Are You Getting Enough Water?

Water is the single most important element of the human body. It makes up more than two-thirds of our body weight and helps every cell and organ to function properly. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), water also acts as a lubricant, keeping our joints loose and body temperature regulated through perspiration. Our digestive system is also dependent on our water intake, as water helps food move through the intestines properly.

Fortunately, you can look beyond the faucet to reach your adequate daily water intake, which is about 13 cups for men and 9 for women, according to the Institute of Medicine. Beverages like milk and juice are made up of predominately water. Consuming foods touting high water content is also an effective way to reach your daily water goal. “Hydrating foods contain a large percentage of water, and as the body digests them, it uses that water to function,” says registered dietitian Debi Zvi.

Incorporate these foods and drinks into your routine to meet your daily fluid needs:

  • Fruits: Tomato, watermelon and grapefruit are high in water content and can be consumed any time of day. Fruits like these are also low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals, says Zvi, so you can fill up on them throughout the day virtually guilt-free.
  • Vegetables: Cucumber, broccoli, spinach and cauliflower are made up of more than 90 percent water and are great additions to lunchtime salads and soups. Carrots, peas and even potatoes contain a high concentration of water, so consider them at dinnertime.
  • Grains: Cooked whole-grain products, which may not seem high in water content, can contain up to one-third water. For a healthy, hydrating way to start your day, add milk, which has high levels of water, to your morning bowl of grains and top it with fruit.

Yogurt: Another way to power up your breakfast -- and boost your water intake -- is with yogurt, which Zvi says is a hydrating food. Top yours with high-water fruits like blueberries or raspberries; for texture and crunch, top add a fiber-rich cereal, such as Kellogg’s® All-Bran® Bran Buds®.