When you think of hydrating your body, most people think of a glass of water, but you can eat your way to hydration. Let us show you how!
Finally, it is time to put away our winter coats and start to enjoy the warmer weather. The days are getting longer, the temperature is getting warmer, and we are beginning to spend more time outside, so our bodies can easily become dehydrated. With water making up about 60% of our body’s weight and being responsible for allowing every system in our body to function, remaining hydrated is a key factor in staying happy, healthy, and energetic all summer long.
Without enough water, our bodies will begin to shut down. Sometimes we do not realize that even just by walking and breathing, we are emitting lots of water. So, let me start off by saying that you should be having eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day, and that is just the bare minimum.
Luckily, drinking pure water is not the only way to hydrate your body. Several other drinks such as tea and juice are comprised of mostly water. Although these should not be your main fluid intake, they certainly do help replenish your water supply. If you are a big coffee drinker or consume alcohol regularly, make sure that you balance it out with a glass of water for every cup of coffee or glass of alcohol, as these drinks will dehydrate you.
There are also a variety of foods that are full of water and help to keep your body nourished. Many fruits and vegetables are comprised of over 90% water. Remember, bulking up on these foods does not mean you should drink less water! About 20% of your water intake comes from food, so here is a quick overview of which foods have the highest water content:
- Iceberg lettuce
- Green Pepper
- Baby carrots
Another great way to combine fruits, veggies, and your water intake is through fruit juices and soups. This is where you get to be creative. Because many plant-based foods are so high in water content, most can easily be transformed into a delicious and healthy juice. Any combination works, and the more you add, the more delicious it will taste. Be careful though because the juicing process does tend to take away some of the substance and fiber, leaving you less full than you would be by eating whole fruits or vegetables. If you are looking for a great way to fill up, you can mix your fruit and vegetables with some broth, yogurt, or water and serve your water-based foods as a soup.
One of the great things about using water-based foods to hydrate, especially after a workout, is that it can be twice as efficient as simply drinking a glass of water. Fruit and vegetables are full of natural sugars, amino acids, mineral salts, and vitamins that have been lost through sweating. The combination of water and nutrient replacement is a great way to hydrate effectively.
So, how many fruits and vegetables should you be eating a day? At least four servings of fruit and five servings of vegetables are recommended in order to keep hydrated and healthy. Not only are they refreshing, full of great flavor, and low in calories, but the water content will help to keep you full throughout the day.
Because natural whole foods have the highest water content, eating a plant-based diet will help you lose weight, fill up on foods rich in fiber, and keep your energy level at an all-time high this summer!