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Water Challenge: What Is It, and How to Master It?

About 60% of your body is made up of water, making it essential in keeping your body up and running. Water plays a key role in regulating your body temperature and maintaining normal digestive function. Moreover, it makes sure your largest organ, the skin, is in the best shape possible.

Even knowing all of the benefits of water, plenty of people don’t drink enough of it. Lately, drinking water has been promoted on social media platforms in the form of a challenge. This water drinking challenge is based around a simple premise – drink water on a daily basis.


What Is the Water Challenge?

The water challenge is fairly simple – drink 8 glasses of 8 ounces of water (or more, depending on the type of water challenge you’ve decided to take on) every single day for a specified amount of time.

The main goal of this challenge is for people to drink more water and maybe even form a habit. After all, they say it takes only 30 days to make a new one or drop an old one.

It’s important to note that the water challenge is a trend and is not based on research. There are several variations of this trend, however, its core concept stays the same – drink at least half a gallon of water per day.

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What Are the Rules of the Water Challenge?

While the water challenge varies from platform to platform, all of the challenges are based on these 2 rules:

  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day;
  • Abstain from sugary drinks and alcohol.

The challenge to drink 8 glasses of water stems from the 8×8 rule. It’s probably not the first time you’ve been told that you should drink 8 glasses of water every day. It’s unclear how exactly the 8×8 rule came about, as there is no scientific evidence to back up this claim.

Generally, how much a person should drink depends on the individual. A number of factors come into play here, such as body type, physical activity levels, and climate, among many others. That’s why you can always modify your daily goal based on your own individual needs.


The 7-day water challenge lasts only 7 days, making it perfect for people who want to test the waters without a huge commitment. It’s beginner-friendly and easy to manage. In addition, you can use it as an introduction to the 30-day water challenge.

The 30-day water challenge, on the other hand, is a much bigger commitment as it lasts a whole month. However, your efforts will not be wasted as it offers greater rewards. This month-long challenge will help you form a habit of drinking water regularly.

Due to sensitivity to excessive fluid intake, individuals with kidney disease or heart failure should not participate in this challenge. For more information, consult with your doctor.

What should you drink?

As the name suggests, you should exclusively drink water during a water challenge.

It can be difficult to drink only water for a whole month straight, especially if you’re not used to it. To ensure this new habit sticks, you can incorporate sugar-free beverages into your diet.

You keep your body hydrated by consuming liquids. In fact, around 20% of your daily water intake comes from food. The other 80% comes from drinks meaning coffee, tea, and other beverages technically count towards your daily water intake. Even though all beverages are based on water and count towards your daily goal, there are some drinks you should cut.

What should you avoid?

When actively participating in a water challenge, you should cut out sugary drinks like:

  • Flavored water
  • Juice
  • Soda
  • Alcohol
  • Sweetened coffee and tea

Why do you have to cut out sweet drinks? While these beverages provide some hydration, they do more harm than good. Unsurprisingly, sugary drinks contain a lot of added sugar and, in turn, are high in empty calories. Daily consumption of such beverages can contribute to unhealthy weight gain and other health issues.

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Benefits of Drinking Enough Water

Water is essential, that much is clear. But what exactly happens in your body when you drink plenty of water?

Helps with weight management

Water is a great tool for body weight management. Although, it’s important to note that water alone is not an effective weight loss method. Combining it with a healthy diet and exercise is where it can truly shine.

A glass of water before, during, or after eating will fill up your stomach and give you a feeling of fullness which may prevent you from overeating. Research suggests that drinking water before a meal can make you eat less than you usually would.

Water has been shown to increase the levels of resting energy expenditure (REE). To put it simply, REE accounts for up to 75% of calories you burn every day without any physical activity.

You can enhance these weight loss effects by popping your water bottle in the fridge. Studies show that cold water can slightly increase the number of calories you burn in a resting state.

Helps maximize physical performance

Staying hydrated is one of the most important aspects of exercise. When working out, you lose water through breathing and sweating. If you lose too much water, you may become dehydrated, which will make your workout session more difficult.

That’s because not having enough fluids in your system can impair your body’s ability to sweat and, in turn, regulate body temperature. Dehydration can also lead to fatigue and lack of focus.

By replenishing your fluids during exercise, you ensure that your physical performance levels remain stable.

