How to stay hydrated without water

Are you getting enough water? I’m sure you’ve heard before “drink eight glasses of water per day.” To some this sounds like a difficult task, and some experts recommend even more. Fortunately you don’t necessarily have to drink all of your water. There are other sources, like food that can account for 20% of your fluid intake.

Understanding why you should eat these foods and how they impact your health can contribute to a more hydrated lifestyle and an overall happier, healthier you.

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Why is water so important?

Water is key to life. Your body is made up of 70% – 80% water and that water needs to be maintained. Water is used by the cells to transport carbohydrates, fats and protein and to help excrete waste products. Water also helps maintain a consistent body temperature. To prevent overheating, your body excretes heat from within the muscles and releases it out of the body in the form of sweat. Water is a natural lubricant. It aids in the function of joints, tissues, saliva and is a major component of digestion.

Fluids are essential to peristalsis and getting food through your gut. If you experience constipation you might need to evaluate your water consumption habits. Foods with high water content contribute to your fluid needs with minimal calories added to your day. In general these foods are fruits and vegetables, but foods like lean meats, dairy products and even bread can contribute to your fluid intake.

Here’s a shortlist of the most water-packed foods that you can add to your daily routine to help you stay hydrated without the eight glasses of water a day:

Cucumbers. Cucumbers top the list of water containing foods with a whopping 97% water content! Cucumbers are wonderful because their mild flavor mixes well with so many different combinations. Bring some chopped cucumbers to dip in hummus, balsamic vinegar or Greek yogurt. Or even add them to your water to make it more flavorful and more enticing to drink!

Radishes.  Radishes are an unlikely suspect in this category. With 95% water content, these root veggies can keep you hydrated as well. Their sweet and spicy flavor can be added to any salad for crunch and flavor.

Tomatoes.  Tomatoes make the list with 94.5% water content. Tomatoes are wonderful because they are a mainstay of a variety of different foods from soups, to sauces, to salads and sandwiches. Even better, cherry or grape are great for an “on the go” snack. Pack them in your lunch bag for an easy and tasty snack to pop in your mouth. Or if you’re looking for a fun and colorful snack, skewer grape tomatoes with basil and mozzarella! 41752134_l Green peppers. I love seeing piles of vibrant and unblemished bell peppers stacked by individual color in the supermarkets. They’re easy on the eyes and the body. Peppers come in four colors – red, orange, yellow and green. Each has its own beneficial properties but did you know that the green bell pepper contains the most water content? While red, orange and yellow peppers are roughly 92% water, green bell peppers are 94%. Grab some green bell pepper next time you are at the store to add a good source of water and antioxidants in your meals or snacks.

Watermelon. If the name isn’t already a giveaway, it’s pretty obvious that watermelon is full of, well, water! With 92% water content, this fruit is a refreshing snack in the summer. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get it in the Fall! Watermelon contains a high amount of lycopene – an antioxidant with cancer fighting properties. Tomatoes are usually known for their lycopene content but one wedge of watermelon contains four times the amount of lycopene in a medium tomato.

Grapefruit.  Grapefruits are unique in their own way. They appear as large oranges but have a tangy, bold, bitter flavor that is hard to compare. Researchers have found that grapefruit consumption can improve weight loss. It helps stabilize sugar and stabilize lipid profiles. It lowers not just total triglycerides but LDL cholesterol significantly as well. And it contains 90.5% water content to keep your fluid levels high.

Sometimes staying hydrated can be a secondary thought when your schedule is busy and you are running around. Concentrate on adding these water-packed foods into your day and drink water for best hydration. Connect with Expert Bonnie Giller

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