It is hot! That means it’s easier than ever to get dehydrated. This can affect your health and your enjoyment of summer activities – exercising dehydrated can lead to dizziness and cramps, so it is important to eat moisturizing foods. It can also affect your performance while you are moving: According to Human Kinetics, the “power output” of your exercise can be reduced by 30 percent if you are only 5 percent dehydrated.
Staying hydrated can not only mean that your summer active activities are more fun, but also that your weight loss plan is more effective. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that dieters who drank two liters of water a day burned 400 extra calories every day – even if they didn’t change anything else. For men in the same study, these extra calories were specifically burned from belly fat.
You don’t actually have to drink a full two liters to stay hydrated, however: you can get the water your body needs to function properly through hydrating foods. And, according to Science Daily, Eating More While You Lose May Help You: Scientists found that people who ate water-rich foods ate fewer calories without reducing the overall size of their meals.
Here are 11 moisturizing foods for warm weather activities:
Water content: 90%
A cup of 50 calorie strawberries can help lower your cholesterol levels and reduce your risk for diseases like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. They also increase the risk of having a totally delicious summer. Try to flash them in Strawberry and mint smoothie>, mix them in Strawberry ice cream on a stick>, or use them to top off a refreshment Summer salad>
Water content: 86%
The sweetness of the pineapple is surprisingly low in calories: a cup has just 82 calories. But these 82 provide 100 percent of your daily vitamin C as well as bromelain, an enzyme that can help you digest your meals more easily. Enjoy fresh rings or chunks, or for a sweet, refreshing treat that is like stepping back in time to childhood, try this simple, two-ingredient ingredient Pineapple Whip Recipe>
Water content: 95%
Cucumbers are one of the lowest calorie foods you can find – with just 8 calories per cup. Low in calories doesn’t mean they’re flavourful, however: cukes are the ultimate way to add a refreshing, moisturizing taste to your grill guests. Is it mixed up with this? Spicy cucumber and dill salad>, whipped into this 5-ingredient Greek-inspired ingredient Cucumber and dill dip>, or as a surprising base for a starter made from cucumber cups, keep your guests – and yourself – hydrated, full, and satisfied.
4. Skimmed milk
Water content: 91%
When it’s skimmed off, almost all of it is water. For non-dieting milk lovers, this can be a turnoff. But in the summer heat, making a refreshing, cooling smoothie – like this frothy, icy smoothie – is a great, hydrating way to enjoy 9 grams of protein per cup Lemon cooler shake>. It’s summer perfection!
Water content: 94%
If you’re already a “zoodle” lover, this is a slam dunk. But for the uninitiated, here is a crash course: With a spiral cutter you can make “noodles” out of zucchini, the vegetable dishes with one Pasta-like eating experience that you will love. The great news for summer: Zoodles don’t have to be cooked! In a recipe like this one Vegetarian meatballs with zucchini noodles>, you can let the sauce warm up the raw zoodles to get the most moisture out of the vegetables with the least amount of labor – perfect for a quick summer meal.
Water content: 87%
There’s a reason these slices are on the sidelines of every halftime soccer game: oranges are a top choice for moisturizing foods! But they also bring other nutrients with them – like potassium, one of the electrolytes that is lost when you sweat. So keep your own slices handy or try a more mature flavor this summer: These 101 Calories Orange, carrot and ginger smoothie> is a sweet, vitamin-rich and refreshing glass that is perfect for breakfast or a late snack on hot days.
Water content: 95%
Here’s another potassium powerhouse: One cup of chopped celery contains the same amount of the heart-healthy nutrient you’d get from half a banana – but for just 14 tiny calories. But those little calories will add flavor to your favorite summer salads, from pasta dishes to chicken salads. Here’s a new favorite: chop up some celery to combine with another water-rich summer staple – watermelon – for this surprising, sweet, and protein-rich one Watermelon Chicken Salad> Sounds strange, tastes fantastic!
Water content: 94%
Lycopene, a powerful antioxidant found in tomatoes, may help lower the risk of stroke and certain types of cancer, according to Science Daily. And the redder your tomatoes are, the more lycopene they have – meaning summer is the healthiest time to eat them. One surprising way to change up your tomato game: add asparagus to the traditional one Caprese salad> for a fresh taste that feels luxurious – and gives that summery side a satisfying crunch.
Water content: 72%
This is surprising: with such a meaty texture, edamame doesn’t look watery. But it has that hydration and a lot more: like 18.46 grams of belly-filling, muscle-building protein per cup and more potassium than you get from two whole bananas. That’s good news in the heat, as consuming more potassium can help lower blood pressure risk as well as lower the risk of stroke, according to the National Federation of Professional Trainers.
Water content: 88%
If you spend a few minutes turning a bag of raw carrots into pre-portioned, snack-ready containers or bags, you are not just getting a low-calorie, high-fiber, water-rich food source for hunger pangs. Slicing these carrots can also help your overall healthier diet: these were the results of a study that linked more time preparing food to healthier eating habits – and, as a bonus, saving money on groceries . This will keep you hydrated, feeling full, and having fat where you want it – in your wallet.
Water content: 84%
What does summer say like a cup of sweet, ripe blueberries (one of our favorite moisturizing foods)? And they’re not just super good, they’re a superfood: blueberries reduce the risk of heart attacks in women by 33 percent, improve memory and can help widen your arteries so blood flows more smoothly. Eat fresh or enjoy the blues in the gentlest way possible: As part of this super-simple 5-ingredient homemade recipe Blueberry and lemon sundae>
* All water content percentages are from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).