Blog Nutrition Water-Rich Foods: Staying Hydrated Through Your Diet

Water-Rich Foods: Staying Hydrated Through Your Diet

Do you ever feel as if you’re still thirsty after gulping down a whole liter bottle of water? Five minutes after drinking water, you feel like you’ve been deprived of water for days. This usually happens during summer, when the weather increases your fluid needs. You need to stay hydrated, and drinking water is only one of many sources. Read on to discover what they are.

Introduction to Water-Rich Foods

Our bodies need water to function and survive. It regulates body temperature, flushes out waste, and lubricates our joints (18). Consuming foods that have a high water content can help us stay hydrated during the hot seasons.

Water makes up approximately 60% of human body weight. We’re told we must consume about two to three quarts of water daily to ensure our body functions optimally, but fluid needs can vary for every individual (15). Drinking enough water is essential, but our daily fluid requirements don’t come from water alone. We should also include water-rich foods in our diets to ensure adequate water in our bodies.

Losing a bit of water from sweating can make you feel sick: headaches, tiredness, cramps, and worse. Most people believe that eight glasses of water is enough, but the National Academy of Medicine suggests our daily intake should be more than that. They recommend 91 ounces of total water (from beverages and foods) for women and 125 ounces for men (13).

Drinking this amount of water can be quite a task for most of us. Thankfully, there are many healthy foods that have a high water content. Over 20% of your daily water intake could come from something you’re eating instead of drinking. So let’s take a closer look at some water-rich foods and how they can help you kick the heat.

What Are Water-Rich Foods?

Water-rich foods are fruits and vegetables that have a high water content. They can help you stay hydrated, especially during summer or when exercising. Typically, foods with a high water content can be categorized into:

  • Fruits: Watermelon, peaches, strawberries, and cantaloupes are some hydrating fruits that are rich in vitamins.
  • Vegetables: Cucumbers, celery, lettuce, and spinach are vegetables that are enriched with nutrients and fuel your body with the required water content.
  • Others: Plain yogurt, milk, and broth or soup can hydrate and provide your body with the proteins it yearns for.
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You can get all the perks of fruits and vegetables by eating them plain, or you can double the fun by trying out the following tips:

  • Mix fresh or frozen fruits/vegetables to make a colorful salad
  • Grill fruits or vegetables like celery or zucchini
  • Make fruit kebabs with mixed and fresh fruits
  • Add a twist to your salads with seasonings, lime juice, or balsamic vinegar
  • Make a topical smoothie with pineapple, mango, banana, or spinach
  • Make a refreshing salad with peaches or cherries as a topping
  • Sliced carrots or bell peppers can be used instead of chips for salsas and dips

Even if you eat lots of fruits and vegetables, you still need to drink plenty of water or other drinks without calories. How much water you need is dependent on your age, sex, environment, and how much you move around. Hot weather and exercise make you need even more water.

Feeling thirsty, peeing less often, or having dark concentrated urine are signs of dehydration (6). Feeling tired, dizzy, or confused are more serious signs. To stay hydrated, you must drink at least 8 cups of water or similar drinks daily, and eat fruits and vegetables with your meals and snacks.

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Benefits of Consuming Water-Rich Foods

Our bodies use water in all their organs, cells, and tissues to regulate their temperature (18). However, the body loses water through sweating, breathing, and digestion. We must rehydrate ourselves by drinking enough water and eating foods with a water content.

Here are some rewards that water-rich foods provide:

Hydration and Its Role in the Body

Good hydration is essential for overall health. Dehydration is an increasing problem in older adults, occurring in up to 28% of that population (2). People over 60 are particularly at risk of dehydration, so drinking enough water is even more important. This is because as we get older, we naturally feel thirsty less often and our bodies change. Older people are also more likely to take medicines that make them urinate more, which can lead to dehydration.

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Adequate hydration can positively affect mood (9). A study on overweight women demonstrated that increasing water intake before meals significantly reduced body weight, BMI, and body fat percentage (11). In addition, another study found drinking water before meals to lead to greater weight loss on a reduced calorie diet than the diet alone (17).

Maintaining Optimal Energy Levels

A high water intake can help you stay energized and active, even with an immense workload (10). Conversely, dehydration can slow blood circulation and impact oxygen reaching your brain. A lack of fluids can also make your heart work harder to pump blood throughout the body. And this expended energy can make you feel exhausted and less focused.

Keeping the right balance of fluid and electrolytes in your body is important for good health. You may feel weak, tired, or confused if your fluid and electrolytes are out of balance..

