I am a person who is not good at drinking water—I have an admittedly unhealthy tendency to get so wrapped up in whatever I'm doing that I just forget to even think about staying hydrated. So, when I decided to do an experiment in which I lived according to Pinterest for a week, I made sure to incorporate tracking my water intake into it. I just wanted to try drinking eight glasses a day, and see if it changed anything for me.
Of course, there's been some debate about whether or not eight glasses a day is really necessary (many sources now say it's not, and that your body does a good job of regulating hydration on its own). I totally believe this, but I also knew that I needed a little help—and I hoped this experiment would be it.
The plethora of Pinterest pins I skimmed told me that I should drink two glasses of water in the morning before breakfast, and then drink one every couple of hours throughout the day.
Because I know how easily I get distracted and forget to drink water in the first place, I decided to set a bunch of alarms on my phone to remind me. My plan was to rely on those alarms for the first day or two, then turn them off and try to remember on my own and see how it went. For good measure, I stuck a bright pink sticky note with my water schedule to my computer monitor on Friday before I left the office, so I wouldn't forget come Monday morning.
Day 1: Saturday
If you're wondering why I started this experiment on a Saturday, it's because I didn't want to subject the entire Apartment Therapy office to my Kim Possible ringtone every two hours as my alarms went off while I got used to the schedule (even though it did make getting used to the water schedule more fun for me).
Anyway, those first two glasses of water in the morning? Not fun. I always eat breakfast after being awake a while—I usually never wake up hungry. I also usually never drink water in the morning, and I quickly learned that as soon as I take a single sip of water in the morning, I feel famished. So on day one, I made my breakfast while I drank my water so I could eat ASAP. I noticed that, even though I was already drinking more than I normally would just following the alarms, I was also still getting thirsty outside of the schedule and wound up drinking even more water. But, I didn't notice any major differences in how I felt.
"Even though I was already drinking more than I normally would, I was also still getting thirsty outside of the schedule and wound up drinking even more water."
Day 2: Sunday
On day two, those two morning glasses were slightly easier—mostly because I knew what to expect, and started making my breakfast before I took that first sip. The rest of the day was pretty much like clockwork—the alarm went off, I drank a glass of water, and so on—except for when I had to run errands in the middle of the day and forgot to bring a water bottle with me. I made up for it by drinking what I'd missed when I got home, then adjusted my alarms for the rest of the day. Aside from that little hiccup, I did feel a little bit more energetic than usual, and I also noticed that my lips didn't feel as dry as they usually do.
Day 3: Monday
The next morning, I had a much easier time waking up and getting out of bed for work, and downing those first two glasses wasn't so bad. However, day three was a real challenge once I got to work—without my alarms to make me stop in my tracks and fill up my glass, I struggled quite a bit to remember. While I did forget a few times, I did get the full eight glasses in by the end of the day. But while I'd normally feel a post-lunch tired slump on most days, I felt pretty awake all afternoon. Plus, filling my water glass more often was a good reason to get up from my desk and move around.
"While I'd normally feel a post-lunch tired slump on most days, I felt pretty awake all afternoon."
Day 4: Tuesday
By the second day of not relying on my alarms, I had basically gotten myself together and was able to follow the schedule pretty consistently. I still felt that energy boost, my lips weren't chapped, and I also started to notice that I felt less bloated, too. Day four was the day I really got into my water-drinking groove, and the rest of the week was fairly uneventful otherwise, so I'll save you the boring details. Let's fast forward, shall we?
I felt good the entire week that I was doing the experiment—so much so, that for a few days after, I actually continued to follow the schedule even though I didn't technically need to anymore. And then, on what would've been day ten, I messed up.
I was working from home, I got super distracted, and I just...didn't drink water until 2 pm. And I felt it. I was tired and had low energy, and I just didn't feel well in general. That was when it fully hit me how much paying attention to my water intake actually mattered for me.
Sure my ex may be getting married in a week, but I finally trained myself to drink the recommended amount of water every day so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯— It's Brittney, Witch (@brittneyplz) September 30, 2017
This was right before I messed everything up—clearly I jinxed myself.
After that slip-up, I set an alarm (just one!) for the next day shortly after my wake-up alarm, reminding me to drink a glass. That one morning reminder was really all I needed, and while I didn't follow the schedule to the letter, I did consciously think about how I needed to pay attention to how much water I was drinking, and I've since been going with the flow.
I don't know that I drink 8 glasses per day every day, but I don't let myself go hours and hours without even thinking about it anymore, and that's a big step for me.
Read more about Brittney's Pinterest experiment: I Lived According to the 10 Commandments of Pinterest for a Week