, my skin was noticeably clearer.
There are many, many more benefits of staying hydrated beyond those specific short-term effects I experienced, like improved heart health (water naturally thins the blood and helps it flow more easily), improved cognitive function and memory, weight loss and anti-aging, and more. I fully intend to continue drinking 64 ounces of water every day, even though the 31-day challenge has ended. I feel really great.
The thing that made all the difference in this challenge was my RO (Reverse Osmosis) water filter under my kitchen sink. We've had it at my house ever since we renovated the kitchen in 2005, and I just took it for granted for a while, but during this challenge it made staying hydrated so easy. Pure, cool water comes out of a little faucet on my kitchen sink, so I just turned on the tap and refilled my water bottle with that filtered water every morning and afternoon. It tasted like fresh bottled water straight from a store. I live in an area where the municipal tap water is clean & safe to drink, but with the way tap water tastes, I wouldn't have made it through this challenge if I had to drink 64 ounces of tap water every day.
Reverse osmosis works by filtering water through a semipermeable membrane that only pure H2O molecules can pass through. This means that even dissolved substances, such as salt or even lead, can be filtered out. The only thing that comes out the other side is genuinely pure water. In fact, it's even cleaner than bottled water!
If you want to be healthier and feel better in every area of your life, drinking the recommended amount of water every day is a great and easy first step. Even just try it for a month and see how you feel, like I did. And if you hate the taste or the chemicals in tap water and you don't want to spend a ridiculous amount of money on bottled water every day, a good under-sink filter will be the perfect solution for you. I don't know what I would do without mine now, honestly, and it has lasted over 12 years without giving me any problems. Speaking from experience, it's definitely worth it!