Although water is the best way to get hydrated, there are actually a few other ways to get the job done, especially if you don’t like the taste of plain water.
So to help those of you who are looking for other ways, besides plain water, to hydrate, here are my top five suggestions for high water content foods:
1. Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are mostly made of water, just like our bodies. So, just as drinking water fills you up, so will fruits and vegetables because of their high water content. The bonus you get with consuming more fruits and vegetables is that you get more fiber and more nutrients in your diet that you might miss otherwise. Also, the fiber will support weight loss efforts as it acts as cleanser for your colon.
Not only is soup able to keep you hydrated, but it is also a good filler, meal, and comfort food. What you want to do is make sure that you pick soups that are low in sodium because sodium (or salt) will cause you to retain water and not allow the natural hydration of soup to do its job. Obviously if you make your own soup you can control the contents and the salt content, but make sure you include lots of veggies in your soup. A broth-based soup will get you more hydration benefits than a cream-based soup and will be better for your waistline.
3. Meat (be careful with this one)
Some reports state that meat can contain as much as 60% water. However, remember that meat contains saturated fat and cholesterol and is devoid of fiber. With that in mind, some of the recommended meats are hamburger and chicken breast. Be sure to get the leanest cuts possible and remove the skin of the chicken. Avoid fried versions of the meat and use the healthiest cooking means available to you.
Salads can contain about 90% water. Which is good if you prefer to get your hydration by chewing rather than drinking. For your greens, choose romaine lettuce, spinach leaves, or a spring mix for more nutrient dense greens in salad. Top your salad with a great source of lean protein and you’re good to go. Some options for lean protein include beans (which would also give you fiber) and, for the meat-eaters, grilled chicken.
If you are going to include rice, be sure to use long grain, wild, and brown rice whenever possible. You’ll most likely find the rice along with your favorite Chinese or other Asian cuisine. Include beef and broccoli if you like, but the best combinations include more vegetables, so get as much in with your rice as possible. One of the reasons rice is helpful for hydration is because of the fact that it absorbs so much of the water it was cooked in. Whenever possible, cook up home versions of your favorite Asian dishes to control the ingredients.
The bottom line is that water is not your only option for hydration. If you make smart food choices, then you will be more likely to consume foods that are high in water content and still keep yourself hydrated.
Wisegeek: What Are the Proper Ways to Hydrate?
Medicinenet: Top 10 Ways to Stay Hydrated
Men’s Health: 10 Water Alternatives