Monday, March 24, 2014

Not Hydrated Enough? Try Eating More Water

 As a student and a young professional (YP), I understand when people say they don't get enough water in their day. Simply put, it is a daunting task! A busy lifestyle makes it hard for us to keep our body properly hydrated - and all those after work drinks and coffee to keep you awake through the day doesn't help either! Did you know that for every cup of coffee you drink, you need 2 cups of water in order to prevent dehydration. But you don't necessarily have to drink all your water (Tevlin, Adele). Roughly 20% of your natural intake of water is actually through solid foods - especially fruits and vegetables

F e e l i n g  t h i r s t y ? Y o u  a r e  a l r e a d y  d e h y d r a t e d
Most people are used to the extreme signs of dehydration: weakness, light headedness but many people are actually walking around with some degree of dehydration. Got a headache? Always snacking? Can't concentrate? Having a brain fart? Don't reach for more coffee - your body could simply be craving a cup of water.

A majority of the times you get sudden and random cravings, your body is really just saying "I'm so thirsty, I will even accept that cheese burger over there so I can get SOME kind of liquid in me!". If you are hungry AND thirsty at the same time, your body is truly dehydrated and is hitting the satiety signal in the brain So the next time you want to snack, reach for a bottle of water first because it might just be your body begging for some fluids.

It is recommended that you drink have your body weight in water ounces which roughly translates to 8-12 glasses of water a day, as we have always been taught. Sure we know how to do it, but if downing water just has not become a regular habit, incorporating more water-rich foods into our diet can provide us with a more sustained hydration period.

Cucumbers contain 96.7% water.. the highest in any solid food!
The top 15 fruits and vegetables that have the most water content in them (via ABC News):

  1. Cucumber (96.7% water)
  2. Iceberg lettuce (95.6% water)
  3. Celery (95.4% water)
  4. Radishes (95.3% water)
  5. Tomatoes (94.5%)
  6. Green Peppers (93.9%)
  7. Cauliflower (92.1%)
  8. Watermelon (91.5%)
  9. Spinach (91.4%)
  10. Starfruit (91.4%)
  11. Strawberry (91%)
  12. Broccoli (90.7%)
  13. Grapefruit (90.5%)
  14. Baby Carrots (90.4%)
  15. Cantaloupe (90.2%)
Okay, is anyone else shocked that watermelon is not higher on that list? To be honest, I never would have expected celery and cauliflower to have more water content than watermelon!

Q u e n c h  a n d  M u n c h
By ingesting water in food form, we benefit from the food's nutritional and antioxidant properties as well as longer sustained hydration. Food with high water content also contain properties to clear the mind, lubricate muscles and lose weight. Water-rich foods also tend to be lower calorie (in comparison to foods with low water content) and higher in fibre - both factors are a tremendous help when trying to drop pounds

If you're feeling fatigued, constantly hungry, getting headaches or just not feeling alert, try drinking some water before reaching for some food. Or do both by snacking on some water-rich foods and enjoy all the benefits of being hydrated and satisfied!