Getting in the recommended amount of water each day can be difficult. Maybe you get too busy, or you're one of those people who just dislikes the taste of H2O. Well, here's some good news: You can eat your water too.
Opting for hydrating foods like watermelon, hummus and even hard-boiled eggs can boost your daily water intake and help prevent dehydration, which, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, can cause a host of problems, from unclear thinking to constipation and kidney stones.
Ready to nosh away your thirst? Read on for 10 delicious snacks that are loaded with liquid and, in many cases, packed with dietary fiber and beneficial vitamins.
1. Watermelon Salad with Mint and Feta
You know it's a good watermelon when the juices run down your chin from the first bite — that means it's not only ripe, but it's also loaded with water.
At 141 grams per cup, this power-hydrator has one of the highest water content levels of any fruit, according to San Diego-based nutritionist Joel Detjen. "Your average watermelon can be 90 percent water, making it a great way to add fluid without drinking extra glasses," he says.
Watermelon doesn't have to be relegated to dessert, either. Paired with refreshing mint and feta cheese — which is also high on the scale of water content, at 83 grams a cup — it makes for a sweet-and-savory salad that goes perfectly with baked chicken or fish.
Bonus: Watermelon is also a great source of the antioxidant lycopene as well as vitamin C.
Read more: What Is the Watermelon Diet?
2. Plain Low-Fat Yogurt or Kefir
Yogurt and its close cousin kefir, a fermented milk drink, are surprising sources of H2O, typically packing in more than 200 grams per serving. And since both are rich in probiotics — those tiny organisms that promote the growth of "good" bacteria in the gut — they're also great weapons when it comes to defending your intestinal health, reducing excess gas and taming bloat.
For a sweet and hydrating snack, pair plain yogurt with a bunch of your favorite berries: Raspberries are more than 85 percent water, while strawberries clock in at over 90 percent.
Read more: 13 Surprising and Beneficial Probiotic Foods
3. Caesar Salad
While iceberg lettuce also carries a lot of water, it's not as high on the vitamin scale as romaine. This juicy green contains nearly 600 grams of water per head (about 20 ounces) and packs a nutritional punch, being high in folate, vitamin C and beta carotene, says Detjen.
And how can you go wrong with a classic Caesar salad? Just be sure not to smother your lettuce with high-fat, high-sodium salad dressing — a major hydration fail. Don't overdo it with the cheese or croutons, either. Instead, let those greens really shine through to rehydrate you.
Gazpacho and other veggie soups made with tomatoes and cucumber are popular around the world, and it turns out that they can also be great for hydration: A cup of peeled cucumber contains 129 grams of water, while the same amount of tomatoes has an impressive 149 grams.
To make your own at home, combine an even amount of tomatoes, cucumber and bell pepper in a blender with a bit of garlic, onion and lemon juice to taste. This incredibly refreshing snack keeps well in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
Since they're made up of nearly 86 percent water, apples are a great way to add water to your diet without a sip, and they're also loaded with fiber, making them a great digestive aid that helps you feel full longer.
"The fiber in apples is a great dietary tool to not only stay hydrated, but also for weight management, as you are less tempted to overeat when you have fiber in the stomach," says Detjen.
A sneaky way to get apples into your diet? Add applesauce, which offers 215 grams of water per cup, to your daily meal plan. Be sure to look for natural varieties with no added sugar for the maximum benefit.
6. Hard-Boiled Eggs
A simple hard-boiled egg is a great snack choice for energy on the run. And as it turns out, nature's perfect little "protein to go" package can also add a healthy dose of water to your daily total.
Egg whites are almost 90 percent water, according to the USDA, and, surprisingly, most of that water content sticks around even after cooking. In fact, one large hard-boiled egg contains about 37 grams of the wet stuff.
7. Prosciutto-Wrapped Cantaloupe
A hydration champ that's lean on calories, cantaloupe averages only about 55 calories per cup but contains about 145 grams of water, according to the USDA.
For a sweet-and-salty treat, wrap some melon wedges in thinly sliced prosciutto (opt for the lowest in sodium that you can find). Adding prosciutto to this hydrating snack kicks up the protein factor, which will help hold you over to your next meal.
8. Bone Broth
Sipping on soup before a meal can help stave off overeating tendencies, and it can also up your overall daily fluid intake.
Hop on one of the hottest current trends and opt for bone broth, an ancient choice now popular with celebrities and professional athletes. However, most commercially made broth and stock is high in sodium, taking away from the hydrating benefits.
Your most nutritious option is to make it yourself by buying bony chicken parts like wings and legs or beef knuckle and marrow bones, covering them with filtered water in a large stock pot and simmering on low for eight to 12 hours, adding aromatics like carrots, onions, celery and herbs in the last three to four hours. To create a super-hydrating soup, use a bone broth as your base and add high-water-content vegetables like greens and cauliflower.
9. Hummus With Celery
You probably could have guessed that celery has a high water content, but did you know that serving this fibrous veggie alongside hummus makes for an extra-hydrating snack?
Hummus is packed with water as well as fiber and protein, making it a powerhouse of hydration and nutrition. Despite its thick consistency, a serving of hummus boasts 164 grams of water — so dip away!
10. Oatmeal With Strawberries and Soaked Almonds
Powering up with a satisfying breakfast loaded with fiber and protein is key for a good nutritional start to the day. Adding hydrating foods like oatmeal to the mix kicks it up a notch.
That's right: This thick, grain-based staple is actually loaded with fluid. Thanks to the way it retains liquid, a 1-cup serving of cooked instant oatmeal has nearly 200 grams of water, according to the USDA. Add a handful of hydrating fruit, like strawberries, and toss in some almonds. Pro tip: Soak the nuts overnight so they not only contain more water but are also easier to digest.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Get the Facts: Drinking Water and Intake"
- American Institute for Cancer Research: "Watermelon and Lycopene"
- MyFoodData: "17 Fruits Highest in Water"
- USDA Food Composition Database: "Egg, white, raw, fresh"
- USDA Food Composition Database: "Egg, whole, cooked, hard-boiled"
- USDA Food Composition Database: "Celery, raw"
- USDA Food Composition Database: "Cereals, oats, instant, fortified, plain, prepared with water (boiling water added or microwaved"