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What Does Drinking a Gallon of Water a Day Do for You?

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Some people swear by the health, athletic, and beauty benefits of downing a gallon of water a day.

But, is drinking an entire gallon of water a day going a little overboard? In this article, we will look into just how much water you should be drinking (spoiler: it’s complicated), any benefits that you may see from super-hydrating, and if there are any downsides to being a water warrior.

Is drinking a gallon a day too much water?

While drinking a gallon of water spaced out throughout the day should not be damaging to most people, for some that have conditions such as heart failure, kidney issues, or are prone to retaining too much water due to medications - a gallon may be too much.

But, if you are a 6-foot-tall devoted athlete that works out two hours a day and lives in a hot and dry climate, you likely need a gallon a day just to stay properly hydrated. Ultimately, most people probably fall somewhere in the middle in terms of hydration needs, and a gallon might be a little more than they need.

However, for most people, drinking a little more water than needed will be perfectly healthy, avoid the perils of dehydration, and the only consequence will likely be a few extra bathroom breaks throughout the day.

Water Intoxication

As a side note - there is such a thing as water intoxication which is difficult to do but can be life-threatening.

Drinking too much water in too short of a time span can dilute your sodium levels too much and cause symptoms and body dysfunctions.

This normally occurs with multiple gallons of water drank over a very short period of time and would be pretty difficult to achieve without trying.

Even though water intoxication is rare, to play it safe stick to no more than 1 liter of water per hour.

How much water should I be drinking?

If you don’t feel like going for the whole gallon but want to make sure you are hydrated, stick to the general 8X8 rule: Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water throughout the day.

Mayo clinic goes a little further, and recommends that you kick up those numbers a bit based on if you are a male or a female:

  • 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) for men
  • 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) for women

Since 1 gallon = 3.785 liters, this is pretty much recommending 1 gallon a day for men, and about ¾ gallon a day for women.

Skin benefits from staying hydrated

Proper hydration is indispensable for the optimal health and appearance of the skin, and properly hydrated skin cells are more resilient to damage and are better able to maintain those protective skin barriers keeping blemishes at bay.

Skin tends to look better when it is hydrated due to the individual cells actually plumping up and giving that “bouncy”, dewy, and more youthful look and feel.

Dehydrated cells can physically flatten out and lead to less elasticity, and a rougher texture to the skin. When skin is not well hydrated, tiny grooves, lines, and wrinkles can look deeper and give you an aged appearance.

In addition, when you are dehydrated the skin around your eyes also suffers, looking darker, thinner, or sunken in. Bottom Line: Dehydration is never a good look.

Overall benefits of proper hydration

Aside from your skin looking clear and glowy, many people experience a whole range of health and wellness benefits from staying properly hydrated.

According to Harvard, water has many tasks throughout your body to keep it in tip-top shape, so when you are properly hydrated you can expect certain functions to run much more smoothly.

Benefits of being properly hydrated:

  • Carrying oxygen and nutrients properly to cells
  • Flushing unwanted bacteria from the bladder
  • Aiding in proper digestion
  • Improving regularity and preventing constipation
  • Regulating blood pressure
  • Regulating proper heart rate
  • Hydrating and cushioning joints
  • Cushioning tissues and organs
  • Maintaining proper body temperature
  • Maintaining proper electrolyte balance

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Now that you have settled on that optimal level of hydration, you will likely start noticing all those skin benefits from drinking plenty of water.

And once you are hydrated from the inside, you will want to optimize that glow by locking in the moisture from the outside.

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