Hydration 101

May 17, 2014

Temperatures are heating up and it’s time we start really paying attention to staying hydrated. Find out the basics of hydration and what foods are best, here...

Temperatures are heating up and it’s time we start really paying attention to staying hydrated. What’s the best way to stay hydrated? Water! Water is essential to our well being and is a large part of our favorite foods and our bodies. In fact, nearly sixty percent of our body’s weight is made up of water; for optimal functioning, we need to consume about eight cups a day on average.

Everybody is different and therefore our water needs vary depending on the types of food consumed, ambient temperature and humidity, individual activity level, age and more. Like macronutrients, vitamins and minerals, water is best obtained through whole fruits and vegetables, and non-sugary beverages - plain water is best!

Most adults lose about 10 cups of water every day through normal body functions including perspiration and breathing. Dehydration can happen in any season, not just summer and not just on hot and humid days. In the winter, heated air actually evaporates moisture on your skin, and although you may not feel thirsty, you need to replace fluids. Don't be fooled! Exercising in cold weather or in a cold air-conditioned room can cause you to perspire and become dehydrated as well.

Drinking water is a great way to get hydrated but many people find it hard to drink an adequate amount of water throughout the day. Luckily, the foods we eat also contain water. Fruits and vegetables contain large quantities of water in proportion to their weight (versus cooked grains and meat); and the water is absorbed by the body and counts toward our total daily intake.

Topping the charts for water content, over 90 percent, are raw cucumber, celery, zucchini, radish, eggplant, cauliflower, broccoli, cantaloupe, strawberries and watermelon. Spinach, tomatoes, carrots, pineapple and peaches also rank in at the top of the charts at almost 90 percent water content. In addition to being very hydrating, fruits and vegetables are also very filling and are nutrient dense - meaning you get more bang for your buck in terms of belly filing nutrition!