This is a guest blog post by Manuel Villacorta, MS, RD, CSSD.
As we transition from those early spring time months of warm beverages and apples galore, we enter a world transformed by summer heat and an abundance of sun-doused produce. Our disposition to spend more time in the heated outdoors, be it a trail run, time spent gardening or picnicking with friends, makes staying hydrated of the utmost importance!
Now for the long-disputed question: Do we really need 8 glasses of water to maintain hydration?
The female human body is roughly 50-60 percent water and the male body is 60-65 percent! While it’s imperative to drink a healthy dose of fluid each day to maintain hydration, the quintessential recommendation of 8-10 glasses per day can come from a variety of sources, and is variable to one’s activity level and environment. Whereas water is the most pure form of hydration, we often rely on more flavorful sources like sports drinks, sodas, juices and coffee beverages. Although these items contain water, they are often high in calories and sugar. Therefore, the trick to maintaining good hydration while keeping calories at a minimum, aside from drinking water, is to eat fruits and vegetables of high water content.
Drinking water is a great way to quench thirst, however, when you eat a piece of juicy fruit, the water along with other nutrients and electrolytes present in the fruit, get absorbed together thus hydrating and maintaining water balance in every cell of the body.
Go ahead, give it a try! Use lettuce leaves as taco shells, muddle watermelon into your lemonade, eat berries for a snack, and add red cabbage to your salads for some extra crunch, color, nutrition and hydration!
|Fruits and Vegetables||Percent Water||Calories||Serving|
|Bibb Lettuce||96%||7 kcal||1 cup raw|
|Cucumber||95%||16 kcal||1 cup raw|
|Zucchini||95%||17 kcal||1 cup raw|
|Bell Pepper||94%||18 kcal||1 cup raw|
|Watermelon||91%||23 kcal||1/2 cup raw|
|Strawberries||91%||25 kcal||1/2 cup raw|
|Red Cabbage||90%||28 kcal||1 cup raw|
|Peach||89%||30 kcal||1/2 cup raw|
|Raspberries||86%||32 kcal||1/2 cup raw|
|Apricot||86%||37 kcal||1/2 cup raw|
|Blueberries||84%||42 kcal||1/2 cup raw|
|Pichuberries||84%||43 kcal||1/2 cup raw|
Manuel Villacorta is a registered dietitian in private practice, MV Nutrition, award winning nutrition center in San Francisco. He is the founder of Eating Free, an international weight management and wellness program and author of Eating Free: The Carb Friendly Way to Lose Inches, Embrace Your Hunger, and Keep Weight Off for Good and his new book Peruvian Power Foods: 18 Superfoods, 101 Recipes, and Anti-Aging Secrets from the Amazon to the Andes (October 2013)