Food Recipe Collections & Favorites Healthy Meals 25 Hydrating Foods to Increase Your Daily Water Intake Have your water and eat it, too. We share the best foods for hydration you should add to your diet. By Betty Gold Betty Gold Betty Gold is the former senior digital food editor at Real Simple. Real Simple's Editorial Guidelines Updated on May 19, 2023 Share Tweet Pin Email While drinking water is the best way to stay hydrated, some foods can help keep you hydrated (like raw fruits and vegetables). The best foods for hydration are those with 80 percent water content or higher. Adding them to your everyday food choices will provide much-needed water for your body. Here are some hydrating foods to try. Why Is Hydration Important? Water is essential for life; it makes up 55-75 percent of our body weight (depending on age), and without it, people can only survive for days. Dehydration is an all-too-common woe, especially in the summer with higher temperatures and an increase in outdoor activities. It is extremely dangerous, as not drinking enough water can lead to fatigue, muscle cramps, migraines, low blood pressure, and even organ failure. 01 of 25 Watermelon Greg DuPree A 1-cup serving of watermelon packs over 1/2 cup of water, in addition to fiber, antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin A, and magnesium. Devour it straight, or try one of these delicious watermelon recipes to dress it up. Try It: Watermelon-Mint Agua Fresca 02 of 25 Cucumber Victor Protasio With 95 percent water content, cucumbers are one of the best veggies for staying hydrated. Serve it in a salad, stir it into pasta with lemon and herbs, or pair it with salmon for the ultimate skin-friendly meal. Try It: Kiwi-Cucumber Relish 03 of 25 Skim Milk Gorchittza2012/Getty Images Unlike many items on this list, this one's not a fresh fruit or vegetable. Skim milk gets its low-calorie count from the large amount of water added to literally "water down" the milk fat. Studies have shown that low-fat milk helps keep us hydrated after exercise, too (compared to plain water and functional beverages). This is due, in part, to the electrolytes and protein in milk, which may help replace fluid loss in our bodies. Try It: Creamy Mango Smoothie 04 of 25 Soups and Broths Alison Miksch Broths and soups are made almost entirely from water. We love the idea of packing Instant Pot pho for your next picnic, or you can try a cold soup like green gazpacho. The extra servings of veggies add plenty more H2O, too. Try It: Ginger-Miso Broth With Wilted Greens 05 of 25 Strawberries Jen Causey About 91 percent of this fruit's weight comes from water. Strawberries are very nutritious, too. Try sipping them in a smoothie, toss them into a fruit parfait, or indulge in one of these sweet strawberry dessert recipes. Try It: Overnight Oats With Strawberries and Toasted Almonds 06 of 25 Oranges Caitlin Bensel There's close to 1/2 cup of water per orange, which makes them a solid source. Read up on how to select and store oranges, then try this ricotta and orange toast recipe to start your day on a sweet but water-filled note. Try It: Cuban Pork Tacos With Orange Slaw 07 of 25 Cantaloupe Victor Protasio One cup of cantaloupe is composed of about 90 percent water and delivers more than 1/2 cup of water per serving. We love this fruit for many reasons, but one of our favorites is it can be served in sweet or savory dishes. Try grilled cantaloupe and prosciutto skewers or this sweet sparkling cantaloupe lemonade at your next get-together. Try It: Cantaloupe-Coconut Ice Pops 08 of 25 Lettuce Greg DuPree Both iceberg and romaine lettuces are good sources of water. While darker greens are more nutritionally dense, iceberg lettuce is great for hydration. Try a bit of chopped iceberg lettuce on your burger for added crispness. Romaine lettuce provides hydration, plus vitamins A and C and fiber. It's the base of most Caesar salads, or you can add it to a green salad for your next pizza night. Try It: Japanese-Style Shrimp Salad 09 of 25 Celery Jennifer Causey Celery is a go-to lunch snack—and with good reason. It's full of water and fiber and is easy to eat on the go. The classic ants on a log—nut butter on the celery stalk with raisins on top—delivers a hydrating, protein-rich snack. Try It: Spicy Fennel Fried Shrimp and Celery 10 of 25 Coconut Water Getty Images The benefits of coconut water are many—from hydration and vitamin C to electrolytes (like magnesium and potassium). Read the label when choosing coconut water, as some contain added sugars and preservatives; it's best to stick with 100 percent pure coconut water. And don't confuse it with coconut milk, an entirely different product. Try It: Coconut Water Margarita 11 of 25 Grapefruit Greg DuPree This citrus fruit contains plenty of water, as does grapefruit juice. In addition, grapefruits have other health benefits, like fiber and vitamin C. You can eat a whole grapefruit for breakfast, add it to a salad, or