Our cells, blood, muscles, tissues, and brain all rely on water to function properly. Staying hydrated is vital to keep your body well and to avoid overheating, especially in the summertime, during extreme heat waves, and if you work outdoors or are active. To stay hydrated, you need to drink enough water and eat water-rich foods to replace the water and electrolytes you lose through sweat. Read on to learn how much water you need, how to tell if you’re getting enough water, and which foods are best at keeping you well-hydrated on hot summer days.
How Much Water Do You Need Each Day?
So, how much water do you need every day, exactly? It depends. Your hydration needs vary depending on your age, size, activity level, and how much you sweat. The National Academy of Medicine recommends that the average adult drink 92 ounces of water per day for women and 125 ounces per day for men.
Not a big fan of H20? Try infusing water with fruits and vegetables for more flavor. Crush mint and strawberries into water and let it sit for a while for a refreshing summer beverage.
Drinking enough water every day is essential to good health. Even so, you still need to eat water-rich foods to stay hydrated. We recommend that about one-fifth of your daily water intake come from what you eat.
Which Foods Are Most Hydrating?
Most foods contain some amount of water, but which ones are the most hydrating? Fruits and vegetables top the list. In general, fresh, local foods are the best source of hydration—not to mention vitamins and minerals you need to keep your body functioning well. Here are the top five fruits and vegetables to maximize hydration.
Top Five Foods for Hydration
1. Watermelons and other melons: At 92 percent water content, watermelon lives up to its name! Enjoy this summertime favorite, or other melons such as cantaloupe, which contains 90 percent water, to be hydrated and get plenty of vitamin A.
Try this Refreshing Watermelon Salad.
2. Cucumbers: Plentiful in summer gardens, cucumbers come at the right time of year. They are made of 96 percent water, low in calories, and a great source of magnesium and vitamin K, an essential nutrient for blood clotting and healthy bones.
Cucumber Quinoa Salad is a hit at cookouts. Be sure to leave cucumbers skins on for a healthy dose of fiber.
3. Lettuce: Eat your greens! With up to 96 percent water depending on the type of lettuce, salads are a healthy, quick way to stay fresh and hydrated all year long—and Romaine is #2 on our list of the Top Cheapest and Healthiest Greens.
Load up on nutrient-packed veggies and in-season greens with this Great Green Salad.
4. Tomatoes: At 95 percent water, tomatoes top the list of best foods for hydration not only because of their water content, but also for their potassium—it’s one of the key minerals you lose when you sweat!
Firing up the grill? Add some Blistered Cherry Tomatoes on top of your grilled chicken breast for a delicious, healthy dinner.
5. Strawberries: Chock full of vitamin C, manganese, and folate, it’s a good thing that strawberries are so easy to eat. Put them in smoothies or yogurt for a tasty summer treat that has 91 percent water.
While it’s hard to resist eating ripe summer strawberries by the handful, this Sparkling Strawberry Refresher will also quench your thirst.
Still Not Sure If You’re Getting Enough Water?
If you’re drinking water and eating hydrating foods, that’s great news for your health! But how can you tell if you’re getting enough water? There are two easy ways: check in with yourself and see 1) if you’re thirsty or 2) what color your pee is.
If you’re thirsty, chances are you need more water. (If you find yourself thirsty frequently, mention it to your doctor.)
The color of your urine is another quick and easy way to gauge if your water intake is enough. If your pee is clear or pale yellow, that’s a good sign you’re well hydrated. If it’s darker, you probably need to drink more water or eat more of the hydrating foods we mentioned above.