Dehydration is often overlooked as a serious problem, but studies show that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. Dealing with dehydration can lead to fatigue, foggy memory, irritability, and even kidney stones. The hot summer months can aggravate dehydration and make the side effects worse.
Drinking more water and fluids is an obvious answer, but you can also add more hydration-focused foods and meal prep to your diet. Here's how to get started on your hydration journey:
Eat Foods with a High Water Content
Some foods with a high water content provide more hydration than others. Approximately 20% of our water intake comes from the food we eat, especially fruits and veggies. The good news is that there are plenty of tasty water-rich foods to choose from, including:
- Summer squash
- Bell peppers
A simple meal prep trick is to keep foods with high water density on hand and ready to throw into a meal. Chop up your fruits and veggies to turn into snacks, salads, and desserts. A fruit salad with some yogurt sweetened with honey also makes a great dessert that aids in your hydration.
Add Some Salsa to the Mix
Salsa is festive, delicious, and packed with water. Around 95% of a tomato's weight comes from water, which is perfect with salsa. Add other hydrating fruits and veggies, like some peaches, to turn it into a summertime trip. But instead of pairing it with slutty chips that can compromise your hydration, try it with chicken or crispy whole wheat crackers for a healthy snack.
Salsa also helps jazz up a boring breakfast. Meal prep for breakfast with both eggs and salsa to give your morning a twist.
Focus on Salads
Salads can quickly give your hydration a boost with the right approach. Lettuce is already hydrating, but you can add in other water-based foods, including bell peppers. You can still add a mix of proteins to your salad, like our Organic Chicken Breast Salad. Broccoli also provides a good source of protein while adding more hydration to your diet.
Remember the Whole Grains
Whole grains, including quona, rice, and oatmeal, soak up water and pass on the hydrating benefits to your body. These grins also make a filling base for mealtime and add more nutrients and flavor to your food. You can turn to our meal prep options to get more hydrating grains in your diet, like our Korean Bulgogi Ground Beef Rice Bowl.
Drink More Hydrating Smoothies
Give your meal prep a summertime boost with a range of hydrating smoothies. Coconut water, pineapple, and strawberries all provide a good source of hydration. Add an avacado to amplify your consumption of healthy fats and fiber that help your body hold onto water.
Smoothies are also easy to freeze and enjoy later. Instead of defrosting them, eat them with a spoon, like a fruity ice cream treat or dessert.
Enjoy a Hydrating Summer Soup
Soup is usually considered a wintertime meal, but it pairs perfectly with the summer heat. Tomatoes are perfect for cold soups and are high in water content. Just make sure to go easy on the sodium with any broths or seasonings you use, or you could derail your hydration efforts. A Gazpacho soup recipe with both tomatoes and cucumbers can give your hydration a boost.
Avoid Excess Salt and Sodium
Some salt in your diet is important to keep your electrolytes balanced, but too much will dehydrate you. Soy, too much calcium, fatty fish, and even blueberries can contribute to dehydration. You can still consume them in moderation, but if you're already struggling with dehydration, it's something to use sparingly in your weekly meal prep.
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