7 Foods to Help you Stay Hydrated (For Those Who Don’t Like Drinking Water)

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Header Image by Ramnath Bhat

 

If you just can’t stomach the full amount of water you should be drinking daily, we’re here for you.

On average, about 20% of your daily water intake comes from foods that contain water. That means (on average, again) that if you’re trying to drink 2.5 liters of water a day, then about 1/2 a liter will be coming from your food. This number obviously fluxuates based on what you eat. If you don’t eat things like fruits and veggies, you’re looking at a lower percentage.

So what if you find you can’t drink that much water. Or you just don’t like drinking water (for shame)? Well, here are 7 great alternatives to drinking water that will help boost your hydration for the day. Essentially, you’ll be ‘eating your water’.

A note about weights/measurements. When we talk about food, we normally measure it in grams, but when we want to think about water, we want to think in liters or milliliters. So there is a basic conversion that works out quite well. At room temperature, 50g of water is equal to 50ml of water. This may not be 100% accurate, based on temperature, and the state of the food you’re eating (if its starting to dry out, etc), but we can assume it is close.

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  1. Cucumber
    Probably one of the highest percentages of water per weight, cucumbers clock in at 96% water. That means in a 50g serving of cucumber, you’re getting 48g of water. Cucumbers also contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, which make them very healthy. Be sure to wash them well first, and if you’re not a fan of the ‘crunch’ of the skin, you can peel part of it off, and still get some of the nutritional benefits.
  2. Iceberg Lettuce
    Another vegetable containing about 96% water, iceberg lettuce is an easy addition to a meal in the form of a salad. Combine it with cucumber and tomatoes, and you’re looking at a great hydrating meal. Keep the dressing light, and stay away from some of the salad dressings that have too much sodium! Another great way to use iceberg lettuce is in sandwiches, or as the sandwich itself. In the warmer months, swap out the bread for a large leaf of lettuce and you’ve suddenly got yourself a fresh, crisp bread-less sandwich!
  3. Spinach
    One of the healthiest greens, spinach contains 92% water and a lot of nutritional value. Using it in salads or green smoothies makes it easy to eat lots of.
  4. Celery
    Known for its ‘negative calorie’ properties (it is said to take more calories to chew celery than what is in it), celery is a great source of water at about 95%. It also contains lots of fiber which fills you, and helps with digestion and water retention!
  5. Tomatoes
    Containing 94% water, tomatoes can be eaten in a variety of ways, from diced up on a salad (see above), or just popped in your mouth (cherry tomatoes – we don’t suggest shoving a full beefsteak tomato into your mouth at once).
  6. Watermelon
    As the name may suggest, watermelon is a great source of hydration, at about 91% of its weight being water. It serves as a refreshing burst of juice on hot days, and can complement a pitcher of water when cut into chunks and tossed in.
  7. Strawberries
    While most berries are good for you, strawberries give you the best amount of water per weight, about 91%. Not only that, but they taste great alone, with ice cream, chocolate, a pinch of sugar, etc.

 

If you’re tracking your water intake, trying to track it in what you eat as well does make it harder, since these foods do vary in amount of water, but you can eventually estimate how much you’re getting. One easy trick is to measure out certain quantities, calculate the (approx) water contained in that amount, then you can estimate easier later based on those first measurements. For example, take the amount of spinach you think would be the right amount for a salad, weigh it, get the calculation, and then you now know how much that salad will give you every time you eat it.

So what do you use for supplementing or substituting your daily water intake?? Do you have your own ways to gauge how much you need to drink along with that food? Let us know in the comments below!

 

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