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More Water, Please!

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More Water, Please!

The most neglected beverage in your diet.
Chris Sparkguy Downie
Chris Sparkguy Downie More by this author
May 14, 2010 at 10:00 AM

Despite water’s many benefits, it is one of the most neglected parts of our diet. Some of us can go an entire day without drinking a single cup. But at SparkPeople, we’re obsessed with water—and with good reason! Not only does it replace sugary, high-calorie drinks, but it is critical to feeling full, having energy, and losing weight. Of members who are achieving success with their health goals, 74.5 percent drink eight cups of water every day. Only around half of those with a “diet” mentality get enough water. Those who lost at least 100 pounds report drinking even more than eight cups a day.

So do you really need eight cups? Like most recommendations, it depends. Everyone’s needs are different and dependent on several factors, including your weight, how much you exercise, how many water-rich foods you eat, the amount of muscle mass you have, and the weather (conditions such as heat and humidity). But eight cups a day is still a good goal for the average person. The best way to find out how much you need is to check the color of your urine. It should look like you squeezed a lemon in it. If it’s much darker, try drinking a little more water.

Okay, you’re thinking, this is great advice, but how can you easily increase your daily water consumption? We’ve heard thousands of members go from asking, “How can I fit it in?” to saying, “I can’t live without my eight cups a day!” Here are some great ways to get your daily water. Try the ones that appeal to you, and you’ll see and feel the difference:

  • Make your water bottle your constant companion.
  • Fill your pitchers—leave full pitchers in the office or kitchen to remind you through the day.
  • Start your day with a big glass of water.
  • Order water at restaurants instead of soda, tea, or a fruit drink.
  • Flavor your water with citrus, cucumber, or flavored powders to mix in.
  • Take more trips to the water cooler at work.
  • Come up with a clever tracking system of your own—or track online at SparkPeople.com.

Action Step: Commit to drinking eight cups of water per day.

About Author
Chris Sparkguy Downie
Chris Downie is the founding force behind SparkPeople. He used proven health, goal-setting and motivation techniques to co-found an early Internet company, which became eBay's first acquisition. With the freedom and the capital to help other people r Continue reading