Dear Fellow ALPHA,
It's that time of year again, the nights are shorter, days are longer and the temperature is breaking records across America. You know what that means - summer is in full swing!
Since you are a driven individual I can bet your outdoor activity level has increased dramatically. You're probably off on hikes, bike rides, trail runs, wake-boarding adventures, skydiving boogies or rockin' it at the Vegas pool parties!
No matter which outdoor activity you choose it's crucial you keep up your hydration. I'm sure you are well aware of how important it is to drink lots of fluids on a hot day. However, if you want to know exactly how much water you should be drinking take a look at our blog post Water: Forgotten Macro which details out precisely how many ounces you should be drinking on a daily basis.
There is another way, in addition to drinking water, to assist your body in staying cool during the sweltering days of summer. Choose foods which naturally contain high amounts of water. Foods with a high amount of water not only help keep your body hydrated, they also provide a refreshing and invigorating boost for these hot summer days.
Below you will find a group of fruits and vegetables, all of them containing between 83-95% water! In addition to being a perfect dietary treat for warm days, many of these fruits and vegetables have been linked to some awesome health benefits.
Blueberries might be tiny morsels of deliciousness but don’t let their small size fool you. Blueberries are made up of about 84% water which makes them a good addition to a hot summer day. Plus, researchers have found blueberries contain two powerful antioxidants, Resveratrol and Pterostilbene. Resveratrol and Pterostilbene are powerful antioxidants which have been linked to helping muscles recover faster, supporting restful sleep by resetting circadian cycles and helping to reduce the effects of oxidative stress.
Adding a cup of blueberries has the potential to not only help with adding some needed fluid on a hot day but also may help aid in recovering from your workout, improve your sleep cycles as well as offset some of the physical stress our bodies experience due to technology overload.
Cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon are all about 90% water. It's no wonder why they are staples at barbecues and summer backyard parties. In addition these tasty fruits are good sources of magnesium and potassium.
Plus, watermelon (mostly in the rind) contains citrulline. This is important because citrulline can be converted in the kidneys into the amino acid arginine. This is why watermelon has been shown to raise plasma levels of arginine, which may be converted into nitric oxide (NO).
NO is well known in athletic circles because of the ergogenic effects athletes have reported. In addition to athletic performance NO may help with many different health conditions including helping to regulate blood pressure.
These delicious little green gems might be the second least water containing fruit on the list with only 84% of their mass being H20. However, pears are one of the highest fiber fruits you can find. The average pear will contain around 6 grams of fiber. Without a doubt adding a pear to your daily routine is the easiest way to bump up your fiber intake while also adding a little hydration.
Besides being 86% water pineapples contain a proteolytic enzyme called bromelain. Proteolytic enzymes help break down protein to help in the digestion process. In addition to helping break down a meal, researchers are investigating the mechanism bromelain may have as an anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer agent.
Mangos are approximately 83% water, definitely not the juiciest fruit on the list however, they are still good sources of water and are full of beta-carotene and vitamin C.
You know the old saying an apple a day keeps the doctor away.This saying could be contributed to the fact that Apples are about 84% water. However, it's probably due to the fact that apples contain a high amount of phytochemicals which are bioactive chemical compounds that may have health benefits.
Oranges are 86% water. For me oranges are synonymous with Florida and soccer games. The later is because as a child nothing was more refreshing than a mouth full of freshly cut oranges after a dominating performance. The former is probably due to brilliant television marketing.
Researchers at the American Heart Association found women who ate citrus fruits, especially oranges, had a 19% lower chance of having an ischemic stroke
Coming in with a 92% water content strawberries are one of the most hydrating fruits on our list. Strawberries are good sources of manganese, vitamin C and potassium. Plus they may help regulate blood pressure and may have anti-cancer properties.
Raspberries are composed of about 86% water and are delicious. Raspberries also contain Ellagic Acid a powerful anti-oxidant. Ellagic Acid is being studied for its role in helping treat and possibly even preventing certain degenerative diseases.
Cucumbers are light, refreshing treats on hot day plus they are over 95% water. Cucumbers also contain caffeic acid an anti-oxidant which may help with oxidative stress and provide protective properties to our DNA. Cucumbers are a great, natural way to flavor up your ice water as well.
These mushrooms are wonderful additions to any summer meal. They are fat free, low carb, a good source of the b-vitamins riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid. Plus they are 92% water!
Zucchini is 95% water and also a rich source of vitamin C, B1, B6 and K. Zucchini also has small amounts of magnesium, fiber, zinc and calcium. When looking for a delicious, low calorie additive to add to a dish, a few slices of zucchini should do the trick.
Bell peppers are wonderful additions to almost any meal. They are high is beta-carotene which is the reason for their bright and vivid color. Plus, they are low calorie and 92% water.
Carrots are one of the few vegetables that have a solid crunch to them. Carrots are rich in beta-carotine, vitamin K and potassium and are 88% water. When looking for a low calorie snack that will help hydrate you as well as satisfy your craving for something semi-sweet, try reaching for a carrot.
Without a doubt, one of the healthiest vegetables on the market is broccoli. Not only is it 90% water, which makes it great for staying hydrated, it also contains powerful antioxidants. Ingredients in broccoli, especially in the stem and leaves, have been linked to preventing cardiovascular disease as well as certain types of cancer.
Celery, besides being 95% water, may have some interesting health benefits. Celery contains a phytochemicals called phthalides. These phytochemicals may help regulate blood pressure. Celery is also a good source of potassium.
Popeye is probably the most popular character associated with a specific vegetable. If you remember in the cartoons spinach acted like a PED for Popeye. He could be down for the count, beaten, defeated - until he busted out a can of spinach. Then it was like he became supercharged. As the cartoon lyric goes Popeye is strong to the finich, cause he eats his spinach.
There might be more real world truth to spinach being a superfood than people think. Spinach is 91% water and is a nutrient packed vegetable. Spinach is loaded with vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, iron and calcium.
Tomatoes are by volume a very heavy vegetable. This is because of their thin skin and the fact that 95% of the volume is water. Tomatoes red vibrant color is due, in part, to the presence of the vitamin like substance lycopene. Epidemiological studies have suggested ingesting foods rich in lycopene may help in the prevention of chronic health diseases including cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.
Surprisingly radishes are 95% water ranking them as one of the most hydrating vegetables! Plus red radishes are loaded with vitamin E, A, C, B6, and K. Radishes are also stocked with antioxidants and minerals including calcium, iron, manganese and zinc. Radishes are a stealthy power packed addition to almost any salad.
In conclusion, it's important to meet our daily water requirements. This should come first and foremost in the form of fresh, clean water. Second, adding a few of the fruits and vegetables mentioned above might not only help aid in the hydration process but might improve our ability to recover faster, prevent certain diseases, sleep better, deal with stress more efficiently, as well as, being a refreshing addition to a summer night.
As always, check with your healthcare provider before beginning a new exercise or diet plan. Never change your activities without talking with a healthcare provider and only use the above information as a guide to support a healthier life.
Until next time,
Attack your life with passion!
Co-Founder & CEO, RAM