One of the most unpleasant things about the summer is the increased risk of dehydration. But it’s not just the heat that can make you dehydrated - it can also happen as a result of overexertion, taking certain medications, or digestive issues. You might feel faint, tired, dizzy, and thirsty. Other symptoms of dehydration are a dry mouth or trouble focusing.
Fortunately, drinking water is not the only way to replenish your body when you’re dehydrated. There are several fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and other foods and drinks that can be just as helpful. Here are 10 hydrating foods to incorporate into your diet in the summer.
Fruits and vegetables, in general, have a high water content, which makes them a great hydrating snack. This is especially true for watermelons, honeydew melons, and cantaloupes. A single cup of diced watermelon, for instance, is nearly 92% water, which is about 4.7 oz (139 ml) water. An equal serving of honeydew melon or cantaloupe consists of about 90% water.
If your dehydration was brought on by heat, let the melon cool down in the fridge before eating it. You can also freeze melon and eat it or suck on it if you’re experiencing nausea. This method will introduce liquids to your system very gently, without upsetting your stomach. How do you choose the best watermelon at the store? Make sure to read our previous article - Here Are 7 Signs a Watermelon is Bad.
In addition to containing 95% water, cucumbers are rich in anti-inflammatory compounds, vitamins, and minerals. Not only do cucumbers promote hydration, but they also have anti-aging properties, according to preliminary research.
Another upside of cucumbers is that they are readily available everywhere all year round. They don’t have to be plain either. Try this great recipe for a refreshing sesame-cucumber salad.
A glass of milk is a good option for rehydrating the body because it contains lots of helpful electrolytes. Electrolytes are minerals that help hydrate the body and keep your heart beating in a regular rhythm. They are lost through sweating. Therefore, it’s essential to constantly renew them through drinking water and other liquids.
One experiment in 72 adult men found that both whole milk and skim milk were more hydrating than water 3-4 hours after consumption. This is because milk contains nutrients water doesn’t: protein, calcium, and potassium. These compounds help your body slow down the rate at which it absorbs fluids. The natural sodium found in milk also helps the body hang onto the fluids for a longer period of time.
Many nutritionists recommend cottage cheese because it makes you feel full quickly. This is thanks to its high water content - cottage cheese is 80% water. Similarly to milk, cottage cheese is a good source of calcium and protein. So it both hydrates the body and helps it absorb fluids more efficiently.
Gazpacho is a raw tomato and vegetable soup popular in Spain and Portugal, particularly during the summer. Gazpacho is a very hydrating food thanks to its main ingredient - tomatoes. A one-cup serving of tomatoes consists of 94% water, and it will also provide you with 10% of the required daily value of potassium. Getting enough potassium is important for various reasons, including managing blood pressure and warding off heart disease.
To make gazpacho, follow this simple recipe:
Pulse the tomatoes until they form a puree. Add the cucumber, onions, garlic, vinegar, and half a teaspoon of salt. Process continuously until the ingredients are liquefied. A food processor will make gazpacho with more texture; a blender or immersion blender will make the gazpacho smoother. Cover and refrigerate until chilled for at least 4 hours.
This Greek dip is made with yogurt and cucumber, both of which are packed with water. Yogurt alone contains 85% water and has a lot of the same benefits milk and cottage cheese do. It can be eaten as a refreshing condiment for roast veggies or simply as a dip for carrot sticks, cherry tomatoes, and other vegetables.
Here’s how to easily prepare homemade tzatziki:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, cucumber, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, and dill. Season with salt and pepper. Chill. For some extra flavor, you can add some olive oil and coarsely chopped fresh mint.
Coconut water is a great drink to have when you’re dehydrated because it provides much-needed water as well as electrolytes and carbs. This also makes it a great drink to have post-workout.
If you’re experiencing nausea or vomiting, sip on your coconut water slowly. Drinking too much at once may upset your stomach. Also, be sure to check the ingredients for added sugars or flavors.
Besides being delicious, radishes also contain 95% water. These crunchy vegetables support healthy digestion due to their fiber content, and they have antifungal properties too. If you’re feeling dehydrated, try snacking on a radish, or use it as a salad topping. To learn more about the health benefits of radishes, check out our previous article 10 Amazing Benefits of Radishes.
If a radish doesn’t sound like the most appetizing snack, why not give blackberries a try? Blackberries are 88% water. You could pair them with plain yogurt or add them to a smoothie. Blackberries are also packed with vitamins C and K, high in fiber, and they may even boost brain health.
Soups and broths deliver water as well as electrolytes, which is the key combination in rehydration. Bone broth and other soups with animal fats will also provide your body with collagen. This protein is important for healthy joints, which can be very helpful if your dehydration is due to overexertion. To learn how to prepare bone stock, see our previous article Try This Delicious Chicken Stock.
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