Your physical performance can also be affected when you don’t stay well-hydrated. One study found not drinking enough water can make it harder to do any physical activity that lasts more than half a minute. Even small things such as climbing stairs or walking around town may feel easier if you’re well-hydrated (14).

Water-Rich Foods  

Supporting Skin Health

Water is the natural ingredient that can help you get the glow you always wish!

When you drink more water, your body can flush out toxins and improve your skin’s appearance. Many people opt for a juice diet for better skin, but drinking more water and maintaining a healthy diet can help your body flush out the toxins on its own (18). Drinking water keeps your body and skin healthy. It helps your skin stay flexible and smooth, which makes you look younger. As you age, your body has a harder time holding onto water, so drinking more is important to keep your skin hydrated and looking its best (7).

You can boost the water supply in your body by adding foods that are rich in water. Building up these habits may take some time, but you may notice a gradual difference in how you feel and look.

Read more: 7-Day Weight Loss Low-Carb Diet: Choose High-Protein, High-Fiber, or Ultra-Low-Carb

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Top Water-Rich Foods

Below, we list some hydrating foods you can include in your diet. However, you should remember that there are many others you may come across. Choose the readily available ones and those that suit your preferences.



Watermelon tastes very sweet, but it doesn’t have much sugar compared to other sweet foods. A cup of diced watermelon only contains approximately 9 grams of sugar. Studies suggest that watermelon is good for you and can help keep your heart, gut, and weight healthy (1)


Strawberries are full of antioxidants that are linked to protection against many diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease (4). They’re delicious in both sweet and savory dishes. Try blending them into smoothies, adding them to cereal, serving them over pancakes, or pairing them with dark chocolate hummus.


It is quite evident that juicy cantaloupes are filled with water, but there are also some other important nutrients packed in this hydrating fruit. Cantaloupe is orange because it has beta-carotene, which our bodies turn into vitamin A. Just one cup of cantaloupe has more vitamin A than adults need in a whole day (5).



Cucumbers are a water-rich vegetable you can include in your diet to boost hydration. They’re mostly made of water and have small portions of nutrients such as vitamin K, magnesium, and potassium. Cucumbers are incredibly low in calories, especially compared to other watery vegetables. Half a cup only contains 8 calories (8). As cucumbers are mostly water, they’re also incredibly refreshing.


Crisp and refreshing celery contains powerful antioxidants that can fend off free radicals that form in our bodies due to metabolism and pollution exposure (3). Like some other hydrating vegetables, celery can also help with weight loss as it has more water and fewer calories. It also contains potassium and vitamin K, which strengthen the immune system and shield us against diseases (16).


Over 95% of the lettuce is made up of water. It is low in sugar and carbs, but contains fiber and other compounds such as zinc, vitamin A, potassium, and vitamin K. These nutrients can help you stay hydrated and even get better sleep. A cup of lettuce gives you more than a quarter cup of water and some fiber. It also gives you approximately 5% of the folate you need in a day (12)

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How to Incorporate Water-Rich Foods into Your Diet

Some hydrating foods can be consumed raw, while others require a little baking or seasoning to enhance their flavors or make them chewable. If you want to add the best water-rich foods to your diet, try different recipes. This ensures your diet is healthy and that you always look forward to the meal times.

Water-Rich Foods  

Easy and Quick Recipes

Here are some recipes to include foods for hydration with a delicious twist:

Fruit Salads

Although you can find many fruit salad recipes online, this one is my go-to salad on a hot day when I’m not willing to spend hours in the kitchen.

Hydrating Fruit Salad

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Calories: 300


  • 1/2 cantaloupe
  • 1/4 large watermelon
  • 1/2 large cucumber, partially peeled
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves
  • 1/2 lime juice


  1. Scoop the cantaloupe, watermelon, and cucumber into a bowl using a melon baller.
  2. Squeeze the lime juice over the fruit and cucumber.
  3. Gently mix in the mint leaves.
  4. Enjoy this refreshing and hydrating salad.

This recipe is courtesy of

Spicy Cucumber and Watermelon Salad

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Calories: 32


  • 1 cucumber (sliced)
  • 2 cups watermelon (cubed)
  • Juice of one lime
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons mint leaves (chopped)


  1. Combine the sliced cucumber and cubed watermelon in a bowl.
  2. Sprinkle the mixture with red chili powder and salt.
  3. Drizzle the lime juice over the salad and toss gently to combine.
  4. Garnish with chopped mint leaves just before serving.

This recipe is courtesy of

Vegetable Smoothies

If you have a bunch of vegetables in your fridge, you can make some tempting smoothies with them. Choose the best water-rich foods and add a new twist to your healthy meals.

