What does it mean to be hydrated? Generally speaking, your hydration status is the percentage of your body composed of water, usually around 60 percent, says Phillip Kadaj, M.D., FACP, an internal medicine physician at MyMichigan Internal Medicine. Each day, we need to replace the amount of water we lose through sweating, urinating, and, yep, even breathing. According to Dr. Kadaj, aiming to drink about 64 ounces of water each day is a good general hydration guideline—however, that number can be lower or higher from person to person, depending on how active you are, your body type, or the climate you live in.
We’re all aware that staying hydrated leads to an active, healthy life—and that being dehydrated is a surefire way to invite headaches, cravings, and fatigue—but in reality, getting in those ounces of H2O can feel like an uphill battle. No small issue: A lot of people think plain water can get pretty boring, making it a less intriguing beverage choice at mealtimes and throughout the day.
The good news? Hydration can be delicious—and (dare we say?) even fun! There are tons of super-hydrating, flavorful bevs out there that offer some much-needed variety, quench thirst, and help you hit your daily hydration goals. Read on for registered dietitians’ top recommended drinks for hydration, for when you need a healthy upgrade to that flat glass of water.
Blend your favorite greens into a naturally water-packed smoothie—the perfect post-workout breakfast or mid-afternoon pick-me-up that’s chock full of nutrients. To begin, Amanda Sauceda, M.S., R.D., recommends gathering spinach, kale, and lettuce, all of which have a high water content. Then, add your preferred type of milk—cow’s, almond, cashew, or oat are all excellent—and top with a scoop of protein powder and/or nut butter for heartiness. You’ll get a powerful one-two punch of hydration and protein in one glass.
WATERMELON SLUSHIE RECIPE
Aptly named, watermelon is an extremely hydrating food choice, coming in at 92 percent water, says Tara Tomaino, R.D., nutrition director at The Park. You can always snack on watermelon as is, but for a fruity, summery treat, blend watermelon with ice, water, and a squeeze of lime juice for a frosty homemade slushie—no sugar needed. (Skip the alcohol and sugar in this recipe here for fruit-first, any-time-of-day hydration). “Watermelon is also a great source of lycopene, an antioxidant found in red fruits and vegetables, and research has associated lycopene consumption with reductions in blood pressure among other health benefits,” Tomaino adds.
Whether you purchase a liter at the grocery store or buy a fresh one at the beach, coconut water is a natural source of electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and manganese, says Hayley Miller, M.S., RDN, L.D., senior registered dietitian nutritionist at Persona. We all need to replenish these electrolytes regularly, especially after any excess fluid loss (serious sweating, post-Saturday-night dehydration, and so on). “When you exercise, or just go about your daily routine, you naturally lose electrolytes in your sweat, making it harder for your body to retain water,” she explains. “Coconut can help replace these and restore a good balance.”
But a word of caution to read labels and be choosy with coconut water, since many supermarket brands pack in the added sugar for taste. Miller says that coconut water high in sugar will actually have the opposite impact and dehydrate you. Make sure to read your labels carefully.
Try adding coconut water to this anti-inflammatory mango-turmeric smoothie for a healthy hit of hydration.
WATERMELON-MINT AGUA FRESCA RECIPE
Looking for a better-for-you alternative to those (sadly) very dehydrating cocktails? Make happy hour delightfully hydrating with an agua fresca, says Sauceda, a popular drink in Mexico and Central America made simply by blending together fruit and water and sometimes a sweetener (like sugar, agave, or honey). Whirl up your favorite fruit, some water, and some fresh lime juice for brightness. “You can even make this drink good for your gut by sprinkling in chia seeds for a little fiber or sweetening with honey, which is a prebiotic food,” she adds.
CELERY, CUCUMBER, PINEAPPLE SMOOTHIE RECIPE
Cucumber is another hydration powerhouse at a whopping 96 percent water—the highest water content of any food! You can cut this veggie into slices for easy eating and water infusions, blend it with water or press into a juice for a refreshing sip. “A vegetable that hydrates you more than your regular glass of water is perfect as a snack,” says Kristel de Groot, plant-based certified health coach and the cofounder of Your Super.
Culled from realsimple.com by Lindsay Tigar