It’s no secret that hydration is important, but not everyone is as hydrated as they should be.
And if I’m being brutally honest, I’m probably one of them. Seriously, if I had a nickel for every time someone told me to drink more water… Well, I wouldn’t be rich exactly, but I could probably buy myself something rather nice. And then there’s my somewhat impressive coffee consumption.
That said, while we may know in a detached sort of way that dehydration is “not good”, the specifics may be a bit less well known. What are the effects that come with dehydration and just how much water should we be drinking?
For the former, the answer is “quite a few”. Dehydration can bring a slew of unpleasant symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, muscle cramps, and low blood pressure. If it goes on for too long it can lead to organ failure.
Needless to say, it’s something to take seriously.
This leads us to the second question, how much water do we need. And the answer is “quite a lot”. According to the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the general recommended amount is about 11.5 cups of water a day for women and 15.5 for men.
Of course, it’s important to remember that these numbers can change based on a variety of factors. Where do you live? How active are you? All of that can affect how much water you need.
Before you go make the first of what I imagine would be many, many trips to the water cooler, however, keep in mind that the numbers listed above include fluids that you get from other beverages and food.
Turns out you can also get water from the food you eat. Moreover, there are many foods that are particularly helpful in getting you to your daily quota. It’s still important to drink water, but here are a few foods that will help keep you hydrated with a few extra nutrients tossed in for good measure.
In addition to being hydrating watermelon packs in many important nutrients. They’re a good source of vitamins C and A as well as magnesium. Plus, they’re full of carotenoids such as lycopene, alpha-carotene, and beta-carotene.
Cantaloupe- 90% water
If you want another good source of vitamins C and A that will keep you hydrated, cantaloupe has got you covered. One serving of this orange melon contains 100% of your daily recommendation for both vitamins with a bit of potassium thrown in for good measure.
Spinach has high water content. So high, that it’s almost shocking how nutritionally dense it is. It contains a variety of nutrients including vitamins C, and K, folic acid, iron, and calcium.
So as it turns out, the little green tree that many a child has avoided like the plague is also rather hydrating. And true to what our parents told us, is also very nutritious. Broccoli contains protein and fiber as well as various other vitamins and minerals. Keep in mind though, whether you cook your broccoli or eat it raw can affect its nutrient profile.
Cucumbers- 96% water
Cucumber is among the less surprising entries on this list, but once again its water content does not dilute (hehehe) its nutritional value. They’re high in fiber and contain several vitamins including more than half your daily recommended intake (RDI) or vitamin K.
Pineapple -86% water
Along with fresh-cut melons, a nice juicy pineapple is an excellent sweet treat for a hot day. It’s also very high in vitamin C, giving you well over the recommended daily amount and in manganese ( about 76% of your RDI). And those are only two of the nutrients that pineapple has to offer.
Celery contains a good (a very good) amount of potassium and calcium among other nutrients. Add in some flavonoids and are we surprised that this is such a popular snack.
Iceberg lettuce-96% water
Typically iceberg lettuce is not considered to be quite the nutritional powerhouse as other lettuces, but it’s not completely without its strong points. It’s got a high amount of water standpoint and can be a way to get some fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C. So, if you want a nice crunch in your salad, feel free to use a bit of iceberg.
Grapefruit- 90% water
Grapefruits have a good amount of nutrients to match their water, but if you want to get the maximum amount of antioxidants from them, here’s a handy tip. Look for the red and pink ones. Those ones are higher in antioxidants, especially beta carotene.
Peaches- 89% water
Yet another water-logged fruit that’s equally logged with nutrients is the peach. Peaches are chocked with vitamins and minerals like vitamins A and C and potassium. Don’t forget the B vitamins and antioxidants either!
Oranges- 88% water
This juicy bit of citrus should be no surprise given that we often enjoy it in juice form. Sure enough, oranges have a good bit of water, but that’s by no means all they have. Oranges are also good sources of vitamin C, potassium, and antioxidants.