Drinking water has been at the top of so many Instagram and Facebook feeds this year, it seems like everyone is down for the water challenge. I feel guilty just scrolling through. And don’t even get me started on how the “squat” challenge makes me feel! I’ve been told that I should drink half of my body weight in water daily. Just the thought of that many ounces of liquid makes me swoon. I know water is good for us, but sometimes I feel like enough is enough. So how much water do we really need to drink each day? Experts say 11.5 cups of liquid for women and 15.5 cups for men.
Hydration is Key
Water is responsible for the overall health and wellness of our bodies. Looking for great skin and strong muscles? Look no further than your glass of water. Drinking water also helps to regulate our body temperature, remove waste and ensure that oxygen and nutrients travel through our bloodstream.
If you believe what you read on the internet, you can last 30 days without eating but only three days without water. Those are just estimates, so don’t quote me if you are ever stranded anywhere. How long you can last really depends on how healthy you are. But I can’t stay focused on those dismal facts. The truth is, I just want to make sure that my organs have enough water to do what they need to do to keep me moving.
And not moving is exactly what will happen if you allow yourself to get dehydrated. Our bodies are made up of about 60 percent water so it makes sense that our organs will absolutely shut down if they don’t get the water they need. Here’s a fun fact: If you don’t drink enough water, your body might hold onto it causing you to retain water weight. Seriously! The body panics and holds onto water to make sure that dehydration doesn’t happen. Not drinking enough water can also cause you to lose focus, get cranky, and even make you feel hungry. Sound familiar?
Eat Your Water With Hydration-Packed Fruits and Vegetables
One of the first things that happened to me when I started leaning into a plant-based lifestyle is that I had to reacquaint myself with the produce aisle. It’s sad to think of all of the fruits and veggies that never made it into my shopping cart. I have to admit that way back in 2017, I was rocking with a solid five vegetables week after week. Broccoli, spinach, corn, green beans, and collard greens were on heavy rotation. All good, but in no way representative of all of the options available.
There are over 1,000 fruits and vegetables curated for humans to eat. But the real excitement comes from the fact that so many of them are an incredible source of water. Adding fruits and veggies to your plate can help you reach your hydration goals. Adding them to your glass helps too! Get excited for these fruits and veggies who score at the top of the leaderboard as great sources of water.
Water-Dense Fruits and Vegetables
- Cucumbers: 96 percent
- Lettuce: 96 percent
- Radishes: 95 percent
- Spinach: 92 percent
- Watermelon: 92 percent
- Cantaloupe: 92 percent
- Bell Peppers: 92 percent
- Strawberries: 92 percent
- Peaches: 88 percent
- Grapes: 87 percent
- Blueberries: 84 percent
You can get really creative with this list. How about adding cucumbers and blueberries to your next bowl of greens? Radishes and bell peppers add plenty of crunch to an already crunchy taco. I recently made a spinach salad with watermelon, strawberry, and basil. Let’s just say that it was as mouth-watering as it sounds.
I used to feel so guilty about not drinking enough water. What really made it crazy for me is that I’m constantly reminding my ten-year-old to drink more water. Kids don’t have a filter and they will let you know when they see that you aren’t modeling the behavior you want. So it’s been really fun getting my daughter involved with choosing the fruits and veggies for our remixed salads. Yes! Mom has found another sneaky way to get what she wants.
Top 10 Sources of Plant-Based Protein According to a Nutritionist