Stay Hydrated With Foods

July 12, 2016

Staying hydrated year round is key to feeling great and is especially important during the summer months. Find out the best hydrating foods here

Water is essential to our wellbeing and is a large part of our favorite foods. Nearly sixty percent of our body’s weight is made up of water; and 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 (protein, fat and carbs), 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. If you are going to be physically active, drink fluids on a schedule before, during, and after the activity.

Experts suggest:
2 cups - 2 hours before you exercise
1-2 cups – 15 minutes before you exercise
1/2 to 1 cup - every 15 minutes during activity

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.

Perk up plain water with fresh-cut citrus or other fruit. While the ubiquitous recommendation of 64 ounces of water per day keeps popping up, it is not necessary if you eat a well-rounded diet of grains, fruits and vegetables (which contain a lot of water), and get enough daily exercise so that your digestion is regular. If it is not, try for 16 ounces, then work up to 32 ounces or more of plain waters until you feel you are comfortably hydrated and your body is in "good working order" – we’re all different, so this number varies person to person.

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 filling nutrition!