We all know that staying hydrated is an essential factor in maintaining our health. The standard recommendation for the daily water intake is easy to remember with the 8×8 rule.
Drink eight 8-ounce (237 mL) glasses of water throughout the day or roughly half a gallon of water (2 L).
The 8×8 water per day rule is an okay guideline for water consumption.
However, it’s important to note that how much water an individual needs can vary on a day-to-day basis due to physical activity levels, climate, and other dietary concerns.
There’s a current health trend that suggests there are substantial health benefits to drinking a gallon of water a day for some individuals.
In this article, we’ll look at what the experts say about the benefits of drinking water, the possible risks in drinking a gallon of water every day, and ways to enhance your hydration for maximum health benefits.
BENEFIT #1: INCREASE YOUR METABOLIC RATE
According to online “health gurus,” drinking a gallon of water is reported to increase your metabolic rate.
The metabolic rate refers to the rate at which your body converts food into ready-to-use energy to carry basic functions including, breathing, nutrient processing, and cell production,
You may have met someone with a “really high metabolism” who can eat all they want without gaining any weight.
While the metabolic rate is determined by genetics and age, lifestyle can also influence your basal metabolic rate.
Increasing your water intake throughout the day may help to increase the basal metabolic rate. After all, we need to maintain healthy hydration levels to carry out these essential human functions since our body is made up of over 60% water.
A study found that after an hour of drinking chilled water, there was an increase of energy expenditure by 30% in men and women .
This increase in metabolic activity makes sense because drinking water stimulates thermogenesis (heat production).
What’s happening here is that the body has to work to warm the fluid to maintain optimal internal temperature levels. The more energy you spend, the faster your metabolism runs.
We couldn’t find any specific studies relating to the benefits of drinking one gallon of water a day versus the standard recommended half a gallon.
The research says that healthy hydration levels support our metabolic function, which should come as no surprise as water facilitates so many energy-related processes.
BENEFIT #2: ELIMINATE WASTE & SUPPORT DIGESTION
We need water to eliminate waste in our system. Urine, for example, is about 95% water.
The urinary system (renal system) filters our blood.
The kidneys are the main organs in the renal system. They filter about half a cup of blood every minute, removing extra water and other toxins to make urine.
Evidence suggests that increasing your water intake has reduced kidney stones’ incidences, which are hard crystal-like deposits that form inside your kidneys and are incredibly painful to pass.
Suppose you don’t have enough water in your system.
In that case, the kidneys start to ration water to produce more concentrated urine (dark in colour). This puts more strain on the kidneys, which can potentially lead to kidney diseases .
If you’re prone to constipation, drinking water could help too.
Water is absorbed in the small intestines and helps to move stool through your body. Drinking mineralized spring water rich in magnesium can also help with constipation. Magnesium is a natural relaxant, allowing the sphincter to pass the stool easier .
Again, we couldn’t find a report suggesting that a gallon of water is more beneficial than meeting your standard hydration levels. Making sure you’re well-hydrated should give you the benefits in healthy kidney and digestive function all the same.
Benefit #3: Improve Energy Levels
Dehydration can lead to fatigue because it affects the flow of oxygen to your brain and organs, making you feel drowsy or less alert.
A quick fix for an energy boost without consuming extra calories is to reach for a bottle of water.
Studies show that even mild dehydration affects your mood.
Increased weather temperature may induce dehydration, which has been shown to exacerbate cognitive performance degradation .
There were no definitive studies conducted on the amount of water one should intake.
Still, the collective of studies demonstrated that you need to increase your water consumption during warmer weather. You quickly become dehydrated from sweating and regulating your body temperature.
BENEFIT #4: CURB YOUR CRAVINGS
The hypothalamus is our master hormone regulator in the brain that also controls our hunger and thirst signals.
We often can confuse the signal for thirst with hunger, and we end up binging on the food we don’t need. An intake of more calories than we burn will lead to weight gain.
One of the best ways to curb your cravings is to reach for a bottle of water instead.
A study with 50 overweight female participants, drinking 500 mL of water three times a day before eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner (1.5 L/day), showed promising results in appetite suppression and fat reduction .
This isn’t anywhere near a gallon of water every day, yet it yielded positive results.
One of the benefits of drinking enough water is that you can better regulate your food intake so that you’re not over-consuming.
