8 Ways to Stay Hydrated Other Than Drinking Water

As the temperature rises so does the risk of dehydration. During the summer, hot weather increases the need for fluids, says Torey Armul, a certified dietitian in Columbus, Ohio, and a spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Hydration helps with everything from maintaining a constant body temperature to metabolizing nutrients throughout the body. While plain water is the best way to stay hydrated, there are other options for people who don't like to drink water.


We've prepared eight ways you can keep your body hydrated without drinking water - or at least supplement the water you drink.


But first: how much do you need?

How much water does your body really need? For each person individually. On average, the recommendation is 15 cups of fluids per day for men and 11 cups for women, says Heather Mangerie, registered dietitian and author of Young Athlete Nutrition. People who exercise regularly or spend time in the sun need even more water than others. The bad news is that more than 43% of adults don't drink enough water, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, so other options are recommended.



According to the National Institutes of Health, 20% of your daily water intake comes from food. “Fruits and vegetables are especially rich in water,” says Mangeri. Your body stays hydrated when you consume fruits and vegetables that contain more than 85% water. Eat cucumbers and lettuce, they are 96% water. Next on the list of the most water-filled are celery and radish - 95%. Other vegetables: cauliflower, bell peppers, and spinach - 92% water. "You really can't go wrong with fruits and vegetables," says Armul, "that's two to three cups of fluid a day if consumed enough."


Summer Fruits

In summer the markets are overflowing with fruits with a high water content. Topping the list are tomatoes, which are 94% water, followed by strawberries and watermelon, which are 92% water. This is followed by peaches - 88% water. Summer fruits like pineapples and oranges are 87% water. But don't overdo it! While fruits are a great source of water, they are also high in sugar and can contain unwanted calories.


Iced Coffee

There is an opinion that coffee does not dehydrate. Some caffeinated drinks may have a mild diuretic effect and coffee does not cause fluid loss. In fact, your morning cup of iced coffee is 98% water, which is enough to make you feel more comfortable than before. However, do not overdo it with coffee. Too much caffeine causes headaches, jitters, and insomnia, which is why Bridget Zeitlin, nutritionist and founder of New York-based BZ Nutrition, says one to two cups a day is best.


Avoid excessive drinking

The more alcohol you take, the more dehydrated your body becomes. “Alcohol can reduce the production of antidiuretic hormone, a hormone that helps the body absorb water,” says Mangeri. This increases urination, causes the body to lose more fluid than normal, and creates symptoms such as dry mouth, thirst, and headaches. Want to fight dehydration while drinking alcohol? For every alcoholic drink you consume, drink a glass of water or a high-electrolyte drink like coconut water or a sports drink.


Cold Soup

Chicken soup for the soul? More like chicken soup for hydration. “Make broth-based soups for maximum hydration,” Zeitlin says. Most soup broths contain salt, which helps the body retain water and fight dehydration. It's even better if you add high-water foods like tomatoes, celery, or radishes. Which chilled soup should you try this summer? Gazpacho, a traditional cold Spanish soup, is perfect for beating the heat of summer and can be made in a variety of flavors, from watermelon to cucumber.



Start your day with oatmeal

Oatmeal is a heart-healthy breakfast that will help you fight dehydration. When you cook oatmeal, the oats absorb the water or milk you used to make it, making your unsweetened breakfast an amazing source of hydration. If you add fresh fruits like strawberries or blueberries, a bowl of oatmeal will have about the same amount of water as a cucumber. According to the National Institutes of Health, oatmeal is also a great source of fiber and may help lower cholesterol levels.


Try coconut water

According to the American Chemical Society, coconut water is the liquid that forms inside the coconut and is higher in potassium and lower in sodium and carbohydrates than popular sports drink alternatives. Try rehydrating this tropical drink after a light workout. If you've had a strenuous workout that causes you to sweat a lot, it's too low in sodium to replace the salt your body has lost. In general, it's a good idea to have a variety of drinks on hand to fully hydrate your body.


Try different flavors of juice

Fruit and vegetable juices can increase hydration and allow your body to absorb beneficial nutrients such as vitamin A and vitamin C. A glass of fruit juice in the morning refreshes your body and counts as one in four to five daily servings of fruit. However, experts say it's best to limit your juice intake due to the high sugar content, and you can also try diluting them with half a glass of water. We suggest pomegranate juice as an especially tasty option - plus, it's a good source of potassium.

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