Compared to most people, I'd consider myself to be fairly hydrated.
Not to pat myself on the back or anything, but I gave up drinking soda my senior year of high school and switched to H2O.
I made the decision to trade sweet for sustenance because I was on a major health kick and didn't want drinking the sugar-infested fluids to wreak havoc on my body, and also because I was embarrassingly dehydrated.
Fast-forward almost eight years later, and my daily fluids roster consists of water, tea, and the occasional cup of decaffeinated coffee.
I fill up a large water bottle first thing in the morning, leisurely sip throughout the day, and I'll normally refill at least once.
But even so, I wasn't meeting anywhere near the recommended amount of 64 ounces per day.
On the whole, the human body is made up of 60 percent water, and if that's not enough of a motivator to get you drinking a few extra glasses, hear me out.
A high water intake can contribute to less bloating, healthier skin, and a healthy digestive system, among other benefits.
I decided to put the suggested numbers to the test, and committed to drinking the recommended 64 ounces of water per day for one whole week.
Day 1 – Wednesday
My experiment started on a Wednesday, and to understand just how well my first day went, here's an important little detail about me.
I'm the type of person who feels super energized on a Monday morning, only to crash, hard, come Tuesday.
I woke up on Wednesday, performed an invigorating vinyasa yoga sequence, filled my favorite floral Mainstays Double Wall Tumbler to the brim, and logged on to work, literally chugging away.
The tumbler holds 24 ounces of water, which meant, in order to meet my goal, I had to refill that sucker three times.
Other than having to pee 10 times more than usual (and, mind you, I pee a lot to begin with, but even this was a lot), I was feeling pretty good, and maybe a bit cocky, about the whole thing.
Drinking water was easy! Why don't I always hit this number?
Because life happens. That's why.
Day 2 – Thursday
My usual Tuesday crash came on a Thursday, but not because I'd lost all motivation for the task at hand.
I've battled through irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) since I was 10 years old, and though I've found ways to cope and reduce the frequency of painful episodes, it's not a disease you can always control.
Thursday morning was rough for me. I woke up in pain, and spent at least an hour in the bathroom.
Once it passes, you'd assume I'd feel better, but on these kinds of days, I'm usually down for the count.
My body feels exhausted, and the mere thought of putting anything, liquid or solid, into it can make me nauseous.
I made myself an eight-ounce cup of Sakara Life digestive tea around 9:30 a.m. and nursed the warming fluid until about 11 a.m. before setting myself up with a full tumbler of water with lime juice and strawberry slices.
I was pushing myself to drink through the day, but I definitely think the water helped flush me out. I felt excellent by the end of the night.
Day 3 – Friday
Friday was actually looking up to be a fabulous day. I woke up with zero stomach pain, it was the weekend, and I was going to visit my parents.
I left my apartment around 7 a.m. on an empty stomach, arriving at my parents' house around 8 a.m.
My first order of business after greeting everyone was to grab a Poland Spring bottle from the fridge.
My parents keep bulk packs of water bottles in the house at all times, which turn out to be super convenient for tracking ounces.
Three bottles, in addition to the eight-ounce cup of black coffee I'd downed with breakfast would bring me to my goal.
I finished before I even got back on the road to go home.
Day 4 – Saturday
Unless you lug a giant water bottle in your tote everywhere you go, or your weekend plans consist of staying home with all the water you need at your disposal, meeting an intake of 64 ounces in a day can be tricky.
My husband and I woke up fairly early to drive up to our alma mater for a walk around campus. On the way, we picked up a couple of bagels, and instead of splurging for coffee, I'd brought along a large bottle of CORE water to wash it all down.
What's awesome is one big bottle of CORE contains a whopping 30 ounces of water.
Two bottles and a cup of tea would bring me to an overflow, and I was all about it.
Finishing my first bottle was easy, but by the time I'd finished, it was already the afternoon, and I needed to get ready for my husband's parents' anniversary dinner, all while simultaneously sprucing up the apartment.
I took sips in between vacuuming, doing my makeup, getting dressed, and straightening up until we had to leave.
As it turns out, I ended up being so preoccupied that I forgot to grab a second bottle to hold me over.
So, at dinner, I drank two and a half 10- to 12-ounce glasses of water.
Normally, dessert at the Guerra house features a large glass of tea, but because it was so hot on Saturday, we skipped tea and went straight for scoops of ice cream.
I'm not ashamed to say I downed the last few ounces as soon as we got home before crawling into bed, absolutely water-logged.
Day 5 – Sunday
Sunday is my day to get sh*t done.
Aside from venturing out of the apartment to hit up Trader Joes and grab my usual coffee and a donut from Dunkin, I dedicated the bulk of my day to meal-prepping, baking, and cleaning everything I could get my hands on before vegging out on the couch.
I made up for Saturday's frenzy by claiming two CORE bottles for myself, and paced my sipping as the day went on.
I finished both halfway through dinner, and even felt roomy enough for a cup of tea with dessert.
Day 6 – Monday
It had been a few days since I was up for, or able to exercise, but when I woke up on Monday, I was in the mood for a nice long yoga session before work.
I have a habit of shamelessly checking myself out in the bathroom mirror to observe my progress, and though I'd taken a few days off, I looked and felt really lean.
Aside from the little inconveniences of my leaky gut, I'd felt little to no bloating since I'd started drinking these vast amounts of water.
I assume this was because, for one thing, the more water I drank, the more movement and digestion was taking place, and I also wasn't as hungry or grazing as frequently.
Day 7 – Tuesday
Staying true to the norm, Tuesday came, and my IBS was a problem, but I actually felt myself craving, rather than resisting water or hot beverages, because of how much they had soothed my body just a few days prior.
I swapped cold water for two cups of tea, until well after breakfast when I resorted back to CORE water.
It may not have been an ideal ending to the challenge, but I'm certainly living proof that making the effort to drink through the discomfort can actually nurse a body back to stabilization.
Some Final Thoughts
Sure, 64 ounces is a lot of water (as you can see, as my cat Aria perches atop cases on cases on cases of H20), but once you get yourself in the habit of drinking anywhere close to that number, your body will thank you.
Despite any obstacles I endured throughout the experience, my body feels less bloated, more lean, and my skin is actually glowing -- to the point where I don't feel the need to put on makeup first thing in the morning.
Moving forward, I will definitely strive to drink more water than I have in the past, even if that means buying a few extra rolls of toilet paper to compensate.