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21 Ways to Eat Your Water

Water can come in more than just a glass. It can come on a plate, too!

Serve our Mediterranean salad as a side dish or main course!

We’ve all heard it before: eight glasses a day! But for those of us who can’t seem to drink enough water, eating foods with a high-water content is a great option. Finding ways to eat your water instead of drink it will help you avoid dehydration and meet daily recommendations by putting water on your plate, instead of just in your glass. What are you waiting for? Let’s get hydrated!

Related: 13 Summer Recipes to Help You Stay Hydrated

Symptoms of Dehydration

eat your water to avoid dehydration

Dehydration can wreak havoc on your body in a number of ways. Many of us experience these symptoms every day without realizing they can be solved in such an easy way (by drinking– or eating your water!) Symptoms of dehydration include, but are not limited to: 

  • Confusion and the inability to focus
  • Dizziness and lightheadedness
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Dry mouth, lips, and eyes
  • Muscle weakness

Luckily, you can fight dehydration by incorporating any of the thirst-quenching ingredients below into your daily meal plan! The more you eat, the better hydrated you will be!

The Importance of Hydration

importance of hydration

Getting plenty of fluids is about way more than fighting off dehydration though. Everything in your body actually relies on fluid to function properly. Water is directly related to your overall health by:

  • Moving oxygen and nutrients through the blood to your cells
  • Lowering stress on the heart
  • Preventing muscle cramping
  • Lubricating joints
  • Helping to keep skin cells plump and young-looking
  • Diminishing and preventing the formation of cellulite
  • Flushing toxins from the body
  • Keeping your digestive system regular
  • Helping to prevent kidney stones

Related: Dietitian Approved Foods that Promote Beautiful Skin 

As you can see, adequate hydration is essential to living your healthiest life. But drinking plain, boring water all day can be a real drag. So, let’s take a look at some of the tastiest (and healthiest) ways to eat your water!

21 Delicious Ways to Eat Your Water

healthy wedge salad with iceberg lettuce

In addition to drinking fluids, eating for hydration will help you meet your daily water intake-needs. The following hydrating foods give you 21 ways to eat your water! 

Because of their high water content, these fruits and vegetables are extremely low in calories yet offer many different vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and more! Just remember that these ingredients must be eaten raw, as cooking will diminish water content. Let’s get to it!

Cucumber: 96% water

cucumber melon detox drink

First on our list of water-rich foods is cucumber! This refreshing veggie can be enjoyed in a number of ways, from salads to snacks, and even in smoothies and beverages!

Our 6-Ingredient Mediterranean Salad is full of hydrating produce, but so is this scrumptious Cucumber Melon Detox Drink

Iceberg lettuce: 96% water

Asian Chicken and Veggie Lettuce Wraps

There are so many easy ways to add iceberg lettuce to your lunch or dinner! Use it as a base for a Healthy Wedge Salad or as cups for our Asian Chicken and Veggie Lettuce Wraps

Celery: 95% water

Celery with Simple Red Pepper Dip

This crunchy veggie is one of our favorite healthy snacks! Dip it into some creamy peanut butter, our Skinny Ranch Dip, or this Simple Red Pepper Dip.

Radish: 95% water

chicken and veggie sandwich with radishes

Add to any sandwich for color, crunch, and extra water! This Chicken and Crisp Veggie Sandwich is so good! You can also enjoy radishes in a salad, like in our Citrus and Spinach Salad with Creamy Lemon Dressing.

Red tomato: 94% water

tomato, spinach, and hummus sandwich

This fruit is a good source of vitamin A, lycopene, and is super easy to add to a number of dishes! Give our Caprese Quinoa Salad a try. You can also check out this popular Tomato, Hummus, and Spinach Sandwich! It has two hydrating foods in it! 

Zucchini: 95% water

zucchini noodle tomato salad

Stay hydrated with our delicious 15-Minute Zucchini Noodle Tomato Salad with Balsamic Dressing. For such a low-calorie salad, it’s quite rich in filling fiber!

Grapes: 92% water

banana grape smoothie

Energize with this Banana Grape Smoothie for breakfast, and enjoy this Fig, Grape, and Spinach Salad for lunch or dinner.

Bell Peppers: 92% water

Bell Pepper Cream Cheese Snackers

We like to think outside the box when it comes to discovering ways to eat your water. Our Bell Pepper Turkey Sandwich is a super creative way to enjoy raw bell pepper! You might also like to try these Simple Bell Pepper Cream Cheese Snackers

Green cabbage: 93% water

Tangy apple and green cabbage slaw

Some ingredients can be a little tougher to work into your diet– like raw cabbage! Not to worry. Our Creamy and Tangy Apple and Red Cabbage Slaw is a delicious side dish or even fish taco topping!

While it contains more red cabbage than green, it’s still a super hydrating recipe! Green cabbage is made up of 93% water while red cabbage contains just over 90%. Red cabbage is a better source of nutrients though, making them both fantastic options!

Related: Stay Cool This Summer with Flavored Waters

Cauliflower: 92% water

coconut curry cauliflower

Raw cauliflower is a fantastic snack with a side of our Plant-Based Ranch Dressing, but readers rave about this Coconut Curry Cauliflower dish.

