Staying hydrated sounds like a simple health goal to achieve. Yet, for some reason, drinking enough fluid seems to be a major challenge for many of us. Whether we are too busy to remember to gulp, we don’t have access to beverages 24/7, or we underestimate how much sweat we will produce in warm weather or during exercise, staying hydrated is not so easy for many of us.
If you are not a water lover and are terrible at remembering to bring your liquids with you when you are on the go, you may be delighted to know that there are some water-rich foods that “count” as fluid and help you stay hydrated too.
RELATED: The Ultimate Guide to Hydration
Why Hydration is So Important
We all know that eating nutrient-rich foods like fruits and veggies is incredibly important for supporting our overall health. But neglecting your hydration can cause some unsavory effects that you need to be aware of, even if your overall diet is perfectly balanced.
Sixty percent of our bodies are made up of water. And specifically, 95% of our brains are made up of this liquid. We need to take in water in the form of either food or drinks in order to give our bodies this key component so it can do what it needs to do.
People’s fluid needs can vary based on many factors, such as how hot it is where a person lives, how much exercise a person participates in, a person’s health status, and whether that person is pregnant or breastfeeding. But generally speaking, an individual will require about 2 liters every day, or eight, 8-ounce glasses per day.
So, why is hydration so important? Keeping your body adequately hydrated is utterly important for a slew of reasons. Staying adequately hydrated may relieve fatigue and sluggishness, can help flush out toxins in your body, may help reduce the risk of constipation, supports your organs’ proper functioning, plays a role in converting food into energy, and helps keep joints lubricated.
Signs of Dehydration
Maintaining proper hydration means that you are taking in more fluid than what your body is losing or using. And there are some tell-tale signs to let yourself know that dehydration has reared its ugly head.
Some signs of dehydration include: having a feeling of thirst, feeling tired, having dry mouth and lips, headache, producing a small amount of urine, producing dark yellow urine, and dizziness.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and you question whether you are dehydrated, it is a good move to check in with your health care provider.
Stay Hydrated With These 6 Water-Rich Foods
If you fall into the “I hate drinking water” camp or the “I always forget to drink” camp, there is still hope for you. Some foods naturally contain a large amount of water, and eating them can absolutely count toward your fluid intake quota for the day. Especially during warm months or on days when you know you will be sweating a lot, including these basic foods can help you keep dehydration at bay with very little effort.
As the name implies, this naturally pink melon consists mostly of water. In fact, when you are eating a piece of watermelon, 92% of what you are downing is plain old water.
Including watermelon on your salads or enjoying it as a snack can help you stay hydrated while also satisfying your sweet tooth — a perfect 1-2 punch in the nutrition department.
That satisfying crunch of a cucumber is refreshing and incredibly hydrating. Since cucumbers are a water-rich veggie that is low in calories and goes well with a slew of dishes, focusing on cukes at mealtime is a satisfying and hydrating step that you can easily take.
Taking one bite into a juicy peach will leave you with a mouth full of sweet liquid. And while you may be tempted to call it peach juice, the liquid consists of mostly water. Enjoying a peach can be a delicious way to help you get some extra fluids in, especially when you are on the go.
If you are enjoying a regular-sized orange, you are getting about an entire ½ cup of water as you are noshing away. Oranges are super-hydrating and perfectly portable. And if you prefer to drink your citrus, juicing your orange will allow you to do just that.
Sipping on broth can be a simple swap for hydration support if water isn’t your thing. Many broths are almost 100% water, but they offer more flavor and, in some cases, more nutrition.
Hot or cool, broths can be a great sub for water if you know you aren’t drinking enough.
Like the humble cucumber, celery is a low-calorie veggie that has a high water content. And crunching away on these green spears can help your body take in some extra hydration in a very simple way.
Snack on some stalks in between meals, add some to your tuna salad or go for some old-school ants on a log with some peanut butter and raisins.
Bulk Up Your Diet With Hydrating Foods
Proper hydration is a key component of your overall healthy diet and lifestyle. And although many experts give the generic “drink 8 glasses of water a day” recommendation, for some, that can seem challenging. Try to keep a reusable water bottle filled and on hand throughout the day as a reminder to keep sipping and keep some water-rich foods stocked! Knowing which foods naturally contain water and can be a fluid source can help you meet your fluid needs and support your hydration in a satisfying and super-simple way.