Dear M&F,
I never remember to drink enough water during the day. How can I use my diet to stay sufficiently hydrated?
—Phil K., Lakeland, FL

Clearly you are someone who already knows the importance of hydration. As you probably know, water makes up almost 65% of your body. Interestingly, the amount of water in your tissues varies drastically, with water accounting for about 10% of your fat cells, 75% of your muscles, and more than 80% of your blood and kidneys. For your organs to function properly, they must remain adequately hydrated.

If you have trouble remembering or making time to drink more fluids, you can choose foods that are rich in water. Soups and stews are good hot-food options, but fruits and vegetables are also packed with water.

In your new diet, try adding turkey-stuffed bell peppers as an entrée. Bell peppers are loaded with water, while the rice will absorb the liquid from the tomatoes and broth, helping to fill you up. Meanwhile, replace the peanut butter protein bar with apple slices and dip those in natural peanut butter. Bars are dry, and this way you get more water with your protein fix. Adding a pre-workout sports drink is another surefire method to increase the water in your diet, and since dehydration can sabotage your workout, you’ll be adding it at just the right time. So, while protein is still king when it comes to building muscle mass, keep water content in mind if you want to be healthy and perform at your best.

See the before and after diets on the next page >>

Phil’s Old Diet

Food Item Water Content

Iceberg Lettuce: 96%

Sweet Corn on the Cob: 74%

White Meat Chicken, Cooked: 61%

Whole Wheat Bread: 35%

Walnuts: 4%


  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 slices whole wheat toast
  • 1 tbsp. low-fat buttery spread
  • 12 oz. low-sugar orange juice


  • Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich:
    • 1/2 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breast
    • 2 slices Canadian bacon
    • 1 leaf lettuce
    • 1 slice tomato
    • 1 tbsp. reduced-fat mayonnaise
    • 1 kaiser roll

Afternoon Snack

  • peanut butter protein bar with 20g of protein

Post-Workout Recovery Drink

  • 30 g. hydrolyzed casein and whey protein blend


  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup potatoes
  • 1/2 cup onion

Phil’s New Diet


  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup mixed berries
  • 4 oz. orange juice
  • 2 scoops whey protein isolate


  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 cup lettuce
  • 1/2 tomato
  • 2 slices whole wheat bread
  • 16 oz. low-sugar sports drink

Post-Workout Shake

  • 30 g. hydrolyzed casein and whey protein blend


  • 3 oz. turkey sausage
  • 1 oz. brown rice
  • 1 oz mozzarella
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 5 oz. tomato, diced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. parmesan, grated
  • 2 cups unsweetened iced tea