6 Best Hydrating Foods for Athletes

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We've all heard the saying that we need eight glasses of water a day to stay hydrated. The truth is that while there is not a generalized recommendation for everyone, we probably do need about eight glasses of water a day or more.  

In fact, the Institute of Medicine estimated that the average, healthy man needs about 13 cups of water per day while the average, healthy woman needs about 9 cups of water per day.

More: Measure Your Sweat Loss for Optimal Hydration

Our bodies are made up of 60 percent water and every system in the body depends on water to function. Water rids the body of toxins, carries nutrients to cells, and prevents dehydration.

However, it is possible to get a decent amount of our water intake from the foods that we eat. In fact, the Institute of Medicine estimates that 80 percent of our water intake comes from beverages while 20 percent comes from food.

More: 15 Hydration Facts for Athletes

Eating foods high in water content can provide the added bonus of fiber, electrolytes and vitamins. This is great news for active athletes, because with food they can replace not only lost water, but also electrolytes that allow for better performance.

Some of my favorite hydrating foods to quench your thirst and replace electrolytes include:

Celery: 96 percent water and provides sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, iron and zinc

Watermelon: 95 percent water and rich in vitamin C

More: How to Create a Race-Day Hydration Plan

Bell Peppers: 92 percent water and rich in vitamin C

Cucumbers: 95 percent water and provides calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium

Strawberries: 92 percent water and rich in potassium

More: Stay Hydrated With High Water Content Foods

Cantaloupe: 90 percent water and rich in potassium

Stock up on these hydrating foods the next time the weather report promises hot weather.

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