Affects energy levels and brain function

Even mild dehydration can affect your brain function. To be more precise, a lack of fluids mostly impairs attention span, short-term memory, and psychomotor skills. When combined, these symptoms are often referred to as brain fog.

Not drinking enough water can also make it harder to focus, as well as make you moody.

The water drinking challenge will help you stay hydrated and keep your cognitive function in top shape.

May help reduce headaches

One of the most common types of headaches is dehydration headaches. A lack of fluids changes your brain structure by shrinking the brain tissue. This process causes your brain to pull away from the skull and results in a headache.

The most simple way to relieve a dehydration headache is to drink plenty of water. Once the brain receives enough fluids, it will go back to its normal state, thus removing the pressure in your head.

By participating in the water challenge, you ensure that your body has enough fluids. What’s more, is that you reduce the risk of dehydration by abstaining from sugary drinks and alcohol.

May help prevent and relieve constipation

One of the most common methods to alleviate constipation is to increase your fluid consumption.

A common myth is that you shouldn’t drink water when eating as it may disrupt your digestive system. In reality, a glass of water with and after your meal improves digestion.

You don’t have to stick with plain tap water to reap the benefits for your digestive system. In fact, mineral water has been shown to improve bowel function. Its mineral properties, specifically magnesium and sodium, play a key role in reducing constipation.

Adequate hydration in the gut may soften stool and make it easier to pass. However, note that increased water intake does not serve as a cure for constipation.

Tips for a Successful Water Challenge

Drinking water on a schedule may appear more difficult than it actually is. These tips will help you drink more water without having to make an effort.

Develop an effective tracking system

A general rule of thumb is to drink water when you’re thirsty. However, if you’ve decided to take on the water challenge, you will have to make a conscious effort to drink more water than you usually do.

A good way to make sure you reach your daily goal is to track your water intake. This can be done by simply writing down a water drinking schedule on a piece of paper and marking it every single day.

A simpler way is to log your water intake on your phone. DoFasting is an app specializing in intermittent fasting where you can log your water consumption and meals. You can also enable water reminder notifications that will remind you to drink water at specific times.

Use water bottles

There are several reasons why you should carry a water bottle with you. Having a water bottle at arm’s reach will encourage you to drink more often and stop you from reaching for unhealthy drinks.

Placing your bottle on your desk where you work serves as a reminder to drink up.

In addition, some water bottles come with markings that will help you track how much water you’ve consumed throughout the day.

In order to be more environmentally friendly, make sure to buy a reusable water bottle and fill it up at home. This will help you to avoid the chemicals of the plastic bottle bleeding into your water. Most importantly, you will save money.

Timing is also important

You should drink a glass of water when you wake up and before you go to sleep. The main reason for this is that your body becomes dehydrated throughout the night, making it crucial to replenish lost fluids. A good way to stick to this routine is to keep a water bottle or a glass of water by your bedside.

Keep in mind that you should not drink an entire glass of water right before going to bed as it may interfere with your sleep and make you wake up at night.

Timing is especially important when it comes to physical activity. Avoid drinking too much water before your workout, as it may make you feel bloated. Instead, sip water throughout your exercise and make sure to replenish yourself after your workout is finished.

Add flavor to your drinks

Just because you have to drink water doesn’t mean that you have to say goodbye to flavor. In fact, adding a slice of lemon, lime, or orange to your water doesn’t just make it taste better but also aids your digestive system.

If you’re not feeling up to sweetening your water with fruits, try out cucumber water. It’s high in antioxidants that are crucial in oxidative stress prevention.

You can also pop a mint leaf into your water to freshen up your breath.

When it comes to upping your water game, it’s important to stay within the range of fresh fruits and herbs and avoid artificial additives, as they often contain lots of added sugars.

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Water Challenge: Key Considerations

Water is key to a healthy body and a well-functioning digestive system. Too little water can lead to dehydration, discomfort, headaches, and low energy.

The water drinking challenge is an internet trend that encourages drinking water and, for once, promotes a healthy lifestyle. Taking on the water challenge helps to form a new habit through self-accountability.

Make things more fun by pitching this idea to your friend and participating in the water challenge together.


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This is an evidence-based article that includes scientific citations. DoFasting’s professional writers and editors prepared the content, which a team of medical experts verified to be accurate.

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