Monday

Drinking three litres of water a day took TEN YEARS off my face

Sarah, 42, was hoping to solve her headaches and poor digestion... just look what else happened. You might think I'd have little in common with a camel, but we do share one useful skill: both of us can go for a very long time without water.

Usually I start my day with a cup of tea, then I might have a glass of water with my lunch and one with dinner - that's about a litre of liquid in 24 hours. It feels like plenty, but apparently it's not nearly enough.

After years of suffering headaches and poor digestion I spoke to a neurologist about my regular headaches and a nutritionist about my poor digestion, and both told me I should be drinking up to three litres of liquid a day for my body to function at its best.



Then, when I read a recent survey suggesting that at least one in five women in the UK consumes less than the recommended daily intake of water, I decided to conduct an experiment. What would happen if I drank the recommended amount every day for a month?

The photograph of me taken the day I started this trial demonstrates perfectly - and rather frighteningly - what a lack of hydration does to a face.

I am 42, but have to admit I look more like 52 in this picture, which is shocking. There are dark shadows under and around my eyes, which make me look exhausted, a profusion of wrinkles and strange reddish blotches, and my skin lacks any lustre. It looks dead.
Dehydration: One in five women consumes less than the recommended daily intake of water
Dehydration: One in five women consumes less than the recommended daily intake of water

Week Two

Weight: 8st 6lb (lost a pound)
Waist: 28in
Week Two: The blotches on my face are diminishing and the shadows around my eyes less pronounced
Week Two: The blotches on my face are diminishing and the shadows around my eyes less pronounced


My complexion is improving and my skin tone is more even. I still have wrinkles under my eyes, but they look less crepey and shadowy than before.
The blotches on my face are diminishing, and the shadows around my eyes are less pronounced.
I feel pleased when my sister-in-law tells me my skin looks clearer than it did a week ago. I have a busy week with lots of time away from home, so I stock up on half-litre bottles of mineral water I can carry around in my bag. A week's worth costs just over £8. If I spread my water intake over the day, that's half a litre when I wake up, another with breakfast, one with lunch, one in the afternoon, one with my evening meal then another before bed. It sounds like a lot, but I'm finding it manageable.
Today, I've noticed my breath smells less 'breathy', maybe because I've ditched tea - I decided water was better for me. I'm certainly not missing the sweet, milky taste it left in my mouth.

Week Three

Weight: 8st 6lb

Waist: 27.5in (lost half an inch)
The dark rings and wrinkles under my eyes have virtually disappeared, and my skin looks plumper and more nourished. My friend, who is a beauty therapist, says this is because the water is helping my skin cells regenerate more efficiently.
I've noticed I've stopped rubbing my eyes when I wake up in the morning. They used to be dry and full of sleep, but not now. All this extra water must be keeping them moist.
Week Three: My skin looks plumper and more nourished
Week Three: My skin looks plumper and more nourished

Week Four: I am going to keep on drinking three litres of water every day
Week Four: I am going to keep on drinking three litres of water every day

Week Four

Weight: 8st 5lb (lost another 1lb)
Waist: 27in (another half an inch)
I genuinely can't believe the difference in my face. I look like a different woman. The dark shadows around my eyes have all but disappeared and the blotches have gone. My skin is almost as dewy as it was when I was a child. The transformation is nothing short of remarkable.
I'm feeling leaner and fitter, too, which is amazing, since the only thing I've changed is the amount of water I drink. My best friend says she's worried about how much water I'm consuming - she's heard rumours about Nigella Lawson being an 'aquaholic' who drinks three litres before bed.
But I am following safe guidelines under the supervision of my GP, so I am able to reassure her.
I even enjoy another boozy night out but drink lots of water along the way and wake up feeling fresh as a daisy. Whatever happens, I am going to keep on drinking three litres of water a day - and would advise every woman to do the same (after checking with her doctor, of course).
I feel fitter, leaner and healthier, and my husband and friends tell me I look ten years younger. Who in their right mind would not want to try something which gets such incredible results?