Most people have heard that drinking enough water every day is right for your overall health because an adult body comprises 60% water, which is necessary to keep the body functioning properly. [ 1 ]
However, how much water should you drink daily? Should we follow the advice of fitness experts to drinking a gallon of water a day?
Do You Need to Drink a Gallon of Water a Day?
Essentially, water balance is critical in maintaining your overall health and your body’s functions. However, the amount of water you need in a day depends on so many factors.
Your weight, activity level, and how much you sweat are things you need to consider regarding hydration and water requirements.[ 2 ]
Suppose you have no underlying health conditions and have no existing diseases that may worsen with too much fluid intake. In that case, you may drink a gallon of water a day. However, if you notice any adverse effects on your body, reassess your hydration status and consider lowering the amount of water you drink per day.
7 Benefits of Drinking a Gallon of Water a Day
Why do you have to bother drinking a gallon of water a day?
There are more than a dozen health benefits of drinking that much water in a day. Below are 7 of them:
1.Manage Your Weight
As mentioned earlier, drinking water may help get rid of excess weight.
2.Improve Your Skin
Consuming enough water helps your system in getting rid of toxins. This results in healthier and clearer skin.
Staying hydrated can also improve your skin tone and elasticity, delaying the signs of premature aging. And when it comes to acne prevention, drinking enough water can help stop excess sebum production, resulting in fewer clogged pores and pimples.
Dehydration can affect your physical performance. You’ve probably noticed this when working out in high heat or when you’re doing intense exercise.
Not having enough water can affect your body’s ability to control your temperature. It makes you less motivated to move and more prone to fatigue. It also makes it harder for you to complete your workout routine.
Staying hydrated can prevent all those things. Plus, it may even help lower oxidative stress, which commonly happens with high-intensity exercises.
There’s no way to stop the aging process. However, by drinking enough water, you can help slow the development of the signs of aging.
As previously mentioned, hydration can help keep the skin’s natural moisture. When the skin’s hydrated, it’s less likely to get saggy and wrinkly.
And water’s not just crucial for achieving younger, healthier-looking skin.
The body needs water to maintain essential functions. The list includes removing waste, maintaining healthy joints, regulating body temperature, and digesting food.
Maintaining proper hydration is essential to keep your body able to perform these functions.
5.Improve Brain Function
Hydration plays a vital role in keeping your brain cells active. Additionally, it helps balance your brain’s chemical processes, regulating anxiety and stress in the process.
In addition to that, a well-hydrated brain also has useful memory function. It enables you to memorize information and make long-term memories.
And if you suffer from frequent headaches, drinking the right number of water glasses can help solve the issue. Water deprivation is considered a common cause of headache, as reflected in this study.
6.It Helps Improve Bowel Movement
Water alone can’t cure constipation, mainly if other conditions are causing it like endocrine problems and Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS.
However, drinking extra fluid can help keep your stool soft, making it easier to pass.
7.Aids In Preventing Kidney Stones and Urinary Tract Infections
In women, about 40 to 50% are bound to get urinary tract infections in their lifetime. About 1 in 4 may experience a repeat infection.
In line with this, a study presented in San Diego suggests that drinking water effectively minimizes bladder infections in people prone to them.
The study involved 140 women who were in their premenopausal stages with recurring UTIs. Before the study, they were drinking around 6 cups of water.
Half of the participants were asked to increase their water intake by 1.5 liters. The other did not change in their water intake.
Studies have shown that those who drink more water can cut their incidence of UTI in half.
Now, how can water help minimize one’s UTI risks?
It’s simple. When you drink a lot of water, you’re flushing out bacteria that can cause UTI. Additionally, it reduces the bacterial concentration in your urine, lessening the microorganisms’ ability to stick to your bladder cells and cause infections.
How Can I Drink a Gallon of Water per Day?
Honestly, increasing your daily plain water intake to a gallon a day isn’t easy. It’s a big challenge. Most people would prefer to grab a super chilled glass of soda or cold lemon water in the summer.
Here’s how to drink a gallon of water a day:
1. Right after waking up, drink two glasses of water. It should help flush out toxins and waste from your system. To help you remember, you can place your water bottle on your bedside table.
2. Before eating your first meal of the day, drink another glass of water. At this point, you should have drunk 24oz of water already.
3. Work on drinking three more glasses before lunch. Increased physical activities require you to increase your water intake. If you exercise this time, increase it to four glasses.
4. As you eat your lunch, drink another two glasses of water. This should help you feel fuller faster.
5. Squeeze in three more glasses of water between lunchtime and dinnertime.
6. Have two more glasses with your dinner.
Now, since increased water intake means more frequent trips to the bathroom, consider setting your dinner at an earlier time.
If the tip above sounds too complicated for you, another trick is to drink the same glasses of water.
After waking up, drink 14 ounces of water. Drink the same amount of water every hour after that. You’ll be able to hit your target.
Also, you have to remember not to overload your system with water. Although it’s a good idea to drink a gallon of water a day, you shouldn’t have that much water in one go. As much as possible, schedule your water intake throughout the day.
Too much water intake in a short amount of time isn’t good for the kidneys. It puts you at an increased risk of water intoxication, which can cause problems to your brain.
If you’re starting, don’t rush the process. Increase your water intake gradually.
For example, you can start with 1 liter of water a day. Once you are comfortable with that, gradually increase it to 2 liters a day. Eventually, you’ll be able to drink 4 liters daily with no issues.
First, water acts as a natural appetite suppressant.
The way it works is easy. When you drink several ounces of water, your stomach becomes full. This triggers the organ to send signals to your brain, telling it to stop eating. As a result, you’ll find yourself craving a snack less frequently.
Apart from that, water takes up space in your stomach—causes you to eat less.
As proof, you can consider a study done in 2014. It involved 50 females who were all overweight. The participants were asked to drink 500ml of water about 30 minutes before eating their meals and consume water regularly. The study lasted for 8 weeks.
The results showed a reduction in body mass index, body fat, and body weight in women.
Water can also increase your body’s ability to burn calories. It helps with waste removal, too.
The Bottom Line
Overall, drinking a gallon of water a day offers so many benefits. It’s good not just for your skin but your brain and digestive system, too.
But consider this:
Drinking a gallon of water isn’t for everyone.
If you are prone to hyponatremia, a condition where sodium levels drop below average, drinking large amounts of water can cause serious problems. It can even be fatal.
Some of its signs and symptoms include headache, nausea, vomiting, confusion, restlessness, muscle cramps, coma, and seizures.