Cottage Cheese Is An Undercover Hydration Booster

When it comes to hydration, the common narrative is to drink eight glasses of water per day. However, the National Academy of Medicine actually recommends that men consume 13 cups of water per day and that women consume nine cups. That might seem like a lofty goal if you were already struggling to get those eight glasses in.

The good news is that all that H20 doesn't need to come from a faucet. Instead, a portion of your daily water consumption can come from food. You may already know that there's a ton of water in vegetables like lettuce, spinach, and carrots and fruits like watermelon and grapefruit. But did you know that milk is actually one of the most hydrating foods you can consume, even rivaling water itself? So it stands to reason that cottage cheese would be, too.

About 80% of cottage cheese is water, which is nearly as much as some fruits like grapes (which clocks in at 82%). And while a high water content is crucial for a food to be hydrating, cottage cheese packs a hydration punch in another way, too.

What else makes cottage cheese hydrating?

When it comes to staying hydrated, salt also plays a starring role. While you may be more familiar with thinking of salt as dehydrating, it's actually an essential ingredient for staying hydrated. As an electrolyte, salt helps to balance the body by aiding it in holding onto water. This is where cottage cheese doubles down on its hydrating powers.

By eating food that has a high water content, with the inclusion of some sodium, you're not only feeding your body the water it needs, but you're also helping it keep that water, too. Plus, if you're trying to rehydrate after exercising or spending a long time in the sun, you'll need to replenish the salt you lost when sweating.

In addition to salt, protein is a necessary part of the equation for staying hydrated. Protein supports the body by retaining water, as well. Cottage cheese can pack a protein punch with 12 gramsĀ in a half-cup serving.

More foods that will help you stay hydrated

There are several other foods that will help you ditch dehydration, too. The most notable other dairy product may be yogurt. Like cottage cheese, it has both a high water content (at 88%) and a decent amount of protein.

Broth and soups are hydration powerhouses, too, especially since they often contain some sodium in addition to water. Incorporating vegetables will boost the water content, of course, but so will adding kidney beans or brown rice. And another option for fueling up and getting closer to your daily hydration goals is protein-rich seafood. Shrimp has a water content level in the 70-79% range, and more than two-thirds of canned tuna is water (exclusive of the water in which it may be packed).

Finally, if you're looking for beverages outside of water, juice is an option, but it may come as a surprise that so are tea and coffee. Just like the eight-glass-per-day recommendation is antiquated, so is the idea that caffeinated beverages can't contribute to your hydration goals. More recent research has upended the theory that the beverages are inferior for hydrating, meaning you can now count that morning matcha or mid-day latte toward your daily water goal.