5 Fun Ways to Hydrate That Aren't Plain Old Water
Tired of drinking water? There are other great ways to hydrate.
As important as hydration is for good health, relying on water as your primary fluid source can get quite boring. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found myself guzzling jars of water without really wanting to. It’s easy to go overboard in an attempt to hydrate, so you should assess what your unique fluid needs are. Eight cups a day should not be a blanket recommendation for everyone, and you’ll want to consider things like climate, physical activity, foods you’re eating and medical history. Checking urine color is a simple way to do a hydration check, with light to pale yellow urine indicating good hydration. If you’re constantly going to the bathroom and/or your urine is transparent, this is a sign you may want to cut back on fluids. If your urine is a deep yellow or brown, it’s time to up the hydration (keep in mind, though, that some vitamins and medications may impact urine color).
Looking for creative ways to up your fluid intake? Here are five things you can start doing today!
Brew large batches of tea for the week.
Teas and herbal blends are a fun way to flavor water, especially during the summer months. Just brew a few bags of your favorite tea in a large pot of water, allow to cool and pour into a pitcher. I love mixing in fresh herbs like mint or basil, adding honey or maple syrup, and squeezing in citrus before storing in the fridge. This will typically last for two to three days and it’s something different to look forward to when you’re thirsty.
Blend up a smoothie.
Smoothies are great for hydration; depending on what you add, they can stand in for a solid snack or meal. If you’re looking for something simple and easy to digest, blend your favorite fruits with water or a liquid base. During the summer months, I enjoy blending hydrating fruits like watermelon and cantaloupe with a splash of water. If you want a smoothie that will tide you over for a few hours, add protein and fats like yogurt, nut butters and seeds.
Up the fruits and vegetables.
Naturally hydrating, fruits and vegetables are an excellent way to supplement the fluids you’re drinking throughout the day. Fruits like melons, peaches, oranges and strawberries are made of mostly water and can help fill in any hydration gaps. Enjoy fruits as snacks, especially during warmer months, and add vegetables to most of your meals.
Seltzer water, FTW!
There’s nothing more satisfying than the crisp, cool taste of seltzer water. Some people are obsessed (raises hand) while others don’t really care for it. If you identify with the former, seltzer water is a great way to hydrate while enjoying that fizz. You can add fruits or a splash of juice to keep things interesting.
Add fruits and herbs to your ice cubes.
Add a splash of color to your cup by adding ice cubes packed with berries or herbs, like mint and rosemary. Aside from helping with hydration, this also helps to add subtle notes of flavor to your drinks (it also looks really pretty).
As a registered dietitian/nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator, Wendy Lopez, MS, RDN, CDCES is passionate about accessible and culturally relevant nutrition education. She is the co-host of the Food Heaven Podcast, and the co-founder of Food Heaven, an online platform that provides resources on cooking, intuitive eating, wellness and inclusion. When not working on creative projects, Wendy also provides nutritional counseling and medication management to patients with diabetes.
*This article was written and/or reviewed by an independent registered dietitian nutritionist.