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If you’re thinking about how much water you need each day or wondering whether drinking water helps lose weight, consider these health benefits. Sipping on H2O can help improve your body composition, suppress hunger, and optimize fat-burning potential. No matter what your fitness goals are—weight loss, improved endurance, performance—drinking more water will give you a little boost. If you’re not sure where to start with drinking more water each day, here are five ways to get started:
1. Record water intake.
One of the best ways to track your daily water intake is to record it in a notebook, computer or cell phone app like MyFitnessPal. Weigh yourself on a regular basis, and keep track of how much water you drink every day to ensure you’re staying hydrated while also losing weight at a healthy pace.
If you dislike plain water, find creative ways to add flavor without packing in calories and fat, such as spritzing your drinking container with lemon juice before filling it with water. Make your own flavored waters by infusing fruits into ice cubes or adding fresh slices for flavor during consumption (lemon and cucumber work especially well).
By then, it’s too late: You’ve already become dehydrated. Aim to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day—more if you exercise frequently or live in a hot climate.
Salty foods can make us feel thirstier than usual because they trigger our kidneys to expel more liquid via urine than normal—that’s why we often reach for another glass of water after indulging in chips and salsa or dousing our pizza with tomato sauce.
Just be sure not to go overboard since citrus fruits are high in sugar (and thus calories).