Super Hydrating Green Smoothie

Servings: 2
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Calories per serving: 155


  • 1 frozen banana (this will make your smoothie naturally sweeter)
  • 1 cup chopped apple
  • 2 or 3 kale leaves, stems removed (or 1 cup packed spinach)
  • 1 cup coconut water (packed with natural electrolytes)
  • 1/2  cup water
  • 1/4  cup fresh lemon juice or 1-2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds (a good source of protein and omega-3s)
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  1. Toss all the ingredients into a blender and blend for a few minutes until smooth. 
  2. Enjoy your tasty and refreshing green smoothie.

This recipe is courtesy of

Water-Rich Foods  

Fresh and Light Vegetable Smoothie

Servings: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Calories per serving: 250


  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 1 kiwi, peeled
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1/2  cucumber, chopped
  • 1/4  avocado, pitted and chopped
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled
  • 1/2  cup (125 ml) water


  1. Wash all the fruits and vegetables well.
  2. Cut the core out of the apple and peel the kiwi. Chop the celery and cucumber. Peel the ginger root.
  3. Put everything in a blender and blend on high speed for approximately one minute or until it is smooth and creamy.

This recipe is courtesy of

The purpose of listing these recipes is to give you an insight into how you can kickstart your journey toward healthy eating. You can choose your favorite foods for hydration and spruce up some scrumptious recipes for you and your family.

Read more: 24 Weight Loss Smoothies, 2 Diet Plans, and 5 Belly Fat Smoothie Secrets

Daily Eating Tips

Remember that some fruits and vegetables can quench your thirst but shouldn’t be used as a replacement for water. You should still drink the amount of water that is recommended by medical experts.

Here are some tips that could help you consume foods for hydration:

  • Eat vegetables with your favorite sauces and dips, such as hummus or ranch.
  • Make a refreshing green smoothie with spinach, strawberries, celery, and ice.
  • Sprinkle fruits and vegetables in your oatmeal or dry cereals.

You can also take mindful eating measures such as swapping sugary snacks for sweet and juicy fruits like watermelons or berries. You can also make your own popsicles with blended fruit and yogurt or freeze grapes for a refreshing and healthy snack. Small adjustments like these can make a big difference in your overall well-being.

Water-Rich Foods  


  • What are the best sources of water-rich foods?

Many foods are rich in water. You can take deliberate measures to ensure you don’t deprive your body of hydration. Some of the best water-rich foods you can eat include watermelons, lettuce, celery, cucumbers, and spinach, but most fruits and vegetables are rich in water. Simply look for foods that are readily available and think about how you can include them in your diet.

  • Can you overeat water-rich foods?

It’s hard to eat too many calories from foods with a lot of water, but you can overeat them in terms of how much space they take up in your stomach. These foods are generally low in calories and high in fiber, which makes you feel full before you eat too many calories.

  • Are these foods suitable for children and the elderly?

Yes, foods that are rich in water are usually healthy and nutritious. They’re suitable for all age groups and beneficial for kids, adults, and older people.


This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. 11 Top Watermelon Health Benefits That Nutritionists Say Are Backed by Promising Research (n.d.,
  2. Adult Dehydration (2022,
  3. Beneficial effects of celery (Apium graveolens) on metabolic syndrome: A review of the existing evidences (2019,
  4. Bioactive Compounds of Strawberry and Blueberry and Their Potential Health Effects Based on Human Intervention Studies: A Brief Overview (2019,
  5. Cantaloupe-Its Color Hints to its Good Nutrition (n.d.,
  6. Dehydration and Heat Stroke (n.d.,
  7. Does dietary fluid intake affect skin hydration in healthy humans? A systematic literature review (2018,
  8. Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables (2012,
  9. Effects of Changes in Water Intake on Mood of High and Low Drinkers (2014,
  10. Effects of Dehydration and Rehydration on Cognitive Performance and Mood among Male College Students in Cangzhou, China: A Self-Controlled Trial (2019,
  11. Effect of ‘Water Induced Thermogenesis’ on Body Weight, Body Mass Index and Body Composition of Overweight Subjects (2013,
  12. Lettuce (2012,
  13. Report Sets Dietary Intake Levels for Water, Salt, and Potassium To Maintain Health and Reduce Chronic Disease Risk (2004,
  14. The effects of fluid loss on physical performance: A critical review (2015,
  15. The Water in You: Water and the Human Body (2019,
  16. Vitamin K and The Immune System (2022,
  17. Water Consumption Increases Weight Loss During a Hypocaloric Diet Intervention in Middle-aged and Older adults (2010,
  18. Water, Hydration and Health (2010,
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