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Wet Your Appetite: Tips for Rehydrating

What you eat is as important to staying hydrated as what you chug with your meal

Even if you don't feel thirsty, you may be chronically dehydrated. Studies show that there are millions of men not getting at least eight glasses of water daily—a problem that can increase risk for disease, zap your energy, and make it harder to burn fat. Bonnie Taub-Dix, R.D., author of Read It Before You Eat IT, offers some tips for rehydrating.

Eat More Water
Meals can supply at least 20% of your daily fluid needs. "Most fruits and vegetables are excellent choices," she says. Lettuce, cucumbers, and tomatoes are almost 90% water. Yogurt and milk are also good options, as are soups or anything cooked in water, such as pasta or oatmeal. Even a juicy steak can supply two to three ounces of water per serving.

Limit Salt
Sodium makes you retain fluids, but not in a way that keeps you cool or flushes toxins from your system. "The more high-sodium food you eat, the more water you need to be taking to dilute it properly," Taub-Dix says.

Go For Seconds
On whatever you're drinking with your meal—not the food. Liquids ingested with food enter the body more effectively than drinks not paired with food, so they're the best option to help you stay fully hydrated.

Top Five Water-Packed Foods

  • 1 head iceberg lettuce = 18 oz water
  • 1 cucumber = 10 oz water
  • 1 papaya = 9.5 oz water
  • 2 cups watermelon = 9 oz water
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin = 8 oz water

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Sports Drinks vs. Water

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