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6 Hydrating Foods

Posted: 02/24/2012 8:06 am

When you're truly parched, a tall glass of water really can't be beat. But water's not the only place where we get our hydration -- turns out, high water-volume foods can also provide our body with fluids.

In fact, fruits and vegetables are composed of 90 percent water, said Roberta Anding, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and director of sports nutrition at Texas Children's Hospital.

Even though the portions of fruits and vegetables we eat are likely not big enough to minimize the need to actually drink our fluids, they're still a good source of "time-released" fluid, said Anding, who also works as a sports dietitian for the Houston Texans football team.

When a person drinks a glass of water, it leaves the stomach and gets into the blood stream relatively quickly, she explained. But food takes some time to be digested, so it's a delayed fluid response.

For example, Anding makes sure that there are 13 to 17 different fruits and vegetables per meal when she plans out food for the Houston Texans. She'll make smoothies that have greek yogurt and berries -- they may not immediately quench thirst, but "it becomes that add-on hydration that helps you perform," she said.

Anding said that all fruits and vegetables are hydrating, so it's good to eat them all to get that "time-released" fluid (so there are no excuses if you don't like a particular fruit or vegetable!). And some dairy products, like milk and greek yogurt, are around 80 percent water, she added. If you're planning a hydration-friendly meal, click through this slideshow for some ideas -- and be sure to weigh in in the comments section on your favorite hydrating foods!

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  • Watermelon

    <a href="http://www.thatsfit.com/2009/07/23/eat-your-hydration/" target="_hplink">Watermelon</a> is a great source of hydration -- just look at its name! That's Fit reported that the red-fleshed fruit is composed of about 92 percent water, and also contains the nutrients beta carotene, lycopene and vitamin C. <em>Flickr photo <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/moreno415/2830413211/">by moreno0101</a>.</em>

  • Cucumbers

    Cucumbers are delicious <em>in</em> hydrating water, but they are also a source of hydration themselves. <em>Shape</em> magazine reported that the <a href="http://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/healthy-drinks/top-30-hydrating-foods" target="_hplink">cucumber's flesh</a> is where most of the water is located in, but it also has vitamin C and the skin-soothing caffeic acid. <em>Flickr photo <a href="[INSERT URL HERE]">by karenandbrademerson</a>.</em>

  • Oatmeal

    When you make a <a href="http://www.livestrong.com/article/500502-a-search-list-of-hydrating-foods/" target="_hplink">bowl of oatmeal</a>, the oats soak up the water or milk that you use to cook it -- so a bowl of oatmeal could end up having more water than cucumbers or oranges, Livestrong reported. (Not to mention it's heart-healthy!) <em>Flickr photo <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/39975765@N05/5479195390/">by mallydally</a>.</em>

  • Cantaloupe

    <a href="http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-242-302--13967-0,00.html" target="_hplink">Cantaloupe</a> -- as well as peaches and strawberries -- contain lots of water and potassium, which can be lost when you sweat, <em>Runners World</em> reported. <em>Flickr photo <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/alisdair/240813175/">by alisdair</a>.</em>

  • Meat

    <a href="http://articles.cnn.com/2008-08-26/health/cl.get.fluids_1_daily-fluid-water-fluid-content/2?_s=PM:HEALTH" target="_hplink">Meat</a> may not seem all that hydrating, but it really does have water in it, CNN reported. For example, a broiled 4-ounce steak will give your body 2.2 ounces of water, according to CNN. <em>Flickr photo <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/49292788@N03/4521707234/">by jessica/countlesscalories.com</a>.</em>

  • Apples

    Both <a href="http://www.livestrong.com/article/500502-a-search-list-of-hydrating-foods/" target="_hplink">apples and applesauce</a> are hydrating, with a medium apple having 110 milliliters of fluids, Livestrong reported.

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