How dehydrated are you? Chances are you’re dehydrated on a daily basis. I’m confident in saying this because 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. And in my opinion, that’s not the worst aspect. The worst part is, that’s is free (and I say free meaning, we pay a water bill, but we don’t have to buy bottled water) and we all have access to it. Granted there are a few circumstances when the water has issues, but for the most part, as Americans, we have access to clean water.
No, drinking a gallon of water a day is not harmful as long as you spread the water consumption throughout the day and you maintain a healthy amount of salt in your body.
Our bodies are made up of mostly water (approaching 70%). This should clue you into the importance of water. To keep our bodies working in optimal condition we should be keeping our fluids up, and we should be consuming water free from harmful contaminants.
And we know drinking water is excellent for our health, but it can beg the following questions. Is drinking a gallon of water a day too much for us?
So if you’re not one to typically keep a container of water close to you, you’re probably wondering how to drink a gallon of water a day. Well, it’s easier than it sounds, and here are some tips on how to do it.
How to Drink a Gallon of Water Per Day
- Keep Water Close – if it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind. The easiest tip for consuming more water is to keep a container of water at your side throughout the day. If the water is close, you’ll be more apt to drink it. If you have to get up to get water, you’ll find yourself not having the motivation to go over and grab a glass of water, so keep it close.
- Keep it Cold – I keep a 22 oz jug of water on my desk, and when I fill it up in the morning, I plug it full of ice. I do this because ice-cold water tastes better than tap temperature water, and your body will burn a few more calories warming the ice water up to your body temperature. So each time you get water, add a bunch of ice.
- Use flavor – no not kool-aid or anything like that. But use things like berries, limes, lemons, or anything to add a bit of flavor. I understand water is pretty tasteless. And you don’t need to cut up limes or lemons each time, just get a container of lemon or lime juice from the store, and keep it in the fridge. Add a few squirts to each glass, and it’s just that easy.
- Wake up and Drink – you become slightly dehydrated as you sleep. If you drink a glass or two of water when you get up, it can replenish fluids and it can help get the digestive system going. Ramping up that metabolism is also great.
- Drink a glass of water before each major meal – this will up your daily intake and it can help prevent you from over-eating.
- Drink tea – I love tea. For me, it’s another way of flavoring my water. Plus it has all the benefits of tea. Consuming coffee or tea can help increase your fluid intake. I like to have a cup or two of black tea in the morning. Usually a cup of tea after lunch, and in the evening after dinner, I drink peppermint tea.
Keep in mind the foods you consume contribute towards this goal of drinking a gallon of water each day. About 20% of our water intake will come from foods. If you eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, it could be more.
Benefits of Drinking a Gallon of Water a Day
The most predominant reason people drink water frequently is for weight loss. Dieticians and nutritionists often tell their clients to drink a glass of water before meals. They say this because it can make your stomach feel full. And if you feel full, you’re less likely to consume additional calories via food consumption. Other benefits include:
- More Energy – since most people are not only chronically dehydrated, they are also sleep deprived. This is a great combination of feeling fatigued or lethargic. Consuming more water can help with energy and get a better night’s rest.
- Cleaner Skin – healthy skin can be the direct result of staying hydrated. If you’re dehydrated, skin can look wrinkly, aged, and dry. Studies show that acne can also benefit from staying hydrated and even give the skin a healthy glow.
- Fewer Headaches & Migraines – A good indicator of dehydration can be brain fog and/or headaches and migraine onset.
- Helps Digestion – The body needs water to operate. If you don’t have sufficient fluids, proper digestion may not occur, which can also lead to constipation. If you thought running to the bathroom just to urinate was bad, wait until you’re in the bathroom because of dehydration. Not good at all!
- Fewer Body Aches – Along with proper digestion, the water in our bodies acts like grease in mechanical joints. If you’re a person who engages in exercise (and I hope that you are) water can help with aches and pains due to joints not being lubricated.
What Are The Pros and Cons of Drinking a Gallon of Water a Day?
Just from the list above and from what you’ve heard, the pros outweigh the cons by a large margin. Some common complaints that people have with consuming a gallon of water a day is the bathroom trips.
Yes, you will have to visit the bathroom several times when you consume this much water. But really, how bad is a bathroom break? If you’re going to be traveling or in important meetings, then maybe reduce the amount of water you drink so you’re not inconvenienced or disrupting others.
But from a day-to-day perspective, using the bathroom isn’t that inconvenient. Besides getting up and stretching your legs is good for you.
How Much Water Should You Drink in a Day?
The water intake recommendations vary. The differences include your age, sex, how active you are, and any medical conditions. So by simply saying you should be drinking a gallon of water a day, might not be an accurate statement.
