Best Ways to “Eat” Your Water

There’s a lot of conflicting information in the health and science communities about how much water we need to drink each day to maintain optimum health. Some experts recommend drinking at least eight glasses of water per day while others say you may need more or less than that depending on your size, age and activity level.

But no matter how often the current advice changes, there’s no denying the fact that drinking adequate water isn’t an easy task for many of us (myself included). I am not particularly fond of water and have always struggled to drink a decent amount for my body’s needs. Fortunately, I recently discovered that there are ways I can eat my water so I don’t have to drink as much!

I know, it sounds strange to eat your water, but it can be done! Many foods are chock-full of water that counts toward your overall fluid intake goal. Here are some of my favorite suggestions for “eating” your water.

Eat More Soup

Soup is a great food to consume if you struggle to drink enough water each day. Whether you’re eating water-based or broth-based soup, you’re giving your body plenty of added fluids to support your hydration needs.

I like to make big batches of soup and then freeze whatever I don’t want to eat right away. I’ve used muffin pans to freeze soup in single-serving sizes. When I’m feeling a little parched and know I need to boost my fluid intake for the day, I warm up a serving of soup and enjoy it with lunch or dinner.

Eat the Right Veggies

All vegetables contain water, but some types contain more water than others. If you’re feeling parched and want to quickly improve your hydration levels, choose from the following list of water-dense vegetables.

  • Cucumbers
  • Celery
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes (technically a fruit, but most people consider it to be a vegetable)
  • Summer squash
  • Jicama
  • Zucchini
  • Broccoli

These are all very hydrating vegetables that can contribute to your daily fluid intake. They’re also bursting with vitamins and minerals that can boost your overall health and help your body’s various systems function optimally.

Indulge in Fruit

If eating fruit feels like a guilty pleasure, it’s time to change your way of thinking. Different varieties of fruit have impressive nutrient profiles. Plus, many of them are composed of around 90% water! Here are some of the best fruit choices to indulge in if your primary goal is to boost your hydration.

  • Watermelon
  • Grapefruit
  • Honeydew melon or cantaloupe
  • Strawberries
  • Peaches
  • Raspberries
  • Oranges
  • Pineapple
  • Apricots

One of the best things about the above list of hydrating fruits is that they are all mouthwateringly delicious. You shouldn’t have any problem adding some of them to your daily routine—especially if you’re doing it for the sake of your health!

Try Hydrating Smoothies

Depending on how thick you like your smoothies, you may drink them instead of eating them. Personally, I like to load my smoothies up with ice so they’re nice and thick and must be eaten with a spoon. But regardless of how thick or thin your smoothies are, there is no doubt they’re extremely hydrating.

Pack your smoothies with raw veggies, fresh fruit, and water or plant-based milk for a guilt-free treat that will help you avoid dehydration throughout the day.

Avoid Dehydrating Foods

While you’re on your quest to achieve greater dehydration through the foods you eat, be sure to avoid dietary habits that can dehydrate you, such as:

  • Eating too much protein
  • Consuming too much alcohol
  • Indulging in sugary drinks
  • Eating a high-salt diet
  • Drinking caffeinated beverages such as sodas and coffee

These dietary habits can all lead to dehydration and have a negative impact on your overall health. Trade dehydrating foods for hydrating options and you’ll feel the difference!

When Should You Drink Water, and Are You Drinking Enough?

Many dieticians and nutritionists believe people often require more water than they get, even following federal guidelines — eight glasses per day. According to Sarah Krieger, a registered dietician nutritionist, a more accurate or adequate model is to take half of your body weight and drink that in ounces, meaning a 140-pound individual would drink 70 oz. 

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine makes the process even easier, recommending men drink a minimum of 13 cups of fluids per day and women drink nine or more. In other words, men should aim for 104 oz. and women for 72 oz. 

How do you fit all that liquid into your day? First, pay attention to the wording. The suggestion is for fluids, not just water. However, it is crucial to up your water intake, and that is a straightforward process when you know the most optimum times to drink.

Wake-Up 

Many people do not realize they wake up in the morning already dehydrated. You do not drink for the eight hours you are asleep. Therefore, help your body replenish itself by drinking one to two cups of water when you wake, eight to 16 ounces. 

Once you have one or two cups, feel free to make yourself a cup of coffee. Coffee also counts toward your fluid intake for the day.

Pre-Meal, Mealtime, and Post-Meal

Many studies suggest that drinking water can help regulate and mitigate hunger. Therefore, many experts recommend having a cup of water before, during, and after a meal. 

By drinking a glass of water before your meal, you effectively lubricate your insides, which will ultimately help with digestion. However, you also prefill your stomach, meaning you are less likely to overindulge during the meal. 

Drinking water during your meal will also help with digestion. It also provides lubrication for your throat, making it easier to swallow food. 

Finally, drinking a cup of water after a meal ensures optimal digestion and helps reduce the risk of sudden hunger pangs. Therefore, drinking water in this way ensures you stick to a meal plan and avoid consuming empty calories between meals.

Midafternoon Slump

It is natural to feel a bit of a slump around 3:00 pm. While this slump often results in the afternoon consumption of coffee, it is best to stay away from caffeinated beverages. Consuming caffeine late in the afternoon can affect sleep later. 

What most people do not realize is that slumps can stem from dehydration. Dehydration can also result in irritability, hostility, confusion, etc. Therefore, it is best to help your body stay steady and alert by consuming more water.

Pre-Workout, Workout, and Post-Workout 

Do you workout before or after work? Regardless of when you exercise, drinking water is a crucial component of your routine. 

While you will want to drink water before your routine, make sure you allow your body enough time to process the fluid. Drinking a cup of water immediately before hopping on a treadmill will likely result in bloating and discomfort. Instead, drink a cup of water 30 minutes before you begin. 

You will also want to hydrate during your workout. However, do not gulp water. Take sips. Drink slowly during your routine to prevent getting sick or feeling uncomfortable.

Bedtime

You should also bring a glass of water to bed, only taking a couple of sips before lying down. Too much water before bed will lead to sleep disruptions. 

Are you an avid water drinker? Share your tips for staying hydrated throughout the day.