When even adding bubbles and flavors can’t convince you to chug the recommended amount of H20, registered dietician Eliza Savage, RD, says you may be able to snack on some of your fluids instead. Say what now? “The appropriate serving of fruit can actually hydrate your body almost twice as effectively as just water alone because the sugar and vitamins in the fruit helps with absorption,” she says. “That said, I would never advocate replacing all your water intake with fruit because of the sugar. Too much fruit can make you super gassy, bloated, or constipated.” Point definitely taken. (Savage says to cap intake at two servings a day.)
Of course, some fruits are better than others at replenishing your water levels. Below, made with Savage’s insight, is a fruit pyramid showing just how hydrating different fruits are, based on their water percentage. “You want to aim to get about two to three liters of water a day, or half your body weight in ounces,” Savage says. Want to see which fruits can best help you get there?
Keep reading to see which fruits are the most hydrating.
It’s no surprise that watermelon comes out on top (or in this case, the bottom—which is a good thing!). Biting into a thick slice, it’s hard to keep the water from dripping down your face. But, a twist! “If you count tomatoes, they’re actually more hydrating than watermelon,” Savage says. Cantaloupe and strawberries also rank high on the hydration scale.
Sliding in right under those top fruits are papaya, peach, tangerines, oranges, lemon, lime, pineapple, orange, apricots, blueberries, and plums—quite a list. “Also surprisingly is cranberries,” Savage says. When eaten fresh, those little guys are juicer than they might look!
Apples, pears, mangos, grapes, guava, kiwi all slide in next, with a water content of between 80 and 84 percent, while bananas and avocado land near the top of the pyramid. (It just might be the one time when avocados don’t come in first in a nutritional ranking.) At the tip top of the pyramid is dried fruit—the least hydrating of all. “With dried fruit, the water has been removed so the sugar is more concentrated,” Savage says, pointing out the double whammy.
The best part about the hydrating fruit pyramid is that so much of the delicious juicy winners are in season right now. “Having 1 1/4 cup of fruit in place of water can be a great way to hydrate,” Savage says, reemphasizing her advice to cap it off at two servings a day to avoid annoying digestive issues. Sunshine, summer, and a bowl of watermelon? All that’s missing is a golden retriever in a patriotic bandana to complete this idyllic picture.
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