That being said, a normal adult who maintains an active lifestyle, and proper nutrition, will probably be okay drinking somewhere between a half-gallon and a bit over a gallon of water each day.
The rule of thumb is 8 glasses water (8oz). And this is a good start, but it might not be enough depending on the aforementioned factors.
What Are The Effects of Dehydration?
Dehydration can have numerous effects on your body, form minor issues to major issues. This happens when the body loses more fluids than what it’s taking in. If you don’t replace lost fluids the body becomes dehydrated. Relying on thirst to be the indicator is not a good mechanism for determining dehydration. Signs of dehydration in adults include:
- Extreme thirst
- No urge to pee throughout the day
- Bright colored urine
If these kinds of symptoms persist or become worse than seek immediate medical attention.
Causes of dehydration
Just not drinking water can be a major factor in dehydration but other causes include:
- Diarrhea, vomiting – if you have sudden and violent diarrhea, this can cause a significant amount of lost fluids. If you’re also vomiting, the risks can be compounded. The loss of fluids and electrolytes can become a very serious situation.
- Fever. In general, the higher your fever, the more dehydrated you may become. The problem worsens if you have a fever in addition to diarrhea and vomiting.
- Excessive sweating. If you’re an avid runner or person who plays outside a lot, you can sweat out pints of water. Also, if you live in a hot and humid environment it can increase the number of fluids you’re sweating out.
- Increased urination. This may be due to undiagnosed or uncontrolled diabetes. Certain medications, such as diuretics and some blood pressure medications, also can lead to dehydration, generally because they cause you to urinate more.
How Many Bottles of Water Equal a Gallon of Water?
As you might have guessed this will depend on the size of the bottle of water. The grocery stores usually sell bottles of water in 16oz and 20oz containers. Since there are 128 ounces in a gallon, you’ll need to drink 8 bottles of 16oz water.
A pint also equals 16oz, so consuming 8 pints will also get you to a gallon of water.
If you’re drinking out of a 20oz bottle you’ll need to drink about 6.4 bottles of water to get the equivalent of a gallon.
Is it Healthy to Drink a Gallon of Water Per Day?
Given that most people are chronically dehydrated and little effort is made to keep your water intake high, a gallon of water is a pretty high mark. Yes, staying hydrated is healthy and safe, but trying to consume it all at once isn’t necessary.
To error on the side of caution, consider your age, size, and how much you perspire to get an accurate reflection of how much water you should safely consume per day. As always, consult with your doctor for any significant changes in diet.
How Does Drinking a Gallon of Water Help You Lose Weight?
Some research shows that feelings of hunger can often be confused with feelings of thirst. If you feel the urge to snack on something, it might be wise to first drink a glass of water. If the feelings subside you’ll know that dehydration may have played a part in your feelings.
By drinking water throughout the day, you’ll literally fill your belly with water. If you do this before any regular meals, you’ll reach that feeling of being full quicker. This will prevent overeating and consuming additional calories.
This isn’t to say that you should replace water with food. You still need to consume whatever caloric intake your body needs.
Should I Drink Mineral or Distilled Water?
Distilled water is stripped of all its minerals and is left with nothing but hydrogen and oxygen. While you can drink it, it will taste very bland and it obviously won’t provide you with any of the healthy minerals that you get from tap water.
Mineral water is bottled at the source and doesn’t go through any of the treatment that regular tap water goes through. Some argue that mineral water can be unsafe to drink since it isn’t treated. Others argue that the treatment tap water goes through strips the water of its natural content. The debate will go on for years, but the end answer is yes, you can drink either distilled or mineral water, but tap water is regulated and is probably the safest for consumption.
Conclusion of Drinking a Gallon of Water
At the end of the day, I can’t tell you precisely how much water you should be drinking. I do believe the benefits by far outweigh the disadvantages of consuming water regularly throughout the day. Using the bathroom to pee because you have proper fluid intake is much better than passing kidney stones, from being dehydrated. Use the tips above to see how it can help you. Don’t pound a bunch of water in the morning just to get to your goal even faster, but pace yourself over the day.
FAQ of Drinking a Gallon of Water a Day
Is it healthy to drink a gallon of water each day?
This will depend on the person. The premise of drinking a gallon of water is to ensure your body is properly hydrated to perform at its peak.
How is it possible to drink a gallon of water per day?
By spreading out the consumption of water, it’s quite easy to reach a gallon of water. Consuming it all at once is not advised.
Does everyone need to drink a gallon of water?
No, the recommended amount of water can depend on sex, age, activity levels, and any medical conditions.
Does the water in my food count?
Yes, some foods like fruits and vegetables have a large quantity of water in them. Only about 20% of the water we take in, comes from food.
Will drinking water help lose weight?
It can. Drinking water can provide a feeling of satiety, which can prevent a person from over-indulging at the table.