H2O Challenge: One Week, Water Only

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One week ago, I decided to take up the challenge of only drinking water for one week. This meant no tea, no coffee, no juice, no squash, no alcohol. It was going to be hard, but I hoped that I would see the benefits. 

I woke up the first morning feeling tired, grumpy, and craving my morning cup of tea. I made it to the kitchen before remembering that I could only drink water. Reluctantly, I filled up a glass and started my H2O only week – already, I was struggling.

If I’m honest, I originally said I would do this out of a moment of madness, but I also wondered whether I would see any benefits from cutting out drinks such as caffeine and alcohol. I drink a lot of juice and squash as well, which are fairly sugary drinks, and I wanted to see whether I would feel better for not drinking those.

Monday

I made it through the first day, barely. But I got some serious cravings. Orange juice seemed like the perfect drink. I just wanted something other than the bland taste of water! By the evening, I had a bad headache and just wanted to curl up, watch some tv, and have a hot chocolate… But as it happened, it was plain water for me.

Tuesday

By Tuesday evening, I was feeling pretty emotional and tired, and I just wanted some caffeine to wake me up and give me some energy. I struggled to concentrate in my lectures, and looking back, I barely absorbed any information because I was so tired. I definitely ate more sugary foods than I normally would, more snacks and biscuits, probably because of the lack of caffeine that I would normally be consuming. So whether the H2O diet made my overall lifestyle that week healthier, I’m not sure.

Wednesday

Wednesday was pretty horrific. I was definitely tired, and I had a really busy day. I wanted nothing more than to treat myself to a coffee to get me through the rest of the day. By the time I got home I was tired and had no energy to attempt to do anything else. I was starting to become really jealous of people drinking things other than water, and when my flatmate offered me a cup of tea I was sorely tempted to say yes.

Thursday

Thursday was a bit of a turn-around. While I still wanted a tea or coffee, it was becoming natural for me to fill up a glass of water instead without complaining. And after disliking the bland taste of water previously, I was now noticing the differences between different bottles and types of water I was drinking.

Friday

By Friday I was feeling good, positive and healthy. I was snacking less and it felt normal to only drink water! I was definitely starting to notice a difference. I was sleeping well that week, but I’m not sure whether I was tired due to a lack of sugar or energy, or whether it was a positive benefit of the water only.

Saturday

Saturday was where I broke; my flatmates were going out, and I was bored of drinking just water, and just wanted to have a good night out. So, I ended up in Jesters, and no one (absolutely no one) drinks just water in Jesters. And so, with only one day to go, I broke my water only challenge.

I was quite annoyed with myself for breaking the week early, but I learned a lot over the course of those six days. I learned that actually, I like water; in the past couple of days since that week ended, I’ve still consumed a fair amount of water, much more than I normally would. I’ve really appreciated the teas and coffees that I’ve had, but I’ve made sure to balance out the caffeinated drinks with some water. It definitely makes me feel better than when I was drinking mainly squash or juice, and I now really enjoy the taste of the drinks I couldn’t have for the week!

I definitely did find it hard; the first few days were simply awful, but that was probably to do with the sudden change in what I was consuming. I wouldn’t recommend a sudden change like I did, but drinking more water than I was previously is definitely a change I’m going to be making.

This challenge was inspired by this article, and if anyone wants to give it go, think about waiting until next year to take part in the RNLI water-only charity event.

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Sub-Editor for the Wessex Scene 2016/17. English and History student

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