As the weather gets warmer, it takes a lot more effort to stay hydrated, especially when sweating outdoors or spending a long day at the beach (Rough life, huh?). While there is no universal formula for how much water you need to consume, the benefits of getting enough are huge (and dehydration is no joke). But guzzling a ton of H20 is hard to make a habit!
The solution? Eat your water! Twenty percent of our daily water intake comes from food. Whether it’s fruits and veggies that often contain more than 90 percent water or foods like chia that help the body absorb water, filling up on foods like the ones featured below makes it easier (and tastier) to hydrate Omega 3 Chia seed loading as a means of carbohydrate loading. Illian TG., Casey JC., Bishop PA. Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology, The University of Alabama. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 2011 Jan;25(1):61-5. . We found 43 H2-Outstanding meals and snacks to help you hydrate all day long. Plus, most of these recipes don’t require a hot stove or oven, so have fun keeping cool while making them. Happy hydrating!
1. Healthy Avocado Fruit Salad With Chia Yogurt Dressing
Grapefruit, pear, orange, mango, and strawberries, are all water-filled fruits. Greek yogurt is also about 80 percent water, and chia seeds help the body soak it all in Omega 3 Chia seed loading as a means of carbohydrate loading. Illian TG., Casey JC., Bishop PA. Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology, The University of Alabama. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 2011 Jan;25(1):61-5. . Phew, that’s a lot of hydrating (and yummy) foods! Avocado adds some healthy fats to fill you up.
2. Triple Layered Breakfast Apple Sandwich
A juicy apple is pretty and healthy in this adorable sandwich made with almond butter, chia seeds (another super hydrator!), honey, and dried cranberries. Sub in your favorite nut butter and dried fruit to customize this breakfast.
3. Raw Buckwheat Chia Porridge With Apple, Pineapple, and Papaya
Soaking chia and buckwheat overnight is key to making this flavorful raw breakfast porridge that’s great for any busy morning. Apple, pineapple, and papaya add an extra dose of H20.
4. Breakfast Spring Rolls
Jicama (a mild veggie similar to water chestnuts) and carrots (which contain around 87 percent water) add some crunch to this morning-appropriate take on spring rolls.
5. Vegan Mango-Coconut Green Smoothie
Nearly everything in this smoothie packs a big hydration punch. Coconut milk gives this chilly treat a little more flavor and a creamy texture while mango and spinach are chock-full of water, as well as vitamins A and C.
6. Apple, Carrot, and Peach Smoothie
This fruity orange blend is made with yogurt, which contains about 87 percent water per cup. Use your favorite type of Greek yogurt for extra protein and the same hydrating benefits.
7. Strawberry and Peach Chia Seed Jam
Making jam is one of our favorite uses for chia seeds. They absorb water (that’s why they’re a hydrating food!), naturally thickening the peaches and strawberries in this simple recipe. Spread it on toast for a surprising and simple dose of omega-3s.
8. Cinnamon and Pear Oatmeal
Here’s a hydrating trick: The oats in this breakfast are cooked in water, giving that serving of oatmeal even more water than an equal serving of cucumber or oranges! Oatmeal is one of the most filling breakfasts around, making it perfect for a long day of hiking or swimming (or any other favorite summer activity).
9. French Toast With Blueberry Sauce and Roasted Apple and Pear
Want to sneak some hydrating superfoods into brunch? While French toast isn’t always the healthiest option, millet flour, coconut oil, and almond milk give this recipe a twist, while toppings include hydration heroes blueberry, apple, and pear.
10. Thai-Inspired Hydrating Cucumber Salad With Roasted Spiced Chickpeas
Cucumbers are an awesome way to add more water to any diet, but they can be a little bland. Not in this salad! Vinegar and sugar come together for a light, sweet dressing, while spicy roasted chickpeas add flavor and protein.
11. Cucumber-Watermelon Salad With Avocado and Bell Pepper
Cubes of watermelon, cucumber, and bell pepper make for an awesomely replenishing bowl. The tequila-spiked dressing takes this light meal to another level.
12. Jicama, Grapefruit, and Red Cabbage Salad
While the lettuce and spinach in most salads are almost entirely water, so is red cabbage, making it an awesome (and more nutritious) alternative. Cabbage has tons of antioxidants to help reduce inflammation, and lots of fiber to keep that tummy happy. And it gets bonus points for being colorful.
13. Sweet n’ Spicy Raspberry and Potato Salad With Honey Vinaigrette
Raspberries and spinach up the water content in this healthy version of potato salad. It’s drizzled with honey, sea salt, and pepper. A delicious side for any picnic or barbeque.
16. Grilled Eggplant and Zucchini Salad With Feta, Chickpeas, and Mint
Looking for an excuse to get outside and grill? Eggplant and zucchini are both high in water, and grilling is a tasty alternative to eating them raw. Chickpeas and feta finish it off for a filling lunch.
17. Thai Cucumber and Pineapple Salad
Because bromelain in pineapple and caffeic acid in cucumber both reduce swelling and inflammation, this is the perfect zesty dish to beat that puffy dehydrated feeling Bromelain, the enzyme complex of pineapple (Ananus comosus) and its clinical application. An update. Taussig, SJ., Batkin, S. Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, School of Tropical Agriculture, University of Hawaii, Honolulu. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 1988 Feb-Mar;22(2):191-203. Determination of total content of phenolic compounds and their antioxidant activity in vegetables—evaluation of spectrophotometric methods. Stratil, P., Klejdus B., Kubán V. Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Mendel University of Agriculture and Forestry. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 2006 Deb 8;54(3):607-16. .
