Okay, fess up: who really loves hydration?
We all know hydration is important, but if we were all in love with drinking enough, we wouldn’t have invented a piece of water bottle bling that yells at you if you don’t drink from it enough.
For those of us who want to make sure we’re getting enough water – but roll our eyes at guzzling gallons of the stuff – there’s some good news. A lot of common, everyday foods contain tons of water, so much it’s possible to stay hydrated while enjoying a tasty (and healthy) snack.
So, before you unscrew that cap, consider our list of these great water sources you can chew instead of sip:
Fruit: Hydrate With These Sweet Treats
Fruits are full of vitamins and helpful organic compounds, but a lot of people don’t realize they come with healthy servings of water as well.
Take watermelon. True to its name, a single watermelon is around 92% water … and tastes great, too. Other great water-rich fruits include:
- Strawberries: These tasty berries contain a similar percentage of water to watermelon, and also have fiber and antioxidants.
- Cantaloupe: A cup of this bright orange melon contains about 90% water … and a ton of vitamin A. Vitamin A maintains vision, gives your immune system a boost, and helps babies develop before they’re born.
- Peaches: Peaches are tasty – and thanks to their fiber content, filling as well. Around 90% of a peach’s weight is made up of water, and they’re great sources of vitamins and potassium.
- Oranges: Like peaches, they’re full of water, fiber, and vitamins. Citrus fruits like oranges have another benefit, too – they can help prevent kidney stones by flushing calcium oxalate out of the body.
Vegetables: A Green Water Source
Cucumbers, a perennial salad favorite, are mostly made up of water (and like tomatoes, they’re also fruits half cup) – it makes up 95% of a cucumber’s weight. Cukes are also very low calorie – a full cup serving of cucumber packs around 16 calories.
Plus, there’s a reason people put cucumber slices on their face to reduce facial puffiness and soothe sunburns – they’re also packed with vitamin C and caffeic acid. Cucumbers aren’t the only vegetable full of water, though:
- Lettuce: At 96% water, there’s not much else in lettuce, unless you count vitamins K and A, which are great for your bones. Lettuce also contains folate, a B-vitamin which helps your body make red blood cells. Finally, the fiber in lettuce makes it filling and low-cal: a cup of lettuce contains 10 calories. Don’t like lettuce? Cabbage is also high in water, vitamins, and fiber.
- Celery: Another veggie which is mostly water (one cup contains around a half-cup of water), it’s a great choice for a weight-loss snack. Celery also contains vitamin K and potassium, helping fight off osteoporosis, heart disease, and cancers. It’s convenient, too – you can eat it raw, cooked, and it’s a great utensil for healthy, protein-rich dips like hummus.
- Tomatoes: An ordinary tomato contains nearly a half-cup of water. In addition to being tasty, tomatoes are packed with fiber, minerals, and vitamins and are great sources of lycopene, a disease-fighting antioxidant. Plus, they’re very low-cal: a cup of tomato contains just over 30 calories.
- Cauliflower: Around 90% water, cauliflower is packed with vitamins and nutrients. It’s also a great source of choline, a known brain and metabolism booster that’s hard to find in other foods. Better yet, if you’re turned off by cauliflower itself, you can chop it into something resembling rice or even make a tasty crust with it.
Dairy: Yes, You Can Hydrate With Dairy
Looking for a recovery beverage? It may sound strange but consider skim milk – it’s over 90% water and is packed with vitamins, potassium, phosphorus, and other helpful vitamins and minerals. Skim milk also contains electrolytes and protein, helping you replace fluids lost during workouts.
Yogurt’s another surprising dairy water source; a single cup is around 75% water. It’s also a protein-rich food and eating yogurt regularly helps weight loss. One thing to keep in mind, though – eat plain yogurt. The flavored stuff is often full of sugar.
Finally, check out cottage cheese. It’s about 80% water by weight, contains loads of protein, and is a fantastic source of B vitamins. Also, all that water and protein means cottage cheese is filling.
Soup And Broth
Okay, so this is kind of an obvious choice. Soups and broths are indeed made mostly out of water … and have other benefits. Low-calorie broths can help you lose weight; studies have shown people who have a serving of soup before the main meal end up eating less food overall.
Finally, Coconut Water
You might already know this, but coconut water is incredibly useful for hydration. First, it’s 95% water. Secondly, it’s packed with electrolytes, making it both a great recovery drink and a far better choice than sugary sports drinks.
Consider This Last Fringe Benefit
There’s one advantage to hydrating via food that surprises many: fewer bathroom visits. Slamming down the contents of a 32-ounce water bottle might send you to the restroom a few times. Water-rich foods allow for hydration to take place at a slower pace, allowing your body to better process the water … and take advantage of the vitamins, minerals, and fiber accompanying them.
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