Proper hydration is essential for everyday health. When you become dehydrated you feel tired and weak, and your body has a hard time functioning. Avoid drinking sugary sodas or caffeine-rich coffee beverages to curb your thirst, since these drinks are high in calories and may leave you more dehydrated in the end. Several foods and liquids keep you well hydrated without having a dramatic impact on your waistline.
Just like its name states, watermelon is full of water. In fact, more than 90 percent of the weight of a watermelon comes from liquid. For each 4-ounce serving of watermelon you enjoy, you'll get about 3.75 ounces of water. You'll unknowingly keep your body well hydrated during hot summer months. Mix it up by adding honeydew and cantaloupe to a melon salad. These melons, which are also rich in water, add variety to your sweet snack.
Grapes are more than 80 percent water. Enjoying 4 ounces of grapes adds nearly 3.3 ounces of water to your diet. Grapes are delicious by themselves, but they are also very versatile in other recipes. Add sliced red grapes to a spinach and chicken salad for a touch of sweetness, or stir them in with cottage cheese as a mid-morning snack. As a frozen treat, place seedless grapes on a skewer, alternating red and green varieties. Place the skewer in the freezer and in a few hours, you'll have a healthy snack for your child that is fun to eat, while also keeping her hydrated.
Water is, of course, the best way to stay hydrated. Every single process in your body relies on water and it makes up the majority of bodily structures, including cells, tissues and organs. As an added bonus, water can help curb your appetite so you eat less. Researchers at the 2010 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society presented preliminary findings, in which research participants lost weight simply by drinking more water. Having two 8-ounce glasses of water right before each meal resulted in reducing caloric intake from that meal by 75 to 90 calories. At the end of the 12-week study, participants lost an average of 5 pounds. If you're bored with plain tap water, add fresh lemons and basil to a pitcher of water and leave it in your refrigerator overnight. The boost in flavor may be more enticing for your taste buds.
Make your own frozen pops at home, as a way to stay hydrated while monitoring the sugar and calorie content. They can be as simple as pouring your favorite liquid into an ice tray and adding toothpicks, or you can purchase frozen ice pop molds, which come in a variety of shapes. Liquids including sports drinks, diet lemon-lime soda or your favorite type of 100 percent juice, work well for frozen pops. Keep calories to a minimum by diluting your favorite beverage before freezing. Orange juice, for example, has about 170 calories in a 12-ounce portion. Cut the calories in half by using 6 ounces of orange juice and 6 ounces of water. As a flavor enhancer, blend the mixture with fresh thyme or basil before pouring into the molds.
- USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Watermelon, Raw
- USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Grapes, Red or Green (European Type, Such as Thompson Seedless), Raw
- ScienceDaily: Drink Water to Curb Weight Gain? Clinical Trial Confirms Effectiveness of Simple Appetite Control Method
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Rethink Your Drink
Melodie Anne Coffman specializes in overall wellness, with particular interests in women's health and personal defense. She holds a master's degree in food science and human nutrition and is a certified instructor through the NRA. Coffman is pursuing her personal trainer certification in 2015.