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.

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-Mint Agua Fresca Served in Three Clear Glasses With Mint Garnish
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.

02 of 25


Kiwi-Cucumber Relish Served in a Bowl With Pita Chips for Dipping
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.

03 of 25

Skim Milk

Creamy Mango Smoothie With 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.

04 of 25

Soups and Broths

Ginger-Miso Broth With Wilted Greens in a White Bowl With a Boiled Egg
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.

05 of 25


Overnight Oats With Strawberries and Toasted Almonds in a White Bowl With Metal Spoon for Eating
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.

06 of 25


Four Cuban Pork Tacos With Orange Slaw Served on Orange Plates
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.

07 of 25


Five Cantaloupe Coconut Ice Pops on a Circular Plate
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.

08 of 25


Japanese-Style Shrimp Salad With Romaine Lettuce and Avocado in a Serving Bowl
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.

09 of 25


Spicy Fennel Fried Shrimp and Celery on a White Oval Serving Platter With Black Serving Utensils
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.

10 of 25

Coconut Water

two coconut water margaritas served with straws
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.

11 of 25


Grapefruit, Beet, and Radish Salad on a White Serving Platter With a Metal Serving Spoon
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.

12 of 25


Sheet Pan Pork With Fennel and Apples Served on a Baking Sheet With a Carving Fork and Knife to the Side
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.

13 of 25


Whole Grain Spaghetti With Kale and Tomatoes Served on a White Plate
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.

14 of 25

Yellow Squash

Summer Squash Farro Bowl With Avocado and Chickpeas and a Side of Greek Yogurt
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.

15 of 25


Radish Chicharrones in Salsa Verde Served in a Large Platter
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.

16 of 25


Roasted Asparagus With Flax Seed-Walnut Crumble on a Serving Platter With Wooden Tongs for Serving
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.

17 of 25


Zucchini Frittata With Parmesan Served in a Cast-Iron Skillet
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.

18 of 25

Bell Peppers

Southwestern Stuffed Red Bell Peppers in a Baking Pan
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.

19 of 25


Punjabi Cauliflower Side Dish on a Serving Platter With Metal Serving Spoons
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.

20 of 25


Beef and Cabbage Skillet Supper Served in a White Skillet With a Wooden Spoon for Serving
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.

21 of 25


Sausage, Spinach, and Provolone Pizza on a Wooden Cutting Board
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.

22 of 25


Vanilla Peaches in Rosé Served With Ice Cream in Three Bowls
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.

23 of 25


Creamy Mushroom Soup With Chives in a Deep White Pot With a Metal Ladle for Serving, Surrounded By Two Bowls of Soup and Bread
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.

24 of 25


Seared Tilapia With Watercress-Mango Salad on a White Plate With a Metal Fork for Eating on Top of a Yellow Cloth Napkin
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.

25 of 25

Plain Yogurt

Chimichurri Yogurt Dip in a Small Bowl Served With Watermelon Radishes, Lettuce, and Red Cabbage
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.

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  1. 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

  2. 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.

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