day 8 Hydrate

60% of your body weight is water.  In an early Star Trek: Next Generation episode, an alien refers to humans as “ugly bags of mostly water,” which is, from an outside perspective, mostly true. 

Mala Srivastava writes for SFGate, “Water helps transport oxygen, fat and glucose to your working muscles, regulate your body temperature, digest food and eliminate waste products. Besides water, certain fruits and vegetables also fulfill your fluid requirements in addition to providing healthful nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein.” As much as 20% of the water we ingest is through our food.

During the hot months, especially when we’re active, we can choose foods that help keep us hydrated. 

Some of the most most hydrating fruits:

Watermelon (93 percent water)

Strawberries (92 percent water)
Grapefruit (91 percent)
Cantaloupe (90 percent)
Peaches (89 percent)
Raspberries (87 percent)
Pineapples (87 percent)
Apricots (86 percent)
Blueberries (85 percent)

Cucumber is 96.7% water. We most often use cucumber as part of a salad along with other foods that are high in water (lettuce, celery, radish, tomatoes, peppers, even carrots at  87 percent water). Cucumber can be the base for a soup or a juice (it’s high in Vitamin C, which is a powerful anti-oxidant and some sources say C is good for our immune system, fighting off colds and flus). Zucchini is 95 percent water but some of that water is lost when it’s cooked. Eat some of your veggies raw for the additional water. 

The flip side of this is to consider scaling back on foods that are dehydrating.  Foods that are diuretics cause us to urinate more, so we have to be more conscious about replacing that water.  A little caffeine is fine but too much is dehydrating. Alcohol, “causes cells to shrink, which squeezes extra water out,” according to Sarah Klein on Huffington Post. Anyone who’s had a hangover knows that one of the effects of drinking too much is getting dehydrated.  Some foods require more water to digest, especially meats and high protein foods. “The body has to use more water to flush out the naturally-occurring nitrogen in protein, which results in more trips to the bathroom...,” writes Klein.

To enjoy drinking more water, add fruit. Put some lemon in your water, or infuse water with berries. Infusion is pretty simple. Take fruit, put in water, let sit for a bit (the longer it sits, the stronger the flavor so some people like to store the water overnight).  Have fun with it -- add some mint, add some cayenne or lavender, mix several fruits together.