A British woman’s claim that drinking six bottles of water per day took 10 years off her face is making headlines, but can it be true?
Sarah Smith, 42, says she feels “leaner and fitter” and lost the dark shadows, red blotches and wrinkles in her face after drinking the three liters of water, approximately 100 ounces, recommended by her doctor for 28 straight days.
Smith, who originally went to her doctor for help with her frequent headaches, chronicled her journey for the U.K.’s Daily Mail and gave them the before and after pictures that, she says, prove that her six daily bottles of water shaved a decade off her face.
“The only thing I’ve changed is the amount of water I drink,” Smith wrote. “I genuinely can’t believe the difference in my face. I look like a different woman. My husband and kids tell me I look 10 years younger.”
ABC News’ chief health and medical editor, Dr. Richard Besser, says water is the best option to reach for when you want a drink, but questions that such a dramatic transformation could occur by water alone.
“When you’re drinking water, you’re not drinking sodas and other things but in terms of it truly making you look younger, I’m not sure for that woman whether it’s the lighting,” Besser said today on “Good Morning America.”
“If you get dehydrated, your body is going to pull water from your tissues, from your skin to maintain the concentration in your blood,” Besser explained. “When it does that, your eyes are going to look sunken, your skin is going to feel dryer, it’s not going to be as elastic and so you will look a lot older.”
“If you’re not dehydrated and you drink a lot of water, it’s just going to send you to the bathroom,” he added.
Smith, a mother of two young daughters, writes in the Daily Mail that she began her 28-day water experiment after reading that at least one in five women in the U.K. consumes less than the recommended daily intake of water. She also writes she had to reassure friends who feared she was becoming an “aquaholic” and drinking too much.
According to Dr. Besser, both instances — in which you are drinking way too much or not enough — are rare.
“The elderly and young children can actually drink too much water to the point where they’re going to have a seizure and it can be dangerous,” Besser said. “But it’s very hard unless you have a real mental illness to drink yourself to that point.”
“If you’re not feeling thirst, you’re probably not dehydrated to the point where you’re going to be pulling the water from your tissues,” he said.