By Danielle Bolger
Water is essential to a healthy lifestyle, but how much you should drink depends on your health, activity levels, and even where you live. It makes up about 60 percent of your body weight, yet studies have shown that nearly half of Americans aren’t drinking enough of it.
Staying hydrated doesn’t have to mean strictly guzzling glass after glass of water all day. Remind yourself to rehydrate after a Pilates workout or just a night out by setting hourly alarms (your alcohol to water intake should be 1:1 per hour), or make a game out of it and see how many times you versus a friend/family member/coworker can refill your water bottle throughout the day. Then try out some of our suggestions to up your H2O intake, no matter what kind of drinker you are.
If chugging water is as natural to you as breathing air, try mixing up the flavor. Skip those store-bought flavor enhancement powders and syrups, and opt for flavorful herbs, fruits and veggies. Try these colorful combos for high-flavor H2O:
- Cucumber and Lemon
- Raspberry and Mint
- Watermelon and Basil
- Pineapple and Rosemary
- Orange, Lemon, Lime and Cilantro
If you prefer eating to drinking (and let’s face it, most of us do!), there are plenty of ways to stay hydrated by eating water-rich fruits and veggies. According to the University of Kentucky, apricots, blueberries, oranges, peaches, pineapples, plums, raspberries and melons are great options, all with a water content level of 85 percent or higher. Fresh cucumber, celery, iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, and zucchini, as well as nutrient-rich veggies like broccoli, eggplant and spinach are also great choices for a more savory, water-rich meal. Whip up a batch of gazpacho for a refreshing summer soup that will keep you cool and hydrated on a hot day.
Contributed by Trey Foshee on FoodandWine.com
3 pounds tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped
1 seedless cucumber, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 red bell peppers, coarsely chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and refrigerate overnight.
In a blender, puree the vegetables until smooth. Strain the soup into a deep bowl, season with salt and pepper, and serve.*
*The Potomac Pilates Way:
Top your gazpacho with diced mangos, slices of avocado, shaved radish and cucumber, and a drizzle of basil-infused oil for a gourmet touch.
If the only way you like your water is in the form of ice cubes, there are still plenty of other drinks to dabble with for hydration.
- Try coconut water, which is high in vitamins and minerals, low in calories, and is an all-natural isotonic beverage, which means it has the exact proportion of electrolytes that human cells and plasma contain.
- Juices and sports drinks can be high in sugar, but diluting them with water or sparkling water can help you get more hydration benefit.
- Although caffeinated drinks are classified as diuretics, beverages made with water like coffee and tea are still great alternatives to hydrate with, according to WebMD.com, which says the diuretic effect does not offset hydration.
- Smoothies containing water-rich fruits and veggies, ice, and even milk will help keep you hydrated. Try blending strawberries, watermelon, and pineapple for a punch of flavor!