25 Ways To Eat Your Water

Over the years, I’ve often used the phrase “eat your water” to help explain to people that staying sufficiently hydrated for whole body health isn’t restricted to drinking glass after glass of water.

But what does “eat your water” really mean?

Water is one of the most basic elements of life and everything in your body relies on hydration for proper functioning.  Water helps move oxygen and nutrients through the blood to your cells; it helps maintain energy levels, regulate body temperature, metabolism, and breathing; lowers stress on your heart; prevents muscle cramping; lubricates joints; flushes toxins from your body; keeps you regular; and helps prevent kidney stones.

Dehydration occurs when too much water lost, not enough water is taken in, or most commonly, a combination of the two. The body’s initial responses to dehydration are thirst (to increase water intake), and decreased urine output (to try to reduce water loss). As the level of water loss increases, more symptoms can become apparent including dry mouth, muscle cramps, nausea and vomiting, heart palpitations, lightheadedness, and general weakness.

This is why drinking substantial amounts water has been so strongly recommended by healthcare professionals for decades. Most of us grew up thinking that, to be healthy, we needed to drink eight (eight ounce) glasses of water each day. But the latest recommendations say that we no longer need to worry about drinking specific amounts of water. As it turns out, there really was no scientific evidence for the 64-ounce daily recommendation.

Of course, drinking a clean, refreshing, calorie-free glass of water is a great way to hydrate; and I’m certainly not saying that you should stop drinking water altogether.  But recent studies have shown that consuming too much water can actually cause a loss of vitamins and minerals as they get flushed out as the body voids excess fluids. The key is to strategically hydrate by eating your water throughout the day so that your body has a steady stream of hydration and nutrients to keep it energized and working optimally. By eating more water-rich foods, we absorb water more slowly because it is trapped in the structure of these foods. That slow absorption means that water in food stays in our bodies longer, with a multitude of additional benefits.

A cucumber is a great example of this. Because cucumbers are 96% water, eating a three-ounce cucumber is almost the same as drinking three ounces of water, but better. Besides being full of hydrating H2O, raw fruits, vegetables and other key water-rich foods contain nutrients, vitamins, minerals and fiber that can improve your health, develop your immune system, strengthen your muscles and boost your athletic performance.

Here’s my list of 25 foods that clock in with a high water content and will effectively work in tandem with your water bottle to help you stay hydrated and nourished. These fruits and vegetables must be eaten raw in order to get their full water content.

  • Iceberg Lettuce: 96% water
  • Cucumber: 96% water
  • Zucchini: 95% water
  • Celery: 95% water
  • Radish: 95% water
  • Red Tomato: 95% water
  • Green Cabbage: 93% water
  • Grape: 92% water
  • Sweet Pepper: 92% water
  • Cauliflower: 92% water
  • Spinach: 92% water
  • Strawberry – Raspberry – Blueberry: 92% water
  • Watermelon: 92% water
  • Grapefruit: 91% water
  • Broccoli: 91% water
  • Carrot: 90% water
  • Cantaloupe: 90% water
  • Jicama: 90% water
  • Eggplant: 89% water
  • Peach: 88% water
  • Pineapple: 87% water
  • Cranberry: 87% water
  • Orange: 87% water
  • Kiwi: 85% water
  • Red Potato: 80% water