The Absolute Best Foods To Effortlessly Boost Hydration

Liquids may be the best way to stay hydrated in hot summer weather, but certain foods can also prove useful in providing the fluids our bodies need. In fact, according to the National Council on Aging, nearly 20% of the hydration we receive each day comes from the foods we eat.

It's common knowledge that fruits and vegetables are good for us, but it turns out one of the reasons for this is that they often have extremely high water content. Where hydration is concerned, it almost always comes back to water. Celery famously has a high water content — 95%, to be exact — but two other foods are even richer in this regard. Cucumber and iceberg lettuce are both 96% water, according to UCLA Health.

These three veggies are the absolute best foods when it comes to supplementing our hydration levels. But three fruits — tomatoes (94% water), watermelon (92%), and strawberries (92%) — aren't far behind. Virtually all fruits and vegetables provide excellent hydration, with only a select few, like bananas, having a water content below 80%. 

Some foods are good for hydration, others are not

In addition to their high water content, fruits and vegetables offer the added benefit of being rich in fiber. Fruits, in particular, are a great choice as summer temperatures heat up, since they can be enjoyed as either snacks or beverages. Fresh fruit juices and smoothies help to replenish hydration and essential electrolytes, per Healthline, and water infused with fruits like coconut or cucumber can also prove beneficial in healthily improving hydration levels.

It should be noted, however, that just as many foods and beverages can have a positive impact on our hydration, the reverse is also possible. Many already know, for example, that certain drinks, like alcohol or sugary sodas, can lead to dehydration due to their diuretic qualities. In the case of food, it's typically too much salt that is the issue, so it's important to moderate your consumption of salty snacks like potato chips or other savory indulgences.

The hydrating power of soups and broths

It's not just naturally grown foods with high water contents that have hydrating powers, as prepared foods like soups and stews can also help our bodies stay hydrated. Yep, turns out chicken noodle soup isn't just good for your soul. It's good for the body, too.

Of course, it should be noted that most soups also have high water content, with the majority checking in above 92%, per Healthline. Chicken broth has one of the highest water contents, but all broths are water-based, and thus inherently hydrating. Thicker soups and stews may not be quite as helpful in this regard, but soups which feature vegetables — like gazpacho, for instance — are both hydrating and nutritional.

The one thing to watch out for with soups is the sodium level. A considerable number of canned soups are known to contain high levels of salt, something to bear in mind during your next grocery trip.