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‘How do I stay hydrated without drinking water?’
That’s a question I got asked a lot after publishing this article on ‘Tips for Staying Hydrated and Healthy‘. The article focused on easy ways to increase your water intake throughout the day.
Soon after I published the article, I got some fascinating insight and a barrage of questions from friends and readers. Most questions were along the lines of ‘We know that staying hydrated is important for health but drinking all that water is seriously diluting our summer fun. What we’d like to know is how to stay hydrated without drinking water.’
I get it. Nobody relishes the idea of chugging down glass after glass of plain water throughout the day. Sure, it’s refreshing but it lacks a lot in the taste department.
Thankfully, keeping your body well hydrated is about to get much easier. There are in fact lots of ways to stay hydrated without drinking water. And no, we’re not talking about unhealthy sodas, which are laden with sugar and preservatives. The focus is on staying hydrated AND healthy.
The general recommendation for water consumption for men is 125 ounces of water per day and 91 ounces for women. Here are some easy ways to stay hydrated and healthy without actually drinking water.
10 Healthy Hydration Tips That Don’t Involve Drinking Water
1. Load Up On Delicious Foods with High Water Content
Hydration is important. Well-hydrated bodies stay healthier, have less pain, and function better. Drinking water is an excellent way to hydrate, but it’s not the only way. Eating low-calorie water-rich foods is an excellent way to increase water intake and help keep our bodies hydrated.
There are plenty of fruits and vegetables that are mostly water, which means you get hydrating benefits from consuming foods you love. Here are some of the top fruits and veggies to choose from the next time you need a boost of hydration.
Delicious and water-dense, this seasonal fruit is a showstopper when it comes to hydration. The fruit is made up of 92% water. In addition, it is also rich in calcium, potassium, magnesium, and salt, all of which are great for rehydration. Since our bodies lose water from sweating and evaporation, having a water-dense fruit on hand helps restore hydration. Watermelon is tasty enough to eat all by itself and is a mainstay at summer picnics, beach days, and BBQ’s.
Made up of about 97% water, Cucumbers have the highest water content of any vegetable. They are a great source of potassium, vitamin K, and vitamin B6. These water-logged veggies can be eaten in a number of waters – sliced, diced, or juiced, or added to salads, smoothies, and infused waters.
A low-calorie, fiber-rich food, celery is composed of over 95% water. It can be used raw in salads or as a snack or cooked in soups and stews. When paired with other foods, it adds a crunchy texture and enhances the nutritional value of the dish. While not packed with nutrients it is rich in fiber, vitamin K, and potassium.
Most lettuce varieties are composed of over 95% water. The wide varieties of lettuce make it easy to stay hydrated without getting bored. Use Romaine lettuce as a base for a scrumptious Creaser salad. Chop some Iceberg lettuce and toss with other water-rich veggies for a tasty and hydrating salad. Toss a salad with Butterhead lettuce, pomegranate seeds, and crumbled feta or cottage cheese.
This little berry is packed with healthy ingredients and water. In addition to helping with hydration, strawberries also increase fiber intake, help combat free radicals in our system and help you get your daily dose of vitamin C. There are so many ways to include these sweet-sour berries in your daily diet. Slice and add to salads and desserts, blend them with other fruits and veggies to make delicious and healthy smoothies or eat them right from the plant. No matter how you choose to eat them, you can’t beat the health and hydration benefits of strawberries.
More Hydration Helpers
In addition to water-rich fruits and vegetables, here are a few more ways to stay hydrated without drinking water.
2. Kick things off with a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast
A hearty, healthy and hydrating breakfast is the best way to kick things off. And oatmeal offers all three in abundance. While cooking, oats absorb the water or milk that you add to it, making your bowl of oats a surprising source of hydration. When chia seeds are added to oatmeal overnight, they soak up about 10 times their weight in water, making your breakfast even more hydrating. Another option is to top your bowl of oats with fresh fruit such as berries or kiwis.
3. Sip On Coconut Water Directly From The Fruit
Fresh, unpackaged, coconut water hasn’t received the recognition it deserves. This tropical drink is refreshing, low in carbs and calories, and rich in potassium and electrolytes. It replenishes all those electrolytes lost from perspiration after being out in the sun or after a strenuous workout. You can stock up on packaged coconut water if you can’t get the fresh variety, but it doesn’t offer the same benefits.
4. Experiment with Smoothies
This tip combines multiple tips into one. Can’t decide whether to choose fruits, veggies, coconut water, or skim milk? Why not mix them all up for one super-hydrating, nutrition-packed option. Slurping down a smoothie is a delicious way to stay hydrated without drinking water. You can try out a different smoothie combination every day to make things even more interesting. Stuck for ideas? Check out these Smoothie Recipe Books for inspiration.
When hydrating with smoothies, one thing you must be careful about is what ingredients you add to it. While all fruits and veggies are healthy, not all are hydrating. As a rule, add more of the water-rich options mentioned above and cut back on carb-heavy options.
This small but mighty Magic Bullet Blender is a hot favorite with smoothie-lovers with over 77,500 ratings on Amazon. Made of high-impact plastic the Magic Bullet Blender chops, mixes, grinds, blends, whips, and more. It comes with a recipe book too.
