As a guideline, the adult body needs about 8 cups of water daily, though the exact amount depends on your physical composition, level of activity, climate, and diet. As you would guess, people in very hot regions, or those who break a sweat from physical exertion, need to replenish not only the water but the electrolytes. Did you know that it’s also a signal to drink more water if you just can’t seem to get warm? Water helps regulate your body temperature and that goes both ways.
In a broad study of 3000 Americans, 75% were chronically dehydrated. Even if you are getting the recommended 8 cups of water, the U.S. consumes a large amount of dehydrating foods and beverages. Caffeine is a diuretic, meaning it pulls water from your body, so sodas and coffee may satisfy you in the moment, but leave you less hydrated as a result. We also consume food high in sodium, which must be in balance with the water we drink or risk a number of health issues, especially in the heart and kidneys. Dehydration is one of the most common risk factors for kidney stones, which aren’t usually deadly, but are certainly unpleasant.
If you are suffering from fatigue, joint pain, weight gain, headaches, ulcers, or high blood pressure, it is very likely you are dehydrated. By the time you are actually aware that you are thirsty, you’re already at least 2% dehydrated.
This time of year, it is especially important to get enough water, but it’s also an excellent time to enjoy water-rich produce. If you just don’t like the taste of plain water, and struggle to get your recommended servings, you don’t have to go for sugary flavor packets. Here are some fruits and vegetables that will quench your thirst, and since they have high water content, they are also low-calorie density foods (that means they get you full without busting your diet).
- Iceberg Lettuce—96%
That sounds like a really refreshing summer menu! Don’t forget the salad at your next outdoor event.