12 Food And Drink Hacks To Keep You Hydrated

We've all heard how important it is to stay hydrated. Whether it's to achieve healthy skin, aid in weight loss, help with digestion, or maintain healthy blood pressure, it seems there's no end to the problems that can be solved by drinking enough water (via Medical News Today). It's no wonder staying hydrated is so essential to your health when you consider that between 50% and 70% of your body weight consists of water, according to the Mayo Clinic. Your body heavily relies on that liquid to stay healthy and accomplish daily tasks.

That's even more important to remember during the hot summer months. You'll be spending more time outside in the sun and likely participating in more physical activity than at other times of the year. It's easy to get caught up in fun and forget to drink, but your body will be losing liquid more quickly, so it's all the more important to keep replenishing.

While it's easy to say "stay hydrated," it can be harder to actually do. But staying hydrated doesn't have to mean gulping down full bottles of flavorless water. There are lots of ways to make your water drinking more enjoyable and to work hydration into your food and drinks in other ways. Follow these 12 tips to stay hydrated and keep having fun in the sun all summer long.

Drink your water iced

The first step to staying hydrated is always going to be to make sure you drink enough water. But you can improve on that by taking a little extra time to add plenty of ice to your water. Not only can drinking iced water be more pleasant and make you more likely to drink more, but it's also been found to help you stay hydrated longer.

Even if you're consuming the same amount of liquid, drinking iced water instead of room temperature water may keep your body hydrated longer. Certified nutritionist Brian Bender, Ph.D., explained to Eat This, Not That why drinking iced water is important for athletes or anyone working up a sweat this summer. "Studies have shown that cold beverages improve thermoregulation better during activity in hot environments," Bender said. "Sweating is reduced, as a response, and therefore, your hydration status is improved by lowering water and electrolyte loss."

While ice water may help you keep hydration levels up during activity, it hasn't been found to have as significant of an impact on rehydrating the body. In fact, a 2013 study on the subject found that cool tap water is best for rehydrating after a workout. This conclusion was reached after studying participants who drank water at different temperatures. Regardless of temperature, the real key is to ensure you're drinking enough water. Whatever temperature you enjoy and are more likely to drink water is the best choice for you.

Eat water-dense fruits and vegetables

Apart from chugging water, you can also keep your hydration levels up with the food you eat. According to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, the average woman should consume 11.4 cups (2.7 liters) of total water from all foods and drinks per day while men should have 15.6 cups (3.7 liters) a day to stay hydrated. And that number will only go up based on heat, activity level, and other factors. But drinking that much can be a difficult task, particularly if you don't find yourself naturally reaching for your water bottle.

Fortunately, it doesn't all have to come from drinking water. According to UCLA Health, you get about 20% of your daily water intake from food. So, you can help keep yourself hydrated by picking foods with a high water content! Some of the best options for this are fruits and vegetables. As the name implies, watermelon is a great option. It has a water content of about 92%, making it perfect for staying hydrated; plus, it's a delicious summer fruit that you'll want to be enjoying at barbecues and picnics anyway. Some other excellent water-dense foods to enjoy are strawberries, peaches, oranges, cucumber, and lettuce. You can use fresh fruits and vegetables like these to keep your water levels up throughout the summer. On top of being a great source of hydration, they're healthy and delicious. So, you really can't go wrong here!

Try swapping coffee for tea

You've likely heard that coffee can be dehydrating. This is because it contains large amounts of caffeine. While caffeine is energizing and addictive, it's also a diuretic, which causes liquids to pass through your system more quickly. So, if you're a big coffee drinker, it can make it harder to stay hydrated throughout the day.

One option that allows you to still enjoy a morning brew but decrease the amount of caffeine you're taking in is to switch to tea. Most teas still have caffeine. However, the amount is not as high as what's found in coffee. You could also avoid caffeine entirely by switching to herbal teas. Herbal teas are made of 98% water, so drinking tea in the morning in place of coffee can be a great start to your day and replenish your fluids. Because herbal teas have no caffeine, you can also enjoy them throughout the day and at night without worrying about them keeping you awake.

