Drinking water is the purest form of hydrating your body. It makes up nearly 60 percent of your total body weight. Not a fan of H2O? Don’t give up yet. There’s water in nearly every morsel of food available. With a little creativity, you can find alternative ways to sneak in the right fluids, keep your thirst quenched and even rev up your metabolism.
Drinking water helps your body operate at optimal levels. Most people need a minimum of six 8-ounce glasses of water per pound of body weight per day to maintain proper hydration — and this amount is for those who aren’t active. If you’re more active, you need more. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink water. By then, it’s too late. The need to quench your thirst is the first indication that you’re already dehydrated. Instead, focus on consuming the right fluids on a regular basis throughout the day.
Water is the preferred method of hydration, but another way to keep your cells lubricated is consuming a drink that contains electrolytes, such as a sports drink. Electrolytes help the cells in your body absorb water and function properly to keep you alive. Stick to the serving suggestion on the bottle, as these drinks can easily become high-carb traps if they are laden with a lot of sugar or you drink a whole 32-ounce bottle at one time.
Maintain proper hydration by eating more fruits and vegetables. Eating foods that have a lot of water in them helps hydrate your body faster than drinking a glass of water. Fruits and vegetables in their raw form have the highest percentage of water. According to the American Dietetic Association, several fruits and vegetables that have high concentrations of water per 1 1/2-cup serving include: watermelon, with 92 percent; iceberg lettuce, 96 percent; broccoli, 91 percent; cucumber, 96 percent; cabbage, 92 percent; and spinach, 92 percent. Using food to supplement your fluid intake is a great way to hydrate your body and boost your metabolism by increasing the rate at which calories are burned — within 10 minutes of drinking — without drastic lifestyle changes.
Consume low-fat or nonfat foods to boost your water intake. These foods usually contain more water than full-fat varieties. For example, a broth-based soup like vegetable beef is fat free and contains 96 percent water. By contrast, a cream-based soup, such as corn chowder, is high in fat and contains just 84 percent water. When water or fiber binds to food, it slows the absorption of food and remains in your stomach longer, making you feel fuller longer.