Recently, I began working with Jennifer Beck, a wellness coach and certified nutritionist from Advanced Wellness. One of the first things she asked me to do was the “gallon challenge.” I was instructed to drink one gallon of water per day. In the past, I’d have two cups of coffee in the morning then drink iced tea all day. I thought iced tea would count as water…but it doesn’t. Like coffee, it is a diuretic. According to Jennifer, “Close to 70% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. This isn’t dying-in-the-desert dehydration, but more of a chronic dehydration that negatively impacts the body on many levels.”
She explains, “Pure clean water is crucial for many reasons. When water intake is increased, mental clarity is enhanced, joint pain is decreased, constipation is relieved, toxins are eliminated, skin conditions clear up, blood pressure is regulated, sleep improves (as long as you’re not drinking a lot right before bedtime) and energy levels rise.”
Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, I’ve been doing the gallon challenge for three weeks and the results are amazing. My general mood, energy and mental clarity have skyrocketed! I’m so impressed with the results that I started thinking this would be a great wellness activity for employers to
do as well.
Tips to launch the gallon challenge at your workplace
- Create a catchy graphic for the gallon challenge and use it throughout all your materials.
- Launch the gallon challenge and keep it going for four weeks. (Experts say it takes 21 days of consistent behavior to change a habit…so why not add on a week for good measure.)
- Order 32 oz. bottles imprinted with your gallon challenge logo. Pass them out to employees and suggest they put four rubber bands on the bottle. As they finish one bottle, they can move the rubber band down to the bottom and refill the container. After four times, they have their gallon in. (Note: I found the 32 oz. bottle was easier to carry with me than a gallon jug. Plus, psychologically, it seemed easier to achieve.)
- Create a competition among employees to see who sticks with the gallon challenge consistently. Employees could post the number of days they achieved the goal each week.
- Take advantage of the extra trips to the bathroom by putting up motivational static cling signs on the bathroom mirrors or posting wellness fun fact flyers on the back of bathroom stall doors, such as:
- Close to 70% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.
- The average body is made up of 50-65% water.
- At just 1% dehydration mental clarity and physical coordination are impaired. Unfortunately, we do not experience thirst until 2-3% dehydration.
- Our body requires water to transport nutrients to cells and carry toxins away from cells.
- One of the biggest contributors to afternoon fatigue is dehydration.
- If you have a water cooler, you might want to stock up on extra water for the weeks of the challenge.
- And uh, we hate to be indelicate, but you might want to stock up on more toilet paper as well.