5. Sip on Fat-free or skim milk
Sipping on fat-free or skim milk is another great way to stay hydrated without drinking water. Milk is also a great source of calcium, protein, carbohydrates, and electrolytes. It offers the additional benefit of stronger bones while also keeping you hydrated without piling on those unwanted calories. Don’t be tempted to reach out for whole milk, the fat in this variety can hamper fluid replacement, which is contradictory to your goal of staying hydrated.
6. Switch Over to carb alternatives at mealtime
Talking about adding carbs in smoothies, it’s best to cut back on carbs in general in all meals. Carbs absorb water from the body, leaving you dehydrated. Most of us consume far more than the recommended daily carb quota. That’s not surprising considering all our favorite foods from bread, rice, pasta, and noodles to puffs, pastries, and other baked items, contain carbs. While you do need to include some amount in your daily diet, try not to overdo it. For healthy and delicious carb alternatives, consider zoodles or zucchini noodles in place of pasta. Or substitute millet or quinoa for rice.
7. Enjoy A Cup Of Herbal Tea
Herbal teas come in endless varieties and combinations to suit every taste bud. Flavored tea is 100% water and flavored with herbs so you stay hydrated and get the benefits of the herb too. In addition to being hydrating, healthy, and tasty, herbal teas are incredibly versatile. They can be had icy-cold in summer and steaming hot in winter. A glass of peppermint tea in the morning will keep you refreshed and awake while a glass of chamomile tea at night will help promote better sleep while also keeping you hydrated.
This Fruity Flavored Herbal Tea Variety Pack is a favorite during summer. It includes 1 box each of Meyer Lemon, Acai Berry, Wild Raspberry Hibiscus, Lemon Ginger, Mango Passionfruit, and Strawberry Pomegranate.
8. Experiment with cold soups in summer and hot soups in winter
Soups – another very versatile way to stay hydrated without drinking water. Well, soups are largely water anyway but with a huge difference in taste and variety. You can make a different-tasting soup every day by simply replacing one or two ingredients. As with smoothies, when your goal is to stay hydrated, remember to focus mainly on vegetables with high water content such as celery, tomatoes, or spinach.
In summer, experiment with Gazpacho flavors. Add your own twist to this cold Spanish classic soup by adding your favorite water-rich vegetables. Get some inspiration and ideas from this book Cold And Chilly Soup Recipes For Hot Summer Days.
9. Freeze your fruit
This is a simple, quick, and delicious way to stay hydrated and refreshed in summer. All you need to do is blend your favorite hydrating fruit, fill the juice and pulpy bits in Popsicle molds, and freeze. Watermelon, strawberries, raspberries, and peaches work best. This is my kids’ favorite way to stay hydrated without drinking water. The only reason it got relegated to the bottom of the list is that you can only indulge in this treat in summer.
10. Cut back on dehydrating foods and beverages
Avoiding dehydrating foods and beverages will make it easier to stay hydrated. This is because hydration is lost to foods that drain water from your system. The biggest offenders are alcohol, coffee, sodas, processed or high-salt foods, and dried fruits. Alcohol and soda both zap water from your system. High salt foods and over-processed foods also rob your body of hydration. Limit or eliminate these foods to help you keep as much hydration as possible. If you do consume any of these, make sure to increase your water intake to counteract their dehydrating actions.
Consuming the recommended daily quota of water is easier than you think, and they all don’t necessarily involve actually drinking water. There are plenty of ways to stay hydrated without drinking water. The more attention you pay to what you eat and drink, the easier it will get to stay hydrated without feeling overwhelmed. Before long, you’ll be regularly meeting your goals and seeing and feeling the difference in your life.
3 Things You’ll Need To Need To Stay Hydrated
Because smoothies and fruit slices tend to spoil faster in summer, it’s going to be difficult to carry them around everywhere you go. That’s one of the main reasons most people just give up on their commitment to staying hydrated. One easy solution is to buy a cooler bag or an insulated bottle.
When it comes to cooler bags and insulated bottles, there’s no one size fits all. You can find these in all sorts of sizes, colors, and configurations. Think about your lifestyle and choose one that’s just right for your needs.
Importance Of Staying Hydrated
So what’s the big deal about staying hydrated with or without water?
Water is an essential part of everyday health. Our bodies are comprised of nearly 60% water. Water is responsible for the regulation of our body temperature, removal of waste, and our brain function.
Water helps regulate our mood and the health of our skin- Hydration is integral to proper brain function and the health of tissues in our body. Staying hydrated helps avoid headaches, muscle soreness, and joint pain. It also increases collagen production contributing to better skin health.
Water boosts energy levels and promotes weight loss – Hydration boosts metabolism which helps burn energy more efficiently. This increases your activity level and gives you longer-lasting energy. Water also helps curb appetite, improve digestion, and increase the efficiency of food absorption and waste elimination, all of which are factors in weight loss.
Water helps fight off illness and keep your blood healthy – Water helps defend against certain illnesses and prevents common medical problems like kidney stones, hypertension, constipation, and more. Drinking the recommended daily amount of water helps your blood circulate oxygen throughout your body. This helps your organs and tissues stay healthy.
Knowing the value of hydration intellectually is different than staying hydrated practically. We may understand the value of hydration but might have a tough time consuming the recommended daily amount of water each and every day. The tips above should help.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to serve as medical advice. Please consult your doctor before using any natural medication or if you experience any unusual symptoms. See Full Disclaimer here.