Staying Hydrated is Important, These Foods Can Help

Staying Hydrated: Is water the only way to go?

Staying hydrated is important, but is water the only game in town?

Staying hydrated is always important, but especially important during the summer months when the temperature really climbs. This is even more essential if you are exercising in the heat, as the hotter the workout, the greater the water loss through sweat. The human body is almost 60% water, and every system in the body depends on water to function properly. Among other things, water helps to transport oxygen and nutrients to cells and working muscles, regulates body temperature, aids in digestion and waste elimination, and protects our joints and cartilage. Most people get about 80 percent of their total water intake from drinking water and beverages, with the other 20 percent usually coming from food.

Eat Your Water!

Virtually all food has water in it, but some foods contain over 90% water, making them great choices to include in your summer meals. Choosing any of these vegetables and fruits will provide vitamins, minerals, fiber as well as a great source of water to help you stay hydrated:

 

Food

Percent Water

Broccoli

91%

Green Cabbage

93%

Red Cabbage

92%

Cantaloupe

90%

Cauliflower

92%

Celery

95%

Cucumber

96%

Eggplant

92%

Grapefruit

91%

Sweet Peppers

92%

Radish

95%

Spinach

92%

Strawberries

92%

Tomatoes

94%

Watermelon

92%

Zucchini

95%

 

 

Chronic Dehydration

Chronic dehydration can contribute to constipation, frequent joint pain, headaches, low energy and confusion. Unfortunately, thirst isn’t always a reliable gauge of the body’s need for water, especially in children and older adults. Often if you wait until you sense thirst you may already be dehydrated. The best way to prevent dehydration is to make a conscious effort to stay hydrated throughout the day. Drink plenty of water before any exercise, so that your body has some reserve fluid it can use to for cooling.

 

The signs and symptoms of dehydration range from minor to severe and include:

  • Increased thirst
  • Dry mouth and swollen tongue
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Palpitations (feeling that the heart is jumping or pounding)
  • Confusion
  • Sluggishness
  • Fainting
  • Inability to sweat
  • Decreased urine output
  • Urine color may indicate dehydration. Clear or light-colored urine means you’re well hydrated, whereas a dark yellow or amber color usually signals dehydration.

 

Keep Cool and Stay Hydrated Graphic

 

References:

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I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist living in Greensboro, North Carolina. I help people overcome nutrition obstacles and help them meet their nutrition and wellness goals.

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Hi, I’m Mona. I have been living with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS) for over ten years. As a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) I help others with MS to navigate the nutrition superhighway and make sustainable progress toward their unique wellness goals.

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