If you want something more cooling and refreshing, try switching to iced tea instead of iced coffee. Iced tea is a favorite choice for many to keep cool during the summer, and it can also be a good option for hydration. Unless you drink decaffeinated iced tea, you'll still get some caffeine, but it's a better option than standard coffee and will help keep you hydrated.

Invest in a good water bottle

We all know drinking lots of water is important, especially if you're active or outside in the sun. So, why not make getting all the water you need as easy and enjoyable as possible? One of the simplest ways to do this is by keeping a large water bottle on hand. This is especially important if you're hiking, playing a sport, or doing some kind of manual labor, but it is also good to think about during leisure activities, while running errands, or even while in the office or at home. It's always good to keep your liquid levels up.

If you find yourself having a difficult time drinking water, you may want to invest in a good water bottle. A high-quality insulated water bottle will keep your drink cold throughout the day so that drinking is a more pleasant experience, and you'll want to sip more often. Although insulated bottles are a bit pricier, they're worth the investment if it means you'll stay cool and hydrated. If you're in the market for the best water bottle, Hydro Flask, Yeti, and Klean Kanteen are all good options.

Make flavorful water infusions

Struggling to drink enough water throughout the day? Why not make your water more flavorful? A classic way to do this is by adding a lemon wedge to your water glass and squeezing in the juice to enjoy lemon water. However, you can get a lot more creative than that and try a variety of fruit infusions to make a refreshing, flavorful hydrating drink.

To take typical drinking water to the next level, all you have to do is pick out flavorful fruits and herbs that you want to add to your water. Fill a large water bottle or pitcher with your choice of fruit, any other infusion ingredients, and ice cubes. Then pour regular water over the top. Let the fruity water sit in the fridge overnight or for up to 12 hours. The water will slowly soak up flavor from the fruit juices to make a delicious beverage. You can strain out the fruit before drinking to avoid any chunks.

This is an easy and creative way to make your water fun and get you drinking more. Some great options for infusing are strawberries, honeydew, blood oranges, blackberries, cranberries, blueberries, kiwi, cucumber, mint, ginger, and rosemary. Feel free to create different combinations and experiment with your favorite flavor blends.

Try delicious cold soups

Soups are a great food option that's high in liquid content. But most of us aren't tempted by a hot bowl of chicken noodle soup in the middle of summer. So, an excellent solution is making cold soups for lunch, dinner, or as a side dish to accompany your meal.

Gazpacho is one of the most popular varieties of cold soups. It's a traditional Spanish dish made with tomatoes and other vegetables and served cold. The vegetables are delicious and good for you, plus the dish keeps you cool and adds to your hydration as you eat. You could also make cold borscht. This is a flavorful Eastern European soup made with beets that's not only tasty but also hydrating. The fresh beets give it an amazing pinkish-purple color.

Enjoying cold soups can help keep you hydrated and have other health benefits. One Penn State study showed that eating soup before your meal can help you feel satiated faster and help you avoid overeating. So, adding a water-rich cold soup to your meals can be an excellent choice this summer.

Alternate between water and another drink

If you have a hard time motivating yourself to drink enough water but enjoy other kinds of drinks, you can make a more pleasant experience by having two drink options. Rather than forcing yourself to drink water, switch between sipping on water and another beverage you prefer more.

This is a great option if you have a less hydrating beverage like coffee or soda that you can't kick the habit of drinking. Instead of fighting yourself not to drink your favorite beverage, flip between water and your drink of choice. That way, you can replenish your liquids and enjoy yourself. You can do this by having a glass of water after you finish a glass of your other drink or having both drinks by you while you work, so you can alternate between them.

Some TikTok users have already caught onto this idea and taken it a step further with three drink options. In a video shared by user @sophiawpelton they said, "For me, the height of luxury is drinking three liquids at once. You know, like one for fun, one for hydration, and then one for energy." And if that strategy helps you to up your water intake throughout the day, then it's a win.

Drink coconut water

Another amazing and hydrating option for this summer is coconut water. Coconut water is exactly what it sounds like. It's the liquid found inside coconuts. It has a nutty and slightly sour flavor and is quite refreshing when enjoyed cold. Some people even claim coconut water is better for hydrating than regular water. This is because, according to Medical News Today, it's rich in potassium and magnesium and has some sodium, all of which help your body to rehydrate after losing liquids.

