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14. Drink 6–8 glasses of plain water each day.

The human body is 60% water, and when we lose even 2% of our body weight from water (3 pounds in a 150-pound person), the result is lower energy, slower metabolism and even a false sense of hunger. Our thirst mechanism is fairly weak, so you may not sense thirst in the beginning of dehydration. Aim to drink 6–8 glasses every day, regardless of thirst, and more in the summer months or if you exercise strenuously. A good way to detect your individual need for water is to monitor your urine: Dark-colored or cloudy urine is a sign of dehydration. Also, weighing yourself before and after exercise will give you an idea of how much water you have lost; drink two cups of water for every pound lost.

Originally Published November 5, 2009

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