We all know it’s important to stay hydrated, especially in hot weather. You need to replenish what you lose through breathing, your urine, and sweating, and having water on hand can help you do that. But drinking isn’t the only way to give your body the water it needs.
Drinking water might not appeal to everyone for one reason or another. Attempts to make it more exciting by adding fruit or garnishes to it might not be enough to get some to drink as much as they should. It might not be convenient to go to the washroom more often, and water could be passed over for pop, sugary juices, or coffee.
The thing is, dehydration can set in when you don’t drink enough, especially if you’re working or exercising in hot weather, or don’t have air conditioning. The amount you sweat increases which requires more fluid intake. When the lost fluid isn’t replaced, you can get dehydrated. Symptoms can include headache, fatigue, dizziness, confusion, dry mouth, and extreme thirst. If you notice your urine is dark yellow, this is another sign of dehydration. It’s best to hydrate yourself consistently to avoid dehydration. Waiting until you feel thirsty can be too late.
It's important to schedule water breaks if you tend to forget or get too busy to drink. A water app for your Android or iPhone can be handy to remind you to drink. Another option if you still find it hard to drink enough is to choose foods that have a high water content. They are a tasty way to add to your water intake.
Eat Your Water
There are many fruits and vegetables that contain more than 80% water. Making sure you eat them is beneficial not only for hydration, but for the vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and fiber they provide.
Cucumber and celery contain about 96% water while tomatoes, radishes, and zucchini contain about 95% water. Strawberries, watermelon, and bell peppers all have 92% water.
Other good options are spinach, which contains about 91% water, and broccoli and grapefruit aren’t far behind with about 90% water. Cantaloupe has about 89% water, carrots and oranges 87%, pears and apples 84%, and grapes and avocados 81%.
Snack on strawberries, pears, and apples on their own or add them to a salad, yogurt, oatmeal, or Greek Yogurt. Dip cucumber slices, celery, carrots, broccoli, tomato, radishes, and sliced bell peppers in hummus or another healthy dip.
Eating these fruits and vegetables that have high water content rather than reaching for a sports drink after exercising will give you nutrients and no artificial colours or flavours.
While you still want to drink enough water, keeping in mind your level of exercise and your environment, eating some of these foods can help you stay hydrated, especially in this hot summer weather.
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