Do you ever get an idea in your head and no matter how much you try to talk yourself out of it you just can’t stop thinking about it? Well that’s how I felt about doing a water cleanse, I tried to tell myself how difficult it would be, how grumpy I’d be and how it really doesn’t sound fun at all but I still felt the need to give it a go so here I am, 10 days later and ready to share my experience with you all. I’d recommend settling down with a snack because this is going to be a long blog post!
What is a water cleanse?
So before I begin I should probably tell you what a water cleanse actually is just in case you don’t already know (if you do, feel free to skip this part!).
A water cleanse is basically where the only thing you drink for 10 days is water. No coffee/ tea. No alcoholic drinks. No fizzy drinks. Nothing but water, for 10 days.
For some people that might sound easy enough but for coffee addicts like me, it sounded impossible before I even began. To give you some perspective, I easily drink between 6 and 15 cups of coffee a day depending on what I’m doing that day and how I’m feeling. I like to have a glass of wine on an evening probably on average about once a week but I REALLY like that glass of wine! I also have energy drinks to give me a boost before the gym sometimes but definitely not everyday.
Why do a water cleanse?
I’ve told you the basics but you might still be wondering why people actually put themselves through this? What’s the point? Well there are a lot of benefits to doing a water cleanse but the main reasons that I did it are:
To flush out the toxins of caffeine, alcohol and energy drinks out of my body
To break my caffeine addiction
To challenge myself, I knew it would be hard but I genuinely didn’t know if I could actually do it
Now that I’ve given you the information about it, here’s a breakdown of how each day went:
I woke up on Monday morning feeling groggy and tired, like I always do. The first thing I wanted to do was go downstairs to make myself a steaming cup of coffee but I was strong. I knew it was going to be hard but I felt determined and I still had the excitement of a new challenge. By the time I got to work I would usually be on my 3rd cup of coffee so I definitely noticed a significant lack of energy. My colleagues commented on how tired I looked which obviously made me feel great! (side note: never tell a girl she looks tired!).
After work, me and Tom went climbing. He knew how rubbish I was feeling so he bought me a packet of wine gums to give me a bit of energy and cheer me up a bit. I cried. I mean I actually CRIED because Tom bought me some sweets. The emotional effects of caffeine withdrawal were getting to me!
On the second day I was feeling a lot less enthusiastic about the challenge and I very nearly gave in to the temptation of coffee in the morning. At work I was sluggish and I was making silly little mistakes all day but again, I just about managed to get through the day without giving up. After work, I went with Tom to a friend’s house for tea. I was already so tired I could barely keep my eyes open so I knew this was going to be a struggle for me. I’d been surviving on paracetamol all day to keep my headache in check but that wasn’t going to be enough for a social situation. Everyone else was drinking beer/ wine while I sat there and sipped my water. I felt very boring and just wanted to go home the whole evening. I managed to stay until about 10pm but I felt physically sick from the tiredness so I went straight to bed when I got home and dreaded waking up the next day.
On Wednesday I finished work at 1pm so that made my day a lot easier. I would usually go climbing/ to the gym on an afternoon off but I just didn’t have the energy for it so I made a lemon cheesecake instead and hung out with Tom for most of the afternoon. In the evening, my granny came home from New Zealand where she’s been for the past 3 months so we had tea at home with her. I really could have done with a glass of wine that night to help me cope with the mixture of the pre-existing headache and my loud family but I stayed strong and stuck to water anyway. I started considering shortening the cleanse to just 1 week but Tom convinced me to carry on for the full 10 days so I’d feel the full benefit.
I didn’t go to work on Thursday because we had a staff training day where we went to another place to learn about our different personalities and did team building exercises etc. . Normally that’s the kind of thing that I actually enjoy doing (unpopular opinion, I know!) but without the aid of caffeine I was struggling to take in what was being said so I ended up being a lot more reserved that I usually am. The day felt like the longest day yet and after our staff training I went to a bar with a few of the girls from work before we all went our separate ways. I sat there drinking water… again. I was really getting sick of this cleanse now I just wanted a bloody cup of coffee! I went to a shopping center with my mum after drinks with the girls so we could pick up a few things for our holiday but I couldn’t think straight so I ended up leaving with just a few bras rather than what I really needed.
I usually love Fridays but I just couldn’t wait to get back into bed all day. I’ve never been this tired before, it drains the fun out of everything you do until you don’t even want to do anything anymore. Tom came over after work so we ordered a Chinese and he put the rugby game on. I fell asleep shortly after the Chinese while he watched the rugby so he had to wake me up after the game finished. I was counting down the hours until the end of this stupid cleanse.
I had the Saturday shift this week, hence why I had Wednesday afternoon off. The one thing that usually gets me through my Saturday shift is coffee and lots of it. Obviously I couldn’t rely on that for this shift so I filled up my big water bottle and tried to immerse myself into my work. Unfortunately it wasn’t busy so I kept getting distracted by a speck of dust on my computer screen or feeling the need to tidy my desk, again. I do have to admit that my headaches had dulled down a bit by this point but maybe that’s just because I was getting used to them? I just wished I wasn’t feeling so tired all time, it made me very unproductive which I hate.
I was hoping to have a productive weekend since I’m going on holiday on Friday but the lack of energy and motivation made that very difficult. I ended up watching Netflix in bed for most of the day after my gym session. I did go to Costa to see if I could focus more by being out of the house but the temptation of coffee was too strong so I left quickly.
Monday morning was hell once again. Without the allure of a hot cup of coffee to wake up to I really didn’t want to get out of bed which ended up making me late for work, great start to the week! I still had a bad headache at this point which really disheartened me as I was expecting to feel better by this point. After work I went to get my eyelash extensions done with the girls from work. We ended up being there for 5 hours while the girls drank cocktails & iced coffees, I stuck to my water but I wasn’t happy about it.
We had another staff training day on Tuesday which was a welcome break from work but I still found it hard to concentrate on what was being discussed in the session. After the training I went to a pub for food with a couple of the girls from work. It was such a lovely day, bright sunshine and really hot so all I wanted to do was sit outside with a pint of cold beer but I just about managed to stick to water again. I was very close to breaking my willpower on Tuesday.
It’s the last day! Finally I was on my last of the water cleanse and I can honestly say I still felt rubbish. I whole heartedly believed I would have more energy, my skin would be better and I would feel healthier after the 10 days but it’s just not true. All I want is a great big cup of coffee to drown my sorrows in now. I don’t feel any happier, healthier or better off for doing this other than the fact that I’m proud of myself for sticking to it no matter how hard it got.
Overall, the challenge was extremely difficult, it made me emotional and grumpy to the point where people didn’t like being around me anymore. It didn’t give me some miraculous energy, in fact it made me feel even more tired than usual. I wouldn’t personally recommend this cleanse to anyone, just because I didn’t really get anything out of it. I don’t think I’ll be trying this again in the future.
I’d love to hear your experiences if you’ve ever tried anything like this before so leave me a comment to let me know!