Sick Of Water? These Are The Most Hydrating Foods On The Planet
Let's all just admit it: Drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of plain water every day can get a little tedious. That's a lot of liquid! And even though hydration is critical for our well-being—especially in the summer—it's easy to put off or ignore our hydration duties.
But becoming dehydrated has some serious health consequences that we'd all rather avoid. According to Will Cole, D.C., IFMCP, functional medicine expert and mbg Collective member, "Some of the first signs you are dehydrated include dull, dry skin, dry eyes, dark yellow urine, dizziness, headaches, and cramping."
That's the bad news.
The good news is that it's not just water that contains, well, water. In fact, if you only got your daily water intake from plain water, you'd have to drink more like 100 ounces of water a day to stay properly hydrated.
So where does the rest of this water come from? Water-rich foods. Here's a list of the most hydrating foods—and why you should definitely be including them in your diet:
Full disclosure, No. 1 and 2 are actually tied for first place. According to the Mayo Clinic, "many fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon and spinach, are almost 100 percent water by weight." Lucky for us, watermelon is also tasty, cooling, and in season during the summer.
If you're not into eating watermelon alone, try adding some mint, feta, olive oil, and salt and pepper to make it into a salad. Or, make this pineapple-watermelon smoothie part of your summer morning routine.
According to the Mayo Clinic, "About 20 percent of daily fluid intake usually comes from food and the rest from drinks." A great way to get plenty of water in your diet is through leafy greens like spinach, which are also close to 100% water by weight. Luckily, spinach is also high in magnesium—and plenty of other important vitamins and minerals as well.
Is there anything better than a cucumber water in the summer? Cucumber has natural cooling properties that pack a punch against overheating and dehydration. At 95.2% water, eating just one cucumber a day could get you a lot closer to hitting your hydration goals. If you're looking to start your day off on a healthy note, try this anti-inflammatory cucumber smoothie first thing in the morning.
It's thought that strawberries are as much as 92% water, which means they're the perfect addition to your summer routine. Bonus: One study also showed that strawberry consumption decreased atherosclerosis1 markers in individuals with metabolic syndrome. They're an all-around healthy food and the perfect topping for yogurt or chia pudding.
You get 156 grams of water for every 180 grams of orange you eat, which means they're about 85% water by weight. Oranges make the perfect on-the-go snack. They're also high in immune-boosting vitamin C, which makes them the perfect food to bring with you when you travel.
Ready for one last expert tip? According to Jon Mitchell, PA-C—a certified physician assistant and functional medicine health consultant—just consuming hydrating foods might not be enough. On top of that, you should avoid foods and beverages that can increase your risk of dehydration. But what foods are these? "In general, foods and liquids that are dehydrating are going to be diuretics, meaning that they impair the kidneys' ability to retain fluids," he explained. And unfortunately, this includes our beloved coffee and matcha. "When it comes to liquids, this would include things that contain caffeine (like coffee and black or green teas) and alcohol. The higher the concentration of caffeine or alcohol, the more dehydrating it will be."
There aren't many foods to worry about, but a few common supplements have strong diuretic qualities that you should be aware of. According to Mitchell, these include dandelion, horsetail, and hawthorn.
Gretchen Lidicker is an mbg health contributor, content strategist, and the author of CBD Oil Everyday Secrets: A Lifestyle Guide to Hemp-Derived Health and Wellness and Magnesium Everyday Secrets: A Lifestyle Guide to Epsom Salts, Magnesium Oil, and Nature's Relaxation Mineral. She holds a B.S. in biology and earned her master’s degree in physiology with a concentration in complementary and alternative medicine from Georgetown University.