Dietitian Maxine Smith, RDN, LD, told the Cleveland Clinic that while coconut water can be good for hydration, it's best enjoyed after a long workout. "Because of the electrolytes, some studies indicate that it can help with hydration specifically related to exercise," Smith said. She went on to explain that the sodium-enriched coconut water used for these studies is best reserved for drinking after a long workout (an hour or more). That's the time when your body will need to replenish those electrolytes found in coconut water. And as far as it being better than water, Smith claims, "Water is still the best way to hydrate."

Coconut water is a low-calorie, hydrating drink option. While you shouldn't use it in place of water, it can be a nice change in pace when you want something a little different.

Enjoy fresh fruit juice

Water is always the go-to pick for hydration, but it gets boring to drink just water all the time. So, when you're looking for a more fun summer beverage, try sipping on fresh fruit juice. Fresh fruit juice typically contains about 85% water, so it will hydrate you even if it doesn't do so as fast as plain water would. Exactly how hydrating the juice is depends on the type of juice you're drinking and the other ingredients apart from fruit juice. For the best hydration, look for drinks containing real fruit juice, not just fruit juice flavor. And opt for juice with less sugar added; ideally, you can find fruit juice with no added sugar.

You can get store-bought fruit juice from trusted brands or make your own fruit juice by squeezing oranges and other fruits yourself. This process is easiest if you own a juicer and can quickly turn fresh fruit into drinkable juice. Concentrated fruit juice will have a very strong, sweet taste. So, you can mix water into the fruit juice before serving. This will increase the water content, and you'll still have an excellent fruity flavor.

Add electrolytes

You've likely heard that sports drinks are good for replenishing electrolytes after a workout. If you're wondering what electrolytes are, the Cleveland Clinic explains them as a group of minerals in your blood that helps regulate the fluids in your body. The three main electrolytes you'll hear about are sodium, potassium, and magnesium. These minerals are lost quickly during exercise and sweating. This loss of electrolytes can lead to dehydration.

After losing electrolytes, you can get them back into your system by adding electrolyte tablets to a regular glass of water or having a sports drink. Speaking to the Cleveland Clinic, registered dietitian Kate Patton shared her advice on when to reach for an electrolyte drink. According to her, you should remember that you'll only need a sports drink (or another electrolyte drink option) after heavy sweating or intense exercise. It can also be a good idea to replenish fluids after you've been sick. Next, make sure to check the label. Check the drink actually contains electrolytes and that there aren't a lot of added sugars or other less desirable ingredients.

Start drinking bone broth

Another way to add to your daily water intake and general health is by drinking bone broth. Bone broth is a clear stock made from boiling down animal bones and connective tissue in water. As the bones cook down, they infuse the liquid with nutrients and flavor. Many soup and sauce recipes may call for bone broth, but you can also drink it on its own.

You may think of bone broth as a winter option, but there's no reason you can't bring it into the summer months to keep you feeling energized and hydrated. While you may not want to eat a full bowl of hot soup in the summer, drinking a glass of bone broth is quick, easy, and highly beneficial.

Because the bone broth is primarily made of water, it helps to hydrate you. Though exact nutrition depends on the animal bones used, it's generally a good source of magnesium, which is an essential electrolyte to keep you hydrated. Along with that, it often contains calcium, vitamins A and B, collagen, and other essential vitamins and minerals (via Healthline).

Drink water while eating meals

Finally, you can stay hydrated this summer by incorporating water into your daily routine, including during meals. While there has been some speculation over the years that drinking water while eating can inhibit the digestive process, that has widely been found to be false, according to the Mayo Clinic. Celebrity nutritionist and author Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN, wrote in Nutritious Life that water actually aids the digestive process. "Water (and other liquids) help break down food so your body can better absorb the nutrients you're eating," she wrote.

She also explained that drinking water or another beverage during your meal slows down how fast you eat your food. This is a good thing because it gives you time to check in with your "hunger signals" to recognize when you're full and avoid overeating. So, overall, it's perfectly healthy and hydrating to have a glass of water along with your meal.