How to start a 30 day water challenge: the rules

3 rules of the 30 day water challenge

Ready to start Your 30 day water challenge? Not sure how to get started? First thing first: let’s see what are the rules of the 30 day water challenge!

30 day water challenge rules

Rules of the 30 day water challenge seem simple: You should drink 1 gallon/3.7 liters of water a day for 30 days, no sweetened beverages nor alcohol are allowed for this period.

How to start the 30 day water challenge?

If you are serious about starting the 30 day water challenge, there certainly are more questions that will arise. Now let’s break down these simple steps of the 30 day water challenge one by one, and answer the big question:

1. Create a water drinking plan

If you are not much of a water drinker, then making yourself to drink 1 gallon/3.7 liters of water a day for 30 days will be tricky at the start. You will need to monitor your water intake, but eventually you will get used to drinking that amount of water. I suggest starting the 30 day water challenge by creating a water drinking plan for yourself to drink that 1 gallon/3.7 liter water a day. You can even have a weekday and weekend water drinking plan if your daily routine differs during the week. The trick is to create a water drinking plan for yourself that fits your lifestyle. The point of a water drinking plan is to plan the water drinking in advance – so you will be more likely to stick to it and meet your daily goal of water intake.

Creating a water drinking plan helps you develop a habit of regularly drinking water throughout the day. It is important if you are not used to drinking water.

Don’t drink all the water in once! In fact, you mustn’t drink more than 0.21 gallons/0.8 liter of water in an hour, because water poisoning is a real threat. You can prevent water poisoning if you distribute your water intake throughout the day.

Just be mindful of your water intake frequency: having a water drinking plan is a great way of achieving this.

2. Swap sweetened coffee, tea, soda, juices with pure water (or their unsweetened equivalent)

If you strictly follow the rules of the 30 day water challenge, then you shouldn’t drink sweetened soda/coffee/tea/juices nor alcohol at all. Swapping your sweetened drinks with pure water is great step towards a healthy lifestyle!

If you are finding this to be really strict, then start the 30 day water challenge by taking your coffee/tea without sugar, honey or artificial sweeteners. Swap soda and juices with water! Limit your alcohol intake to drinking 1 glass of vine or other alcohol 1-2 times per week as a treat.

Am I allowed to drink this during the 30 day water challenge?
Drink type Allowed Not allowed
Coffee Yes if unsweetened Sweetened coffee NOT allowed
Tea Yes if unsweetened Sweetened tea NOT allowed
Soda Yes if soda water Sweetened sodas NOT allowed
Juices NOT allowed NOT allowed
Milk Yes if unsweetened Sweetened milk NOT allowed

3. Does water in my coffee/tea/soda/juice/soup count as water?

Drinks such as unsweetened coffee and unsweetened tea also count in into your water intake during the 30 day water challenge. You can also count the water in soups as well.

We agreed that you are going to drink water instead of juices and soda during the 30 day water challenge, so it is clear that water counts as water.

Soda is allowed only if it is soda water (sparkling water), a natural potable mineral water with high concentration of sodium bicarbonate, typically carbonated. Keep in mind, that flavored carbonated water contains sweeteners, so it is not allowed as a drink during the 30 day water challenge. You should stay away from any kind of soda beverages.

However, if you choose to treat yourself with that 1 glass of vine or other type of alcohol, don’t count them in your daily water intake.


If you’ve read this far, it means that you are ready to start your 30 day water challenge! If you have any reservations about drinking 1 gallon/3.7 liter water a day for 30 days, consult your doctor.

Need proof of the benefits of drinking more water? See my results of the 30 day water challenge>>>

7 thoughts on “How to start a 30 day water challenge: the rules

  1. you’re not allowed to drink anything but water. sweetened or not it’s not the challenge if you drink other things. you’re not a dietist please don’t make rules out of your head.

    1. You are right: if you can strictly follow the rules of the 30 day water challenge, then you should only drink water during the 30 day water challenge. However, some people are used to drinking so much soda/coffee/tea/juices or alcohol that they find it really hard to start with drinking only water. It is in this case that I’ve suggested that they drink their tea/coffee without sugar and swap the sweetened drinks with water. Everyone has different habits and you might feel that drinking only water works for you. However I believe that the 30 day water challenge is a great start towards a healthier lifestyle, even if you don’t just stick to drinking water only. You are right, I am not a dietitian and as I’ve stated, everyone should consult their doctor before increasing their fluid intake.

  2. no one is forced to do 30 day challenge.we all know the benefits of drinking water ,i personally like this challenge as i hardly drink water and i was told i should drink water as i have liver infection.
    Im starting mine Monday :):)

  3. Ive been doing Slimming World since October and have lost 2St 2lb and want you get to 3st but it’s met a brick wall and I can’t seem to get any further with this so I’m going to give the 30 day challenge ago tomorrow but I’m a massive tea drinker ( no sugar though yuck) wish me luck 🍀

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