Illustrated by Emily Kowzan and Ammiel Mendoza.
The Skin DelugeThe Victim:
Megan McIntyre, senior beauty editor
"After seeing the 'miraculous' before and after photos in the Daily Mail's story
about how one woman completely transformed her skin just by upping her water intake, my first thought was, 'I really need to get a glass of water.' According to this woman, going from drinking three glasses a day to three liters a day made her complexion more even and glowing, helped her digestion, made her lose weight, and gave her a more energized feeling. I would like all of those things, so I decided to give it a shot.
"Now, I realize there is nothing weird or crazy about drinking a ton of water. But, as someone who drinks at most three glasses a day, quadrupling my intake of water was just plain nutso to me. I diligently gave it a shot, hoping I, too, would reap the 'so beautifully glowing it looks Photoshopped — oh, wait, it probably is Photoshopped' benefits.
"Things did not start off well. I kicked off my first day of hella H2O with a cup of tea. Whoops. I course-corrected by immediately chugging a glass of water, then filled up another cup and took it to my desk. Halfway through cup two, things started to go downhill. Mid-typing, I suddenly felt a really intense urge to pee. I rushed to the bathroom — and spent the rest of my day running back and forth from the loo. Apparently, I fall somewhere on the bladder-control spectrum between an incontinent nonagenarian and a small infant.
"Halfway through the day, my stomach started to feel what can only be described as sloshy. I honestly think I could hear all that water moving around in my body. I ended day one having only successfully made it through a total of eight glasses and starting to rapidly lose my ground in front of the nonagenarian. The rest of the week continued in this same vein. I know plenty of people drink liters upon liters of water each day, but clearly I am not cut out for this.
"Even though my experiment was technically a failure, I will say that I did notice a slight difference in my skin. I wasn't breaking out quite as much and my skin no longer felt tight and uncomfortable. I also noticed I wasn't snacking throughout the day — probably because I was running around with the content of a water silo in my stomach. As for the energized feeling? Well, that was not happening. When you spend all night running to the loo, your reward is nothing more than dark circles and sleep-deprivation.
"I'm going to attempt this again, but this time I think I'll ramp up a little slower and hopefully give my body time to adjust. Water chuggers of the world, please tell me: Does it get any easier the longer you do this? Or should I just set my desk up in a bathroom stall to save time?