Why is Hydration Important?
Hydration is key for the overall function of our body and survival. Hydrating fluids regulate body temperature, boost the immune system to prevent infections, ensure cells receive nutrients, regulate organ function and lubricate joints to name a few. Hydration is also key to cognition, mood and the ability to sleep well.1
How Can I Hydrate Myself?
A common misconception is that everybody needs to drink 8 glasses of water every day to maintain hydration. Actually, it’s different for each person, but even if we take this specific requirement, it does not have to be consumed through glasses of water.2
Lots of food and drink can be hydrating, so you can gain your fluid intake in any of these ways and not just through pure water. We will be discussing the most hydrating food and drink in this article to make sure you can maintain hydration throughout the hot summer.
What are the Top 5 Most Hydrating Foods?
Fruit and vegetables have the highest water content of any food. If you are stocking up on your 5 a day, you are going to boost hydration levels. Here are our top 5 picks for hydrating foods that are easy to add to your everyday life:3
Cucumber is hugely water-based, coming in at 96% water. Along with antioxidant properties, cucumber also contains vitamins A, C and K, manganese, magnesium and potassium making it an extremely nutritious option. In an entire cucumber, there is an average of 30 calories, making it a low-calorie snack that can boost your hydration levels.
Iceberg lettuce joins cucumber in being extremely hydrating - also at 96% water. It also contains Vitamins A, C and K, potassium and magnesium just like cucumber, as well as calcium and iron. This extremely versatile food can make a great addition to any lunch or dinner meal, or even a snack!
Radishes follow slightly behind at 95% water content but have amazing health benefits alongside their hydrating properties. Radishes have been shown to help prevent cancer and contain B vitamins which are rare to find in many foods, and essential for our overall health.
With each bite of watermelon, you can taste just how hydrating it is. Made up of 92% water, watermelon is a great choice to boost hydration levels whilst enjoying a delicious treat. As well as Vitamins A, B6 and C, watermelon also contains amino acids which help our bodies produce protein and break down foods, making it fantastic for the digestive system.
Tomatoes are perhaps one of the most versatile foods, and are very hydrating with a water content of 94%. Tomatoes are anti-carcinogenic, full of antioxidant properties and are a great source of health for your liver, which is essential for the functioning of the body.
What are the Top 5 Most Hydrating Drinks?
It’s pretty well known that drinks can hydrate you, but do you know which ones are the best for your hydration levels? Here’s our picks on the absolute best drinks for you:4
Water, of course, is the most hydrating drink. It is essential to our survival and is the absolute best choice to maintain hydration.
Low-fat milk is great for hydration. Milk is full of electrolytes which help to rehydrate the body after a bout of dehydration.
Water infused with fruit (or veg!) is a great way to add flavour to your water whilst adding extra vitamins and minerals. As we know, cucumber is the most hydrating vegetable out there at 96%, so adding cucumber slices to your water boosts hydration even more whilst giving you the antioxidant properties and vitamins that cucumber contains.
When choosing a fruit juice, be sure to pick one that is labelled as “100% fruit juice” to boost your hydration levels. On average, fruit juice is made up of 85% water, making it very hydrating as well as bursting with vitamins and minerals to boost your overall health.
Caffeine-free teas are a great choice for hydration - whether you like it hot or cold. Tea contains powerful antioxidants and is almost as hydrating as plain water.
Hydration is super important, particularly in the summer when you sweat more, or during high-intensity exercise. Choose a couple of these hydrating foods and drinks and add them into your diet to ensure you never feel dehydrated!