5 most hydrating foods to eat during the heatwave

Bored of chugging water? Try these foods instead

Photos of radishes and watermelon
(Image credit: Jo Lanta / Cody Chan – both on Unsplash)

Temperatures are rising again, and staying hydrated is key. If you're feeling thirsty, that means your body is already dehydrated; ideally, you don't want to get to that point. While drinking water is a great way to rehydrate, people can get fixated on that.

"A common misconception is that everybody needs to drink eight glasses of water every day to maintain hydration," says qualified nutritionist Abi Roberts (opens in new tab). "It's different for each person, but even if we take this specific requirement, it does not have to be consumed through glasses of water. Lots of food and drink can be hydrating, so you can gain your fluid intake in any of these ways and not just through pure water." 

If you're not a fan of the taste of plain water, or just find it boring, there are plenty of foods with high water content that'll help you rehydrate. Here are five refreshing options to bring into your diet to help you through the heatwave. 

While you're here, you might also want to check out our guide to how to sleep when it's hot

1. Cucumber

Cucumber is one of the most high-water foods you can eat. It's 96% water. "Along with antioxidant properties, cucumber also contains vitamins A, C and K, manganese, magnesium, and potassium, making it an extremely nutritious option," says Abi. "With an average of 30 calories in an entire cucumber, [it's] a low-calorie snack that can boost your hydration levels."

2. Watermelon 

The clue is in the name: watermelon is another very hydrating food, with 92% water. Watermelons contain Vitamins A, B6 and C, as well as amino acids. "[These] help our bodies produce protein and break down foods, making [watermelon] fantastic for the digestive system."

3. Radish 

Radishes are 95% water, and offer impressive health benefits alongside their hydrating properties. "Radishes are known to be anticarcinogenic and contain B vitamins which are rare to find in many foods and essential for overall health," explains Abi. 

4. Iceberg lettuce

Iceberg lettuce is 96% water. "This extremely versatile food can make a great addition to any lunch or dinner meal, or even a snack," suggests Abi. Iceberg lettuce also contains Vitamins A, C and K, potassium, and magnesium, alongside calcium and iron. 

5. Tomato

The versatile tomatoes contains 94% water. Like radishes, tomatoes are anti-carcinogenic, and they're also full of antioxidants and good for liver health – which is essential to ensure your body is functioning properly overall. 

This information comes Abi Roberts via Forbes Life Insurance (opens in new tab).

Ruth is currently on secondment as Sleep Editor for Tom's Guide and TechRadar. The role is an extension of her work on T3, where she ran the site's Wellness channel, which includes sleep, relaxation, yoga and general wellbeing. She was also Outdoors editor, reviewing and writing about everything from camping gear and hiking boots to mountain bikes, drones and paddle boards. She has tested more mattresses than her small flat can handle, and has had to implement a one-in-one-out pillow policy, for fear of getting smothered in the night.