We hear it all the time: “Drink more water! It’s good for you!”
It’s a phrase that’s been said for years and years, but it remains true. Dehydration can cause serious health issues, and staying hydrated has so many great benefits (details below).
So how much water do you need?
Women need an average of 9 cups of water a day while men need an average of 12. The amounts go up, though, when exercise, heat and altitude are taken into consideration.
Visit your healthcare provider or nutritionist to find out your body’s exact needs.
Drinking water itself is the most beneficial, but there are other ways to stay hydrated if plain water isn't your favorite. Roughly 20% of our daily water intake comes from food.
Read on to find some of the most hydrating food options.
Hydrating with Fruits & Veggies
Fruits and vegetables not only have a high water content (up to 96%!), but they also contain key vitamins, minerals and nutrients.
Because they have such high water levels, these foods are often very low in calories. Celery, for example, is 95% water and has only 6 calories per stalk. It’s also a source of folate and vitamins A, C and K.
Here are some of the best options when it comes to hydrating fruits & veggies:
Top 25 Most Hydrating Foods
Percentages indicate total water content of the listed food.
2Iceberg lettuce 95.69%
8Bell peppers 91.94%
10Star fruit 91.67%
14Baby carrots 90.67%
How Does That Compare to Other Foods?
• Avocado 72.17%
• Steak 65.44%
• Cheddar Cheese 36.74%
• Wheat Bread 35.60%
• Almonds 4.74%
Other Hydrating Food & Beverage Options
Although bright and delicious, fruits and vegetables aren’t the answer to every meal. Here are some other great options for hydrating food and drinks:
• Infused water—Here are 20 flavorful recipes.
• Coconut water
• Meat, such as chicken breast or ground hamburger
• Smoothies—Check out this awesome list of Top Smoothie Ingredients
• Store-bought tomato sauce
• Chicken or vegetable broth or soups
Importance of Hydration
Every organ in the human body requires water to properly operate. Our bodies use water to regulate temperature, remove waste and lubricate joints, among many other things. Most importantly, staying hydrated makes it easier for the heart to pump blood to the muscles.
Another bonus benefit of hydration is supple, healthy-looking skin. Keeping hydrated can also boost the metabolism, which can lead to weight loss.
Not staying hydrated can be the cause of minor conditions like headaches and swollen feet. But dehydration can lead to much more serious problems such as heat stroke. You’re also more prone to fatigue and irritability.
Signs of dehydration include little or dark urine, headache or extreme thirst. The easiest way to avoid these situations is to make a conscious effort to get enough water every day.
Read next >> 10 Alternatives to Diet Soda That Aren't Water