A gallon is a lot of something. Drink that much milk, and you’ll surely get at least 100,000 YouTube views — or more — if you catalogue the aftermath of your attempt. Drink that much water, as I’ve heard and seen plenty of people attempt to do, and you’ll suddenly be exponentially healthier. At least, that’s how it works, right? Massive water consumption equals massive health?
So far, it’s cost me about $45, or the price of a gigantic 1,8 litre insulated water bottle I purchased in an attempt to drink more water, because refilling a normal pint glass multiple times per day was getting annoying. As for the health benefits, well, I’ve been trying to drink more water over the last few months, but I can’t say it’s made me any less sleepy, acne-prone, or lighter. Ah, pandemic life.
And what’s where this fun challenge for Lifehacker took root — thanks, Beth. The conceit? Perhaps I haven’t been drinking enough water, so I’m going with the “gallon” measurement that you see referenced around all the SEO-health-spam sites and TikTok nowadays (1 gallon = 3.8 litres). And I also probably wasn’t being very consistent in my consumption, so I challenged myself to the smart move of consuming one gallon of water — regular ol’ tap, not sparkling or thicc — every single day.
I started this challenge on Wednesday, and I’m pleased to report that I have completely failed so far. Close, but that only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, not water challenges.
Timing is everything for copious water consumption
Honestly, a gallon of water is a lot of water, but that’s only if you’re trying to chug it down in gigantic spurts. Pace out your drinking throughout the day–like a college student at a music festival — and a gallon is completely achievable. Tricky, yes, but not impossible.
My problem? For the past two days, I found that moments of concentration tended to make me forget about drinking water. I’d get to work on an article for a few hours or hop into a World of Warcraft raid and neglect my huge, blue water bottle. Then, when trying to catch up, I found that drinking more water than I really felt like consuming at once was a pain. I’d feel a smidge bloated (nothing bad, just a little full), but worse, I’d start to get tired of drinking water. This slight mental fatigue was just enough to slow down my daily consumption.
The first day, I made it to three-fourths of a gallon. The next? A mere half-gallon, because I had a busy day. I suspect part my problem has been the introduction of a new routine during the monotony that is pandemic living (for most of us). I’m just not used to dealing with that much liquid. In fact, as I type this, I realise I haven’t even filled up my half-gallon container for the day, which is step one for assuring that I’ll actually drink it at my desk.
But timing is also key. I was oh-so-close to reaching that gallon mark my first day, but I realised I had one-fourth of a gallon left to drink around 8pm or so. Tempted as I was to finish, I also didn’t want to wake up at two a.m. to deal with the aftereffects of all that liquid moving around my sleepy system. Or, at least, I didn’t want to risk it. Sleep is precious.
I think that probably the best way for me to accomplish this challenge is to set measured goals throughout the day. For example, maybe I’ll try to get at least one-half of my water bottle down before (and during) every meal. That’s three-fourths already accounted for; trickling the rest throughout the day shouldn’t be difficult. If I get behind, I feel like catching up is this challenge’s biggest struggle.
As for what I expect to gain from this challenge, well, probably irrefutable proof that binging on water for three straight weeks doesn’t really do very much aside from make you have to pee a lot more. But who knows. Maybe I’ll have glistening, influencer-ready skin, a renewed look on life, and the ability to function on an aqua-fuelled six hours of sleep per night. Wouldn’t that be fun.