Have your water and eat it, too!  

By Betty Gold
Updated: May 24, 2019

Summertime is all about fun in the sun—we’re more than ready to spend our days lounging poolside, bonding with our barbecue, and sipping cooling cocktails on the patio. Warm weather and the sweet rays of the sun help hours pass blissfully by right up until…good god, where’d that splitting headache come from?

Dehydration is an all-too-common summer woe. Higher-than-average temperatures combined with lengthy outdoor activities (many of them physical, like gardening or bicycling) command extra water consumption. Add beach boozing and salty snack foods into the mix and you’re practically begging for a bout of dehydration. This is extremely dangerous—not drinking enough water can lead to fatigue, muscle cramps, migraines, low blood pressure, and even organ failure.

Don’t let dehydration spoil your sunshine. Water is always your best bet, but so many fresh summer foods double as a delicious way to give your body the extra H2O it needs. Here are some of our favorites.

Watermelon: A one-cup serving packs over a half cup of water, in addition to fiber, antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin A, and magnesium. Devour it straight, or toss together one of these delicious dishes to dress it up

Cucumbers: At 95% water, this veggie is one of the best for staying hydrated. Serve it in salad, stir into pasta with lemon and herbs, or pair with salmon for the ultimate skin-friendly feast.

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Skim milk: Unlike many of the other items on this list, this one’s not a fresh fruit or vegetable. Skim milk gets its low calorie count from the high amount of water that’s added to literally “water down” the milk fat. Studies have shown that low-fat milk helps to keep us hydrated after exercise as well (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.  

Broth and soup: They’re 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 gazpacho. The extra servings of veggies pack plenty more H2O, too.

Strawberries: About 91% of their weight comes from water. Sip them in a smoothie, toss into a fruit parfait, or indulge in one of these sweet strawberry recipes.

Oranges: There’s close to a half cup per orange, which makes them a super solid source. Read up on how to select, store, and prepare them here, then make one of  these orange floats to pair with your beach book.

Cantaloupe: One cup of cantaloupe is composed of about 90% water and delivers more than a half cup of water per serving. We love this fruit for so many reasons, but one of the top is that it can be served in sweet or savory dishes, like a cantaloupe salad with feta, this mint and citrus side, or in this sweet sparkling lemonade.