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How to Stay Hydrated without Chugging Water All Day

A man pouring water from a bottle into a glass during a work meeting.
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Drinking enough water can be both the easiest and most challenging way to stay healthy. Whether you’re dieting or you’re just trying to stay properly hydrated, if you’re struggling to drink the recommended two liters of water per day, you’re not alone. What you might not know is that there are other sources you can turn to.

In theory, staying hydrated should be as easy as sipping some water a few times each hour. In reality, though, you could find yourself lugging a one-gallon jug everywhere and running to the restroom every 15 minutes. That’s why we’re sharing some other sources that you can seek out to get your daily dose of H2O.

Hydrate with Food

A bowl of vegetable soup on a cutting board next to a celery stalk, an onion, and some sliced carrots.
margouillat photo/Shutterstock

Plenty of plant-based foods contain high amounts of water (They rely on it to grow, after all.). Dipping veggies (like tomatoes, celery, and cucumbers) in some hummus is both a satisfying and hydrating snack.

Fruits, like watermelons, strawberries, and grapefruits, are over 90% water. Peaches, pears, and most berries are also quite hydrating.

Other foods that you can utilize for your water intake include soups and stews, especially those with a broth base. Make your soup go the extra mile by filling it with water-rich vegetables. Oatmeal and cereal are also great hydrating breakfast options because they rely heavily on water or milk.

Finally, sipping smoothies also offers unlimited possibilities for rehydrating your system. Popular ingredients, like yogurt, fruits, and veggies, add nutrients, while base items, like water, milk, and ice, amp up the liquid amount.

This personal blender makes it easy to whip up a smoothie at the office or while traveling, so you get enough water no matter where you are.

Water Alternatives

Water is by far the best hydrating substance for your body. But we get it—plain old H2O can get boring.

Fortunately, there are some healthy alternatives that you can drink instead of water a few times during the day. Coconut water has a tropical taste and contains natural electrolytes for extra hydrating power. You can enjoy it on its own or add it to smoothies for the flavor.

Other water alternatives include tea, vegetable juice, or naturally flavored seltzer water. Natural fruit juices are fine as well, but most contain high amounts of sugar and should be enjoyed in moderation.

Avoid Dehydrating Food and Beverages

A man drinking a glass of water while his friends drink alcohol.
Dusan Petkovic/Shutterstock

Another way to stay hydrated that you might not think about at first is to avoid foods and drinks that have the opposite effect. Alcohol, for example, is a diuretic. This means that it causes fluids to move through your system much faster than you can replenish them.

You can balance this effect by limiting your alcohol consumption and making sure that you have a glass of water after every drink.

Foods that are high in salt and carbs can also be dehydrating. They both draw water from other parts of the body and decrease the overall amount in your system. If you’re actively trying to improve your hydration, limiting these foods is a good idea. Try replacing them with low-sodium or low-carb recipes.

Staying hydrated is good for you, but it can be a chore and a bore. If you’ve just started increasing your water intake or have been doing it for a while and just want a bit more variety, try incorporating these alternatives. Anything that keeps you at it is a good idea!

As we mentioned above, low-carb recipes can help you stay hydrated, so give these delicious dishes a shot.

Anne Taylor Anne Taylor
Anne Taylor is a writer with a BA in Journalism and a passion for storytelling. Her work has been published on a variety of websites including Mental Floss and Well + Good, and she recently published her first novel, What it Takes to Lose. When she's not writing, Anne loves to travel (19 countries and counting), spend time outside, and play with her dog, Pepper. Read Full Bio »
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