Refreshing Foods To Keep You Hydrated

Written by Natropathic Nutritional Therapist - Melissa Smith

  Did you know that during summer you can lose between 1.5L - 8L of water in sweat per day just to keep cool?

Most of us will be around the 1.5L – 3L mark, whereas for those who are more active, are professional athletes or work outside in the heat (rather than comfy air-conditioned offices), their water intake needs greatly exceeds the recommended daily intake of 2.6L of fluid for men and 2.1L for women.

Hence making sure your body remains hydrated during the warmer weather is key, especially to prevent fatigue, loss of focus and headaches that can impact your productivity at work.

Some surprising facts:

Keeping your body hydrated isn’t just about getting enough H20 through drinking water.

In fact, our bodies are twice as effective at absorbing water into our cells where it’s needed when water is present alongside electrolytes and carbohydrates.

This is why the 20-30% of water intake we get from foods can be a great way to hydrate our bodies.

Actually, you may not know that the recommended daily fluid intake includes water from food!

So, what are the most hydrating foods?

Fruit and vegetables, as they have a high water content, along with electrolytes and a small amount of carbohydrate to maximise water absorption.

Below are the top 12 fruit and vegetables with the highest water content by weight (% = water content).

Interestingly, in Traditional Chinese Medicine, many of these foods are known to be cooling to the body.

This is one of many examples showing how nature perfectly times what we need in each season!

Top 12 fruits:

  1. Honeydew melon (92%)

  2. Watermelon (92%)

  3. Strawberries (90%)

  4. Peaches (89%)

  5. Grapefruit (89%)

  6. Apples (88%)

  7. Raspberries (87%)

  8. Apricots (87%)

  9. Oranges (86%)

  10. Pineapple (86%)

  11. Blackberries (85%)

  12. Cherries (83%)

 

Top 12 veggies:

  1. Cucumber (96%)

  2. Lettuce, watercress and mustard leaves (95%)

  3. Radishes (95%)

  4. Zucchini (94%)

  5. Celery (95%)

  6. Fennel (94%)

  7. Tomatoes (93%)

  8. Cabbage (90%)

  9. Green beans (91%)

  10. Mung bean sprouts (90%)

  11. Broccoli (88%)

  12. Carrots (90%)

Want to increase the hydrating abilities of your drinking water?

Try ‘pimped up water’.

Simply add slices of watermelon, berries or cucumber to your water.

The minerals and sugars will mix in with the water if slices are left in for a day.

You could make a jug and leave it in the fridge, or add some to the office water cooler (only leave the slices in for a day or two to avoid them spoiling!).

It’s my go-to tasty, refreshing drink on a hot summer’s day.

Stay cool!

Sources:

https://www.europeanhydrationinstitute.org/hydration_and_diet/

Roe, MA., Finglas, PM., Church, SM. (2002) McCance and Widdowson’s The Composition of Foods. Sixth edn. Cambridge: The Royal Society of Chemistry, and the Foods Standards Agency, London.