Why is water important? Your body is made up of approximately 60% water. It plays an important role in controlling body temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate, not to mention healthy skin, hair, and nails. Read our previous article to learn more about the importance of hydration.
To stay hydrated, you should drink adequate amounts of water throughout the day. That said, there are other sources of water. But while our daily water requirement can be sourced from anything that contains water, not all of them are hydrating or healthy. In this article, we will discuss what counts as water.
Aside from Water, What Are Some Good Ways to Get Hydrated?
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits are excellent sources of water. Watermelon is 90% water, so it’s an excellent choice. Oranges, grapefruit, and melons such as cantaloupe and honeydew are also good choices.
Vegetables are also a nutrient-rich source of water (although they don’t contain as much water as fruit). Some examples include cucumbers, celery, green peppers, tomatoes, and Romaine lettuce.
Other Sources of Water
Still wondering what counts as water? Besides water, non-dairy milk is a good option to refuel. Some popular non-dairy milks are almond milk, oat milk, soy milk, rice milk, and coconut milk. There are other sources of water that you can include in your diet, such as soup, oatmeal, non-diary yogurt, and smoothies.
OK Sources of Water
Coffee & Tea
But in high quantities, they can have diuretic effects because of their caffeine content. Caffeine causes the body to make more urine than usual. Drinking too much caffeine in lieu of water is actually more dehydrating than hydrating.
Having said that, not all teas contain much caffeine. If you’re an herbal tea drinker, you’re probably okay.
Tip: Drinking moderate amounts of coffee or tea alongside your regular water intake can keep you well hydrated. However, drinking large amounts, such as 5 cups per day (500 mg of caffeine a day) can be dehydrating, so make sure you are also drinking plain water, too.
Fruit Juices That Can Be Found in Stores
Many fruit juices sold in supermarkets and grocery stores are processed and have high amounts of sugar. On average, an 8-ounce serving of processed fruit juice contains about 30 grams of sugar (almost the same as a 12-ounce can of soda, or putting 7 teaspoons of sugar in a cup of coffee!) Furthermore, a majority of commercial fruit juices don’t contain fiber and other nutrients found in whole fruits. You would be better off if you eat fresh fruits and vegetables instead.
Not So Good Sources of Water
Sodas and Other Sugary Drinks
Sugar-sweetened beverages can increase the risk for diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Although they contain high amounts of water, they can actually make you thirstier because of their high sugar content. When sugar particles enter the blood, they cause water to move out of the cells and into the blood to restore balance.
Alcohol is a dehydrator. As such, you should try to limit your alcohol intake. Read this article to learn more about the negative effects of alcohol.
Final Thoughts on What Counts as Water
Staying hydrated is important for the entire body. But just because something has a high water content doesn’t necessarily mean that it is hydrating. As much as possible, avoid sugary drinks and highly processed beverages that may make you feel more thirsty than hydrated. Plain water is still the best! But if you’re getting tired of the taste of plain water, you can add lemon or lime to it. You can also supplement your water intake by eating fruits and vegetables every day.
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