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12 Foods to Try to Prevent Dehydration

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Key Takeaways

  • Clinicians need to remain hydrated throughout their shifts in order to provide optimal patient care without feeling the effects of dehydration.
  • Foods like citrus fruit, celery, and watermelon are easy to meal prep and snack on while also providing hydration.
  • Making salads with iceberg lettuce, carrots, and radishes or smoothies with spinach and blackberries both provide hydration to the body and taste great.

Remaining hydrated–especially as a clinician–is incredibly important. Dehydration can lead to headaches, muscle cramps, and even fever, and for a clinician working a 12+ hour shift, experiencing symptoms of dehydration can impact patient care. However, clinicians don’t always have time to drink water, especially in settings like emergency departments or surgical units. 

Fortunately, ways to rehydrate include other ways aside from gulping electrolytes. Many food sources that can be eaten on-the-go provide hydration to the body. 

Here are 14 foods to try to prevent dehydration or to rehydrate after slacking on your water supply. 

1. Watermelon

Watermelon may seem like an obvious choice for a hydrating food due to its name. The fruit is made up of about 92% water, is very low in calories, and tastes good, too! .

Watermelon is not only delicious, but also a water-rich food that can help you stay hydrated, improve heart health, and reduce inflammation.

2. Cucumbers

Cucumbers are 95% water and are an extremely versatile snack for clinicians. In addition to their high water content, they also contain many vitamins and minerals. Cucumbers not only promote hydration, but they also can help with weight loss, as well promote regular bowel movements.

3. Celery

Who doesn’t love celery and peanut butter as a mid-morning snack? Celery is known to be a high-water vegetable, and since the water content is so high, it contains very little calories. It’s also known to aid in weight loss. Celery may also reduce inflammation and promote water retention, while still acting as a satisfying snack.

4. Blackberries

One of the lesser-known fruits that are hydrating, blackberries are 88% water and are as versatile as they are delicious. Blackberries are packed with vitamins C and K, as well as high in fiber.

5. Broths and soups

Broths and soups deliver high water content and electrolytes. This combination is key in rehydration. Plus, bone broth and other soups with animal protein provide collagen. This is an animal-derived protein important for healthy joints, which may be especially important for clinicians whose dehydration is due to overexertion. 

6. Cottage cheese

Cottage cheese is trendy in the health and fitness world due to its ability to make you feel full, quickly. This is because the weight of cottage cheese is 80% water, which is why cottage cheese has a liquid-like texture.

While this dairy product is great to eat when you’re dehydrated, cottage cheese also provides a good source of calcium and protein. The high-water content and high protein ingredients in cottage cheese can also make you feel fuller, faster.

7. Iceberg lettuce

Iceberg lettuce is made up of 96% water, making it a great lettuce choice when preparing a salad in order to avoid dehydration. While other types of lettuce also have high water content, iceberg is usually refreshing due to its neutral taste.

Iceberg lettuce has gotten a bad rap over the years. Many claim that is has no nutritional benefit, when this water-rich vegetable actually does contain variety of vitamins and nutrients.

8. Tzatziki

The famous yogurt-based Greek dip contains high water volume thanks to it’s two main ingredients, yogurt and cucumber. Yogurt is derived from milk, a naturally-hydrating liquid, so incorporating this dip into your meal prep is a surefire way to regain hydration. 

9. Radishes

Perfect for dipping into tzatziki, radishes are surprisingly hydrating. The crunchy vegetable  contains antifungal properties and supports healthy digestion. Since radishes are 95% water, they would make a great snack or salad topping if you are feeling dehydrated.

10. Carrots

Similar to radishes, carrots are extremely high in water (ranging from 86%-95%) and are extremely versatile for clinicians looking to snack throughout their shift. In addition to adding water to your diet, carrots also have many other health benefits. They are also a good source of fiber, and contain many vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin K and potassium.

11. Spinach

Between iceberg, radishes, carrots, spinach, and tzatziki dressing, you have the makings for a delicious, hydrating salad. Spinach is made up of 91% water (which is why it wilts down so much during the cooking process) and contains nutrients and compounds that are important for our health. 

12. Grapefruit/Citrus fruits

Grapefruit is a juicy citrus fruit that contains 91% water. Incorporating citrus fruits into your diet can be a sweet and satisfying way to remain hydrated; plus, these fruits are easy to throw into lunch boxes for meal prep. 

Starting your day with grapefruit or orange can easily contribute to daily fluid count as well as add antioxidants and build up the immune system, which is key for busy clinicians.

References

  1. Conley M. 12 foods you should eat when you’re dehydrated. Insider. Published November 8, 2018. Accessed July 20, 2021. 
  2. Wartenberg L. 7 Helpful Foods and Drinks to Try When You’re Dehydrated. Healthline. Updated June 29, 2021. Accessed July 20, 2021.

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