It may not look like it, but we’re all made of water.

The brain and heart are 73 percent water
The lungs are about 83 percent water
The skin contains 64 percent water
Your muscles and kidneys are 31 percent water
Your bones are 31 percent water
And our blood is a whopping 90 percent water1

Also, on top of being an important component of our bodies, water plays a huge role in several of your body’s biochemical processes. Though you only need roughly 2-3 liters of water a day for proper function, you don’t just have to drink it to meet your daily quota. You can also eat your water.

That’s right… water’s not just for drinking.

In fact, 20 percent of the water your body processes comes from food. To add, water can also play an indirect role in your hydration. Read on to learn how and when to eat your water.

Hydration

Now, a person could write an entire article just covering the important role water plays in the body — and keep checking back on this blog, I might. The easiest way to communicate how important water is for your body, is to look at what happens when you don’t get enough — when you’re dehydrated.

Dehydration is when your body is losing or using more fluids than it gets. This can stem from low water intake or in some cases medical issues can lead to dehydration. For example, diarrhea is a common cause of dehydration in children.

Hydrating Foods | Activated YouPotential consequences of prolonged dehydration include urinary issues and sometimes even kidney problems. Water is especially important to help the kidneys filter out bodily fluid. When your kidneys don’t function properly, waste and excess fluid can build up in your body.3

Heat injuries, seizures, and something called ‘low blood volume shock’ can also occur. Low blood volume shock happens when low blood volume leads to a sudden drop in blood pressure and oxygen.

Now, some people may feel that they can avoid dehydration just by detecting when they are thirsty and grabbing a sip of water. However, thirst is often an inaccurate barometer of dehydration.

Chances are if you’re thirsty, you’re already in the early stages of dehydration. How can you tell? Well, the color of your urine may actually be a better indicator — darker colors indicate you may need more fluids.4

So, What Hydrating Foods Should You Be Looking For?

Well, there’s great news for vegans — some of the most hydrating foods on the planet are vegan. At the top of that list…

Hydrating Foods | Activated YouThe cucumber!

It comes in at a cool 97 percent water. On top of being a great source of water, cucumbers have 61% of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin K. Cucumbers don’t necessarily get a lot of scientific attention, but they have a strong antioxidant content too.

As an added note, try to eat your cucumbers with the peel, if possible. Peeling them reduces the amount of fiber, vitamins, and minerals you can absorb.5

A close second is (drum roll, please)…

The watermelon

Hydrating Foods | Activated YouWatermelon may be tasty, but nutritionally it doesn’t seem to add up to much. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

Watermelon is about 92 percent water! And each bite is packed with vitamins A, B6, and C. Much like cucumber, watermelon is also a good source of antioxidants. Another thing that bears mentioning is that it’s great for vegans with a sweet tooth. Despite its taste, it is fat-free, low in sodium, and has 40 calories per cup.6 So when you want dessert, grab some fresh cubes of watermelon.

Hydrating Foods | Activated YouFinally, leafy greens may be one of the nutrient-packed foods in nature. So, it should come as no surprise to find that…

Spinach

… is one of the top hydrating foods. Spinach contains 91 percent water — not too shabby for a 3rd place percentage.7

Also, spinach is a rich source of important minerals like magnesium, iron, and vitamin B6. In some cases, like with iron, spinach can fill some important nutritional gaps for vegans. Even if you are well-hydrated, there’s plenty of reason to incorporate more spinach into your meals.

Hydrating Foods In Review

In the end, it’s pretty exciting that hydrating foods do a lot of good at once. Of course, they help fill your body’s deep need for water. But most of the top options here are packed with other nutrients as well.

So, incorporating balanced meals with hydrating ingredients will boost your body in more ways than one.

Learn More:
[NEWS] New Study Says You Need to Double Your Daily Fruit and Veggie Intake
5 Reasons You Should Drink More Rose Tea (including a weight loss aid!)
Make Your Own Cultured Coconut Yogurt (It’s easy!)

Sources
1. https://water.usgs.gov/edu/propertyyou.html
3. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/290814.php
4. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/PhysicalActivity/FitnessBasics/Staying-Hydrated—Staying-Healthy_UCM_441180_Article.jsp#.Wejn32iPLIV
5. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2440/2
6. https://www.livescience.com/46019-watermelon-nutrition.html
7. http://www.berkeleywellness.com/healthy-eating/food/article/how-much-water-your-food