The health benefits of good hydration are significant. According to the Mayo Clinic, mild to moderate dehydration can cause headaches, tiredness, dizziness, and other symptoms. Drinking lots of fluids throughout the day will ward off dehydration and give you other beneficial side effects, ranging from clearer skin to healthy digestive function. In short, water is very, very good for you. In a new video for BuzzFeed, four intrepid subjects take on the challenge of drinking only water for 30 days, giving up all other beverages. The results? They do not like.
In the broad scheme of physical and psychological trials that one could attempt, simply drinking water for a month seems pretty tame, and some of these participants’ reactions tend toward the melodramatic (“I feel like I’m dying right now.”). But although sticking to water for a month may not seem like a big deal to some people, to those who thrive on coffee, do a lot of social drinking, or simply dislike water, this challenge could represent a major lifestyle change. Certainly, the participants in this video struggle to give up caffeine and alcohol, and practically go into withdrawal in their first few days without coffee. Seriously, these people were not happy:
By the end of the experiment, the participants’ reviews of the challenge are mixed, and none of them seem keen to continue their water-only lifestyles. A couple people have positive changes to report: One guy remarks “The wall I hit at 3 or 4 p.m. has kind of gone away,” and another explains that “[he’s] been managing [his] sleep better” because he hasn’t been able to rely on caffeine to help him recover from too little sleep. One woman simply responds, “This has been the worst.”
It’s important to note that staying hydrated doesn’t mean you have to stick solely to water. Pure water is great for you, of course (and it literally has no health disadvantages), but as the Mayo Clinic points out, you can also get water from other beverages, including juice, milk, tea, and yes, even coffee and alcohol. Water is the best foundation for good hydration, as it has no calories, sugar, or fat. But these other drinks can also contribute to your daily fluid intake. One simply needs to practice moderation with beverages that contain sugar and caffeine, and be aware that alcohol is a diuretic. (Meaning that it increases your need to urinate, so that even though a beer may add fluid to your system, you’re also losing more fluid than you normally would, which can lead to dehydration.) You can also ingest fluids through water-rich foods, such as watermelon and spinach.
Watch the full video to see how these water-drinking experimenters fared:
Images: YouTube (3)