High Fives for Hydrating

bowl of mixed greensAs you probably know, 60 percent of human body weight is (or should be) water. When we’re dehydrated, all our bodies’ systems suffer, especially digestion. We have less energy, our brains don’t function like they should, and our skin will even appear more wrinkled. The standard recommendation of eight glasses of water isn’t enough in hot, humid Florida summers, because we lose water every time we sweat, use the restroom—even when we breathe!

But what if you can’t chug liters of water every day? Don’t worry! We can easily get 20 percent of our daily water intake in the foods we eat, especially if we look for those with higher water content.

Foods that hydrate

As a whole, veggies top the list of hydrating foods, with higher amounts of water than any other whole food. They also offer lots of nutritional bang with low calorie counts. Try some of these raw vegetables with 90 percent or more water content:

  • Cucumbers
  • Celery
  • Lettuce and leafy greens
  • Zucchini
  • Cauliflower
  • Bell peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Tomatoes
  • Baby carrots

Combine all of these foods into a delicious, hydration-boosting salad, add them to sandwiches, or just slice them up for a snack. Pair crunchy veggies with healthy dips like hummus or guacamole to add flavor and even more water content.

Tip: Celery wins the grand prize for hydration, because its unique combination of vitamins, amino acids and mineral salts offer twice the hydrating power of plain water!

Fruits are right behind veggies in hydration value, and they also provide lots of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Melons have the most water, and watermelon is especially good at replenishing lost electrolytes—even better than sports drinks! Berries are also an excellent, nutrient-dense choice to satisfy both hunger and thirst.

Prepared foods

When you need ready-to-go meals and snacks, soups and broths offer lots of water, along with sodium to help you stay hydrated longer (just watch out for preservatives). To satisfy your sweet tooth, stick with unsweetened varieties of these favorites:

  • Applesauce
  • Yogurt (also replenishes electrolytes like potassium and sodium
  • Gelatin dessert
  • Fruit and yogurt smoothies (or freeze into popsicles or sherbet for an icy treat)