Two gallons. That's about how much water a hard-pedaling cyclist should guzzle on a hot day, according to the Institute of Medicine. The good news: You don't have to mainline H2O to fill up. Top off your tank with foods that are high in water, says Tara Gidus, RD, an Orlando-based sports dietitian. Reach for these hydrating foods on a hot day to take a bite out of your thirst.
Made up of 90 percent water, melon is an ideal recovery snack. "It replaces glycogen stores quickly," says David Grotto, RDN, author of "The Best Things You Can Eat."
These gems contain up to 92 percent water and are rich in anthocyanins, which give them their deep hues and reduce post-workout inflammation and joint pain.
It contains sodium, the most important electrolyte to replace. Choose brothy varieties or one with vegetables, which offer nutrients to round out the electrolyte mix.
As they cook, grains such as quinoa, rice, and oatmeal soak up water, which your body absorbs during digestion. Oatmeal's soluble fiber also sucks up cholesterol.
At 92 percent water, these are among the most hydrating of all vegetables. They're also packed with vitamins C (one red bell pepper has 253 percent of your daily value) and A.
Iceberg leads the pack at 96 percent water, but other varieties, such as romaine, are more nutritious and nearly as aqueous.
A cuke is as water-rich as lettuce, and its peel contains silica, which promotes elasticity in joints, skin and fingernails.
At 95 percent water, it's low in calories and high in fiber, both of which can aid in calorie management.
Citrus fruits contain lots of vitamin C, which helps buffer stress on your body. It also supports your immune system. Eat these fruits after an intense workout to refuel your body and help with hydration.
You might not realize it, but broccoli is actually more than 80% water! Plus, this veggie is high in natural antioxidants, which help the body protect itself from free radicals.
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Hydrating Foods FAQs
What should I drink after exercising in the heat?
While water is important both during and after working out, there are some other drinks that can help you replenish nutrients more quickly, especially when it’s hot outside. Chocolate milk is a great option because it has carbohydrates and protein. Coconut water is hydrating and high in electrolytes, ideal for replenishing energy. Iced green tea is another great option.
Why are electrolytes important after a hot workout?
Electrolytes help the body retain water. Drinking electrolytes after a long run or workout in the heat can help your body rehydrate more quickly.
What are the signs of dehydration?
Dark yellow urine, dizziness, dry mouth, dry eyes, and general tiredness are all signs of dehydration. You should be drinking more when it’s hot outside to keep your body hydrated. Drink 10 to 15 ounces every 30 minutes when working out in the heat.