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H2O Boost: Top 25 Most Hydrating Foods

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.

hydration overview infographic


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 infographic

Top 25 Most Hydrating Foods

Percentages indicate total water content of the listed food.

1Cucumbers 96.99%

cucumber top hydrating food


2Iceberg lettuce 95.69%

iceberg lettuce high water content


3Radishes 95.69%

radish top hydrating food


4Celery 95.45%

celery has high water content


5Tomatoes 94.94%

tomatoes are a hydrating food because of high water content


6Zucchini 94.35%

zucchini high water content food


7Eggplant 92.44%

eggplants are high in water


8Bell peppers 91.94%

bell peppers are hydrating


9Cauliflower 91.90%

cauliflower has a surprisingly high water content


10Star fruit 91.67%

star fruit has high water content


11Watermelon 91.56%

no surprise that watermelon is high in water content


12Spinach 91.33%

spinach is very healthy and high in water


13Strawberries 90.79%

strawberries are over 90% water


14Baby carrots 90.67%

carrots are hydrating


15Cantaloupe 90.40%

cantaloupe is a great choice for hydrating foods


16Broccoli 89.34%

broccoli ranks 16 in our top 25 list of most hydrating foods


17Grapefruit 88.26%

grapefruit ranks 17 in our top 25 list of most hydrating foods


18Apples 85.60%

apples rank 18 in our top 25 list of most hydrating foods


19Raspberries 85.37%

raspberries rank 19 in our top 25 list of most hydrating foods


20Blueberries 84.46%

blueberries rank 20 in our top 25 list of most hydrating foods


21Pears 83.78%

pears rank 21 in our top 25 list of most hydrating foods


22Kiwi 83.05%

kiwis have high water content


23Oranges 82.35%

oranges rank 23 in our top 25 list of most hydrating foods


24Mangos 81.82%

mangoes are one of the best hydrating foods


25Grapes 80.79%

grapes are just over 80% water content


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

• Applesauce

• Tea—Check out How to Pick the Perfect Tea for Every Mood

• Yogurt

• Jell-O


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 


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