18. Chopped Vegetable, Watermelon, and Feta Salad
Watermelon, a favorite summer superfood, packs a lot of nutritious hydration in just a few calories. Paired with feta, olive oil, and mint, it’s an instant classic.
19. Zucchini Sushi Rolls
Sure, sliced carrots will sneak some hydration into snack time, but why not impress your friends by rolling up apple, carrot, zucchini, and cucumber into these sushi-style roll-ups?
20. Tropical Kiwi Strawberry Spring Rolls
The strawberries, mango, and kiwi in this cute roll-up are tasty and nutritious enough to eat on their own. But sometimes, fun packaging makes all the difference. Wrap up it all up in softened rice paper rounds and dip in honey. Goodbye thirst!
21. Cinnamon Apples, Walnuts, and Raisins
To amp up that mid-day apple, chop it up and toss with ground cinnamon, walnuts (or any other nut of your choice) and raisins. Apples are the hydration star here, while cinnamon can help relieve inflammation and packs a flavor punch in just a few calories Influence of ginger and cinnamon intake on inflammation and muscle soreness endued by exercise in Iranian female athletes. Mashhadi, NS., Ghiasvand, R., Askari, G., et al. Food Security Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran. International Journal of Preventative Medicine, 2013 Apr;4(Suppl 1):S11-5 .
22. Grilled Fruit Kabobs With Mango-Coconut Ricotta Dip
Strawberries, pineapple, cantaloupe, and banana are a perfect tropical combination. Grilled, they’re downright festive. If you’re sick of munching on plain fruit to get your water fix, this is a great way to mix things up.
24. Avocado and Mango Salsa
With the addition of garlic, jalapeño, cilantro, lime, and olive oil, diced mango and avocado make up a more hydrating alternative to guacamole or super-salty store-bought salsa.
25. Watermelon, Strawberry, and Basil Salad Bites
This is the gourmet way to enjoy that big, juicy slice of watermelon. Strawberries provide fruity hydration, while basil and goat cheese add some class.
26. Homemade Raspberry Applesauce
Applesauce contains just about as much water as apples themselves — and homemade is always better! Raspberries add a seasonal spin.
28. Green Gazpacho
Soup is one of the best vehicles for getting more water into your diet, but who wants to dig into a hot bowl o’ chicken soup in this heat? Gazpacho is the solution. The cucumber and green pepper make this one particularly thirst-quenching.
29. Lemony Orzo Pasta Salad With Cucumber and Feta
Pasta salad is a picnic table staple. Diced cucumber and lemon juice make this one a super hydrating option.
31. Tomato-Cucumber Gazpacho
Lots of tomatoes, tomato juice, red pepper, and cucumber blend together in a flavorful, cool, and filling dinner.
32. Vietnamese Summer Roll Salad
The fresh ingredients in Vietnamese food give it the right flavors for the hottest months of the year. The shrimp on this salad make it big enough for a meal, while lots of veggies and greens increase the water content.
34. Coconut Chicken Lettuce Wraps
When you’ve just gotta fill that taco craving, romaine lettuce is a smart substitute to a corn tortilla. It’s almost entirely water and still supplies a satisfying crunch.
36. Roasted Berry and Honey Yogurt Popsicles
Roasting the berries before assembling these yogurt pops makes them extra creamy. Try the recipe with your favorite berries, and try lemon juice instead of honey if you like a tangier dessert.
37. Strawberry Raspberry Popsicles
Berries are one of the best (and best tasting) ways to eat your water. The only sugar in this sweet treat comes from nature, so it’s much better than store-bought options.
38. Honeydew-Cucumber Margarita Popsicle
Now, usually we don’t recommend booze if you’re trying to stay hydrated. But the water-filled honeydew and cucumber in these frozen treats make up for the little splash of tequila in these bad boys. Right?
39. Blood Orange Chia Pudding
It’s all about those chia seeds! Blood orange gives this a pretty color, but regular oranges or even grapefruit are all close to 90 percent water and would work just as well in this tart pudding.
40. Frozen Yogurt Covered Blueberry Kabob
On their own, frozen blueberries are a great summer snack. But skewered and covered in frozen Greek yogurt they’re as tasty as your favorite ice cream treat, and much more effective at keeping that body full o’ water.
41. Homemade Fresh Grapefruit “Jello”
Since Jello is mostly water, it seems to be the perfect choice for a hydrating dessert. However, the stuff from the box can be pretty high in sugar. Try this at-home version made with real grapefruit and unflavored gelatin instead. Since grapefruit is mostly water, you’re pretty much just eating, um, water!
42. Strawberry-Banana Yogurt Pops
All that’s in these homemade popsicles is strawberries, yogurt, all-natural sweetener (honey, maple syrup, agave — you choose), and banana. They’re fruity, sweet, and perfect for a hot day.
43. Coconut Kiwi Popsicles
Kiwi is low in calories and sugar, and high in fiber. Coconut water has been known to help replenish electrolytes and sugars after you sweat a lot (in other words, all summer long) Comparison of coconut water and a carbohydrate-electrolyte sports drink on measures of hydration and physical performance in exercise-trained men. Kalman, DS., Feldman S., Krieger, DR., et al. The University of Memphis/Metabolic Laboratory, Department of Health and Sport Sciences. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition Jan 18;9(1):1 . Frozen into popsicle form, this is one powerful pair.
Originally published June 2012. Updated June 2015.