POTENTIAL RISKS OF DRINKING A GALLON OF WATER DAY
There is such a thing as overhydration.
It’s when you drink more water than your kidneys can process, altering the levels of sodium in your blood. This is called hyponatremia, and it can be fatal.
A gallon of water may be right for some, but one gallon of water can be excessive for most.
It’s crucial that you listen to your body. Becoming more in-tuned to your body’s needs will be much more beneficial for you than hitting a benchmark number like a gallon of water or even the 8×8 rule.
Some days, you’ll need more water. Days when you exercise, hotter weather, or days you’re not well may require you to drink more fluids.
Drinking more water for the sake of reaching new potential health benefits can become dangerous, especially if you’re not paying close attention to what your body needs.
HOW CAN YOU TELL IF YOU’RE DEHYDRATED?
As everyone’s water requirements can vary from one individual to the next, and even on a day-to-day level. What’s more important than figuring out how much water you need is tuning into your dehydration signals.
So, how can you tell if you’re dehydrated?
One of the best indicators for showing your hydration levels is the colour of urine.
Amber-colour or deep yellow urine is a sign you don’t have enough water in your system.
You’ll know you’re hitting the right hydration levels when your urine is clear or a light yellow.
Other signs you’re dehydrated may include:
- Dry mouth
- Sunken eyes
- Dry, cool skin
- Fast heart rate
If you’re feeling the signs of dehydration, drink water.
There are plenty of ways you can make it more convenient to get enough water a day.
Here are some ideas for taking in more water and improving your health:
- Drink water before a meal
- Eat more fruits and veggies that contain water (it counts towards your daily intake)
- Set reminders throughout the day to sip on water
- Ditch your high calorie, sugary drinks for water
- Drinking alkaline ionized spring water can also increase your essential mineral intake and tastes better than tap water
FUNCTIONAL BEVERAGES FOR HYDRATION
With many more people becoming health conscious, beverage manufacturers are looking for ways to make hydration and nutrition more convenient.
“Functional beverage” is a large umbrella term for any bottled drink that lends itself to supposed health benefits from energy-boosting, pro-biotic, electrolyte-enhancement, or weight loss.
The thing is, not all functional beverages are good for you. For example, high-sugar caffeine drinks are considered functional beverages. They give you a temporary boost in energy and cognitive performance. Still, we know they’re a far cry from healthy.
For those looking to make the most out of your hydration, drinking a gallon of water a day can be excessive and potentially dangerous. Choosing a supplemented water is the better option.
BLACK BOTTLED WATER
Black bottled water is the latest scoop in wellness and there’s a lot of support showing that these functional waters can go a long way in supporting one’s health.
Fulvic and humic acids give black bottled water its distinct colour and health benefits.
Fulvic and humic substances are found in plant-based organic decomposition. It’s what enriches the soil for new life.
The health benefits of fulvic acid have been around for over 3000 years in Ayurvedic medicine for treating a wide variety of ailments from inflammation, digestive dysfunctions, and weakened immune systems . It turns out, fulvic acids contain minerals that boast many health-promoting properties.
Trace Wellness’ black bottled water has naturally alkaline water from the Canadian Rocky Mountains. It’s enhanced with fulvic and humic minerals to improve your hydration experience and effectively allows you to get more out of your water without any added calories.
THE TAKEAWAY: IS THERE A BENEFIT TO DRINKING A GALLON OF WATER A DAY?
Fluid balance is vital for maintaining health and proper function of the body.
How much water one drinks is variable. While the 8×8 rule is a general guideline, your body will need more or less water depending on the state of your health, weather, and other external and internal factors.
We couldn’t find enough substantial evidence to support that drinking a gallon of water a day will provide you with more health benefits.
Drinking a gallon of water a day is no easy feat for most people because it may be simply too much water.
Rather than trying to hit this benchmark, we recommend listening to your body and perhaps making the most out of the ways you hydrate.
Naturally-sourced alkaline water or, better yet, black water contains trace minerals from the surrounding rocks that supplement nutrients you may be missing from your diet.
Sodium, magnesium, calcium, and sulfate can help you regulate your fluid levels and maintain your organs’ proper function. Instead of drinking more water, drink water that puts in more work in supporting your wellness with added minerals.
If you’re interested in learning more about enhanced waters and the benefits of drinking water, be sure to check out the blog for more articles like this.
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