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5 ways to beat the heat and stay hydrated

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Our body is made up of two-thirds water – something to remember in the sweltering heat when it’s easy to become dehydrated. According to the Mayo Clinic, it takes about eight or nine glasses of water a day to stay hydrated.  That sounds like a lot, but luckily there are all kinds of light, delicious and nutritious ways to get your fill:  

Coconut Water

For a twist on ordinary tap or bottled water give coconut water a try.  Coconut water is low in calories, fat-free, cholesterol-free and a great source of vitamins and minerals – especially potassium, which helps replenish all those electrolytes you lose when you sweat. Taste-wise, coconut water is a slightly nutty-sweet drink that’s refreshing served over ice and it’s delicious with a splash of fruit juice.

Seltzer

When it’s baking hot outside you can’t beat the bubbly coolness of seltzer, which has zero calories and sodium, and comes in a variety of flavors. What’s great about seltzer is you can enjoy it simply or jazz it up with a splash of 100-percent fruit juice, a spring of mint or herb, or some fresh fruit slices. For dieters seltzer can be the perfect no-cal mixer for skinny cocktails. Be sure to check the label on flavored seltzers though because some brands contain caloric sweeteners.

Fresh Fruit

Not all thirst quenchers are poured.  Many of your favorite summer fruits contain at least 90 percent water and with each juicy bite you also get a boost of vitamins and minerals. Watermelon for example is 92 percent water and each slice contains essential hydrating salts, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Raspberries, blueberries and blackberries all contain about 85 percent water and each is a great source of healthy fiber. Grapefruit is about 90 percent water, and pink and red varieties are especially nutritious, containing phytonutrients, vitamins C and A, as well as the cancer-fighting antioxidant lycopene.  

Veggies

Like fruit many summer vegetables rank among nature’s best thirst quenchers: Cucumber holds first place with its 97 percent water content. Tomatoes are a close second consisting of about 95 percent water - whether you go for the big meaty ones or bite-sized grape and cherry varieties.  All shades of bell peppers are mainly water, but green peppers top the list containing 94 percent water and in a one cup serving you also get 100 percent of your daily value of vitamin C.

Low-Fat Milk and Yogurt

Low-fat dairy products such as low-fat milk and yogurt contain 90 percent and 85 percent water respectively. Not only do these foods help you stay hydrated, they’re also a great source of protein, phosphorus, potassium, and the vitamins A and D – all good reasons to get your recommended three cups a day.

For delicious high fiber meal plans, recipes and tips on healthy eating, drinking and losing weight, check out my latest book, The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with Fiber!

Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a registered dietitian in New York City and the author of two bestselling diet books:  The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with fiber and The F-Factor Diet. Follow Tanya on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and subscribe to her free weekly weight loss newsletter