Spinach: 92% water

coconut milk smoothie with spinach

Not only do we love spinach for its hydrating properties, but it’s also a nutritional powerhouse. Spinach is a great source of B vitamins as well as vitamin k, magnesium, potassium, and folate. 

We love blending some fresh spinach into a Coconut Milk Smoothie in the morning. It’s also a super easy ingredient to add into any salad! Our Strawberry, Avocado, and Spinach Salad is a personal favorite. 

Strawberries: 92% water

summer fruit quinoa salad with strawberries

Juicy strawberries are super easy to eat and refreshing on their own (especially during the warmer months!) That said, we love flavoring water with them! Try our Strawberry-Basil Water or this delightful Strawberry Lemonade. You can even throw them into some Greek yogurt for an extra boost of protein or try out this Summer Fruit Quinoa Salad

Watermelon: 92% water

hydrating watermelon spritzer

The name alone is a pretty good indicator that this is a hydrating food! A good source of lycopene, watermelon (and other melon variations) is a great snack or summertime dessert! Try our Watermelon, Tomato and Feta Salad for a refreshing side dish or make this Easy Watermelon Spritzer.

Grapefruit: 91% water

grapefruit salad for hydration

Along with other citrus fruits, grapefruit is a fantastic source of vitamin C. Use any grapefruit variety in this simple Grapefruit and Avocado Salad.

Cantaloupe: 90% water

Eat your water with Cantaloupe Granita

Cool down with this lightly sweet, Cantaloupe Granita. Side note: Honeydew melon is just as hydrating at 90% water, too!

Peach: 88% water

Raspberry peach sorbet

This satisfying summertime fruit can be enjoyed in many unique ways. We love to make this Peach Salsa as a dip for chips or topping for tacos! Of course one of the yummiest ways to eat your water is by making our Raspberry Peach Sorbet. YUM!

Pineapple: 87% water

Pineapple Honey Shrimp Taco Bowl

Another juicy fruit we can’t get enough of is pineapple! Enjoy this tropical fruit in our Pineapple Breeze Smoothie or in this Pineapple Honey Shrimp Taco Bowl

Raspberries: 87% water

basil lime fruit salad with raspberries

One of the best sources of fiber, you can toss raspberries into any smoothie. They’re also super yummy when mixed with yogurt. But if it’s hot outside, our Fresh Lime and Basil Fruit Salad is ultra satisfying (and hydrating) when served cold! 

Cranberries: 87% water

cranberry and brussels sprouts salad

It can be tough to find recipes that use whole cranberries and not dried cranberries, but fresh cranberries can technically be used in place of dried in most dishes! Take our Cranberry and Brussels Sprout Detox Salad, for instance. 

One of our most popular recipes on the site is for this Apple Cider Vinegar and Cranberry Detox Drink

Related:  Flush Away the Fat with These Five Delicious Drinks

Orange: 87% water

hydrate with this skinny orange Julius

Oranges are a great source of vitamin C and calcium, and are probably one of the most popular ways to eat your water! Oranges and sunshine just seem to go together. That’s particularly true with this classic summertime Skinny Orange Julius

Apricot: 86% water

Chicken and zucchini salad with apricots

We love snacking on apricots by themselves, but also love to enjoy them as a salad topper. They add a chewy sweet texture in our Grilled Chicken and Zucchini Salad

Boost Hydration with Natural Flavors

way to increase water intake

While that concludes our list of 21 ways to eat your water, there is another way to use these foods to boost hydration! Toss some in your water bottle for extra flavor!

If you’re not a fan of plain water, adding natural flavor is a fantastic way to make it more interesting. When it tastes good, you’re way more likely to drink it!

We love adding fresh herbs like mint and basil. You can also toss in some lime, lemons, oranges, strawberries, or any other fruit you like. Feel free to play around with it and try out different combinations. If you come up with a good one, be sure to share the recipe in the comment section!

We’ve linked to a few recipes throughout this article, but you may also like: 5 Simple Detox Water Recipes to Boost Metabolism

You might also like to try:

How Much Fluid Should I Drink (or Eat) Per Day?

how much water should i drink

The minimum goal has always been 64 ounces of water (eight 8 oz. glasses per day) however the Mayo Clinic recommends women aim for 11.5 cups per day while men should drink 15.5 cups per day. Even a full gallon of water per day for women would be a fantastic goal to set!

Other Frequently Asked Questions

ACV and Cranberry detox drink

What does it mean to eat your water? Eating your water simply means eating foods that contain a large percentage of water. 

Why should I eat my water? Eating your water is a great way to increase your fluid intake throughout the day, especially for people who have a tough time drinking plain water.

How do I start drinking more water if I don’t like it? Flavoring your water with fresh herbs and fruits is one way to make water more desirable. You may also find you enjoy it more if it’s ice cold (or room temperature). We also recommend drinking a full glass before each meal or snack so you have to sip less throughout the day. 

Is it better to eat your water or drink it? Drinking water is the quickest way to get and stay hydrated. But if you are able to stay better hydrated by eating your water instead, by all means do that!

Now that you’re nice and hydrated, it’s time to work out! Our Facebook and Pinterest pages are full of exercise tips and ideas. Here are some of our favorite sweat-inducing challenges:

Note from the editor: This post was originally published on May 20, 2014.