juice it for a refreshing drink. Try It: Grapefruit, Beet, and Radish Salad 12 of 25 Apples Greg DuPree Apples are a delicious snack and work wonderfully in desserts—like a classic apple pie. But they're also an ideal snack for increased hydration as they're comprised of about 85 percent water. Eat them whole, or add them to your favorite salad. Try It: Sheet Pan Pork With Fennel and Apples 13 of 25 Tomatoes Hans Gissinger While commonly used as a vegetable, this fruit is full of water and antioxidants like lycopene. With so many types of tomatoes available for use in plenty of recipes, this is an excellent food to add to your diet. Try It: Whole Grain Spaghetti With Kale and Tomatoes 14 of 25 Yellow Squash Caitlin Bensel This variety of summer squash can be eaten cooked or raw, and both forms provide the same quantity of water. Other types of squash are also nutritional. You can eat yellow squash similarly to zucchini—in salads, sliced for dipping, roasted, and more. Try It: Summer Squash Farro Bowl 15 of 25 Radishes Victor Protasio The health benefits of radishes are numerous—antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin C, in addition to providing water for your body. Try adding this root vegetable to salads and slaws, or make one of these delicious radish recipes. Try It: Radish Chicharrones 16 of 25 Asparagus Greg DuPree Commonly served roasted or grilled, asparagus can also be eaten raw. Whether you cook asparagus or eat it raw, you'll gain the same amount of water to hydrate your body. If you prefer to cook this veggie, try one of these quick 30-minute asparagus recipes. Try It: Roasted Asparagus With Flax Seed-Walnut Crumble 17 of 25 Zucchini Sheri Giblin Zucchini is another nutritional summer squash. Just 1 cup of this veggie has 95 percent water, so it's an excellent food for hydration. Try it raw or cooked (roasted zucchini is a great side dish for dinner)—either way, you'll gain the same amount of water. Try It: Zucchini Frittata With Parmesan 18 of 25 Bell Peppers Jonny Valiant Though all bell peppers are nutritious and help with hydration, green bell peppers have the highest amount of water. Try bell peppers raw for a healthy snack or grill them and serve as a topping for other foods. Try It: Southwestern Stuffed Peppers 19 of 25 Cauliflower Heami Lee The nutritional benefits of cauliflower can't be denied. Unlike some vegetables, if you prefer to cook cauliflower instead of eating it raw, you will get more water. It's a good thing cauliflower rice is so easy to make. Try It: Punjabi Cauliflower 20 of 25 Cabbage Victor Protasio Like cauliflower, cabbage provides more water when cooked, though it has plenty if eaten raw too. This is true for all well-known varieties of cabbage. Learning how to store cabbage properly can help it last longer, so you can enjoy it in various recipes—beyond slaw. Try It: Beef and Cabbage Skillet Supper 21 of 25 Spinach Yunhee Kim Spinach is a fabulous addition to many dishes, like salads, sandwiches, and smoothies. In addition to the many health benefits of spinach—iron, calcium, fiber, and more—this leafy green contains a high water content. Try It: Sausage, Spinach, and Provolone Pizza 22 of 25 Peaches Victor Protasio Fiber is just one of the many nutritional benefits of peaches. They're also full of water, making them a filling and hydrating snack. Try It: Vanilla Peaches in Rosé 23 of 25 Mushrooms Jen Causey Though mushrooms are full of nutrients, if you're looking for the highest water content, it's best to eat them raw. Be sure to clean and wash mushrooms thoroughly before eating or cooking them. Try It: Creamy Mushroom Soup With Chives 24 of 25 Watercress Quentin Bacon A popular spring vegetable, watercress can be eaten raw or cooked. It contains lots of water and works wonderfully in salads, soups, or as a sandwich topping. Try It: Seared Tilapia With Watercress-Mango Salad 25 of 25 Plain Yogurt Victor Protasio With more than 80 percent water content, plain yogurt is a tasty and water-filled snack. Combine yogurt with strawberries for even more hydration. Or try adding it to a few of your creamy recipes. Try It: Chimichurri Yogurt Dip 10 Super-Hydrating Drinks That Are Way More Interesting Than a Glass of Water Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit Sources Real Simple is committed to using high-quality, reputable sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts in our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we fact check our content for accuracy. Popkin, B. M., E, K., & Rosenberg, I. H. (2010). Water, hydration, and health. Nutrition Reviews, 68(8), 439-458. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2010.00304.x Volterman KA, Obeid J, Wilk B, Timmons BW. Effect of milk consumption on rehydration in youth following exercise in the heat. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2014 Nov;39(11):1257-64. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2014-0047. Epub 2014 Jul 7. PMID: 25171815.