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10 Foods that Will Keep You Hydrated this Summer

With the summer heat upon us, and activity levels increasing, it is crucial for our bodies and overall health to be mindful of staying hydrated throughout the day.

It is important to remember that the amount of water you need to stay hydrated is highly individualized; it depends on factors such as body weight as well as physical activity level, temperature, and altitude (1).

We are going to share with you the benefits of staying hydrated as well as providing you with a list of foods that will help to improve your hydration status.

 

Woman drinking water from water bottle on beach

Here are 5 of our tips to help you stay hydrated throughout the day:

  1. Always carry a reusable water bottle with you
  2. Consume at least 2-3 servings of fruits and vegetables every day, especially those higher in water content; recent research has found that regular intake of fruits and vegetables has significantly improved hydration status (2)
  3. Make hydration a part of your daily routine; for example, you can make it a healthy habit to drink a few cups of water upon waking in the morning
  4. Choose water instead of a sugar-sweetened beverage or caffeine
  5. If it is difficult to drink plain water, give your water some flavor by adding foods such as sliced watermelons, strawberries, or squeezing in some lemon/lime juice. 

 

Watermelon on beach towel on beach

Below we have compiled a list of fruits and vegetables that are high in water content and also contain essential nutrients to not only keep you hydrated, but improve your micronutrient intake as well!

  1. Watermelon - Contains high amounts of Lycopene; recent nutrition research has found that Lycopene has the potential to prevent various chronic ailments like dyslipidemia, diabetes, oncogenesis, neurodegenerative diseases, and osteoporosis (3)
  2. Cantaloupe - Rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium
  3. Pineapple - Contains beneficial digestive enzymes to improve the gut microbiome and also contains high amounts of manganese
  4. Tomatoes - Great source of potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin K
  5. Strawberries - Recent studies have looked at the potential benefits strawberry consumption can have on lowering LDL cholesterol, preventing inflammation and oxidative stress, therefore protecting against heart disease risk (4)
  6. Celery - Rich in folate and potassium
  7. Cucumber - Rich in potassium and vitamin C
  8. Zucchini - Excellent source of vitamin A and manganese
  9. Spinach - Contains high amounts of vitamin A and vitamin K
  10. Kale - Rich in vitamin A and is also a great way to obtain dietary calcium through vegetable consumption 

 

Woman reading a magazine and drinking water

Remembering to drink more water throughout the day, while also incorporating some of these fruits and vegetables into your diet will not only help you stay hydrated but will provide you will critical health benefits associated with proper hydration such as:

  • Improved skin appearance
  • Increased circulation
  • Improved digestion
  • Improved physical endurance
  • Increased cognitive focus
  • Weight maintenance
  • Prevent development of chronic diseases

 Recent clinical trials involving overweight and obese adults comparing the effect of replacing sweetened beverages with water revealed a significant reduction in weight, and waist circumference, with an additional improvement in systolic blood pressure (5) 

So next time you go out for a long hike or run, remember to keep hydration in mind!

 

 

References:

1. “Get the Facts: Drinking Water and Intake.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 9 Aug. 2016, www.cdc.gov/nutrition/data-statistics/plain-water-the-healthier-choice.html.
2. Montenegro-Bethancourt, G., Johner, S. A., & Remer, T. (2013). Contribution of fruit and vegetable intake to hydration status in schoolchildren. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 98(4), 1103-1112. doi:10.3945/ajcn.112.051490
3. Food & nutrition: Watermelon red means lycopene rich. (2009). Science News, 162(2), 29-29. doi:10.1002/scin.5591620212
4. Afrin, S., Gasparrini, M., Forbes-Hernandez, T. Y., Reboredo-Rodriguez, P., Mezzetti, B., Varela-López, A., . . . Battino, M. (2016). Promising Health Benefits of the Strawberry: A Focus on Clinical Studies. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 64(22), 4435-4449. doi:10.1021/acs.jafc.6b00857
5. Tate DF, Turner-McGrievy G, Lyone E, et al. Replacing caloric beverages with water or diet beverages for weight loss in adults: main results of the Choose Healthy Options Consciously Everyday (CHOICE) randomized clinical trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012; 95(3): 555-563.

 

Author: Karli McCarthy
Cal Poly, SLO Nutrition Student
@kale_n_it_karli 

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