It’s the middle of the summer and it’s getting warmer and warmer everyday. To keep up the hours of training required for that mid to late summer long distance race, it’s hugely important to hydrate properly. Of course, water and sport drinks are always a great choice, but between key workouts you can also hydrate by eating fruits and vegetables with high water content.
What’s great about hydrating with fruits and vegetables is that you not only get water but also tons of vitamins, electrolytes, carbohydrates, fiber and other essential nutrients. Here are some water-rich fruits and vegetables and ways to enjoy them.
Cucumbers are packed with water (water content: 96.7 %) but also contain vitamin C and caffeic acid, which is an antioxidant. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant and it acts as an essential cofactor in many enzymatic reactions. Many studies show that an higher intake of vitamin C is associated with reduced risks of cardiovascular disease, such as strokes and coronary heart diseases.
Cucumbers are great on their own, with a little bit of sprinkled salt (to replenish your electrolytes), in a salad or even in a smoothie. Try blending cucumbers with spinach or kale and raspberries or strawberries for a healthy green juice.
Even though iceberg lettuce is less rich compared to darker greens when it comes to fibre and important nutrients like folate and vitamin K, it is a great source of water (water content: 95.6 %). Indeed, iceberg lettuce is the lettuce with the highest water content. I personally really enjoy this lettuce because, due to its crispiness, it’s great in salads, as wraps or buns (instead of bread or tortillas) or even with a hummus dip or guacamole.
It’s definitely not the best food to eat before a workout, since it’s packed with fibre and won’t provide much energy, but with its high water content, celery is great at the end of your day of training. Indeed, it’s water content is 95.4 % and it also contains folate and vitamins A, C and K. Celery adds a nice crunch to your salad, is great with an healthy dip and can also be a great addition to your green smoothie. For a green juice with a punch, blend an apple with some carrots, celeries and some fresh ginger.
Watermelon is always refreshing after training in warm weather. You can either cut a few slices or even simply cut it in half and enjoy it with a spoon. For a bigger snack, sprinkle some granola on your watermelon and enjoy it as you would a bowl of cereal. You can also simply blend it to make watermelon juice or blend it with mint and raspberries for an even tastier drink. Did you know that watermelons are one of the richest source of lycopene (a cancer fighting antioxidant)? Indeed, a slice of watermelon contains more lycopene than a medium size tomato (12 mg compared to 3 mg).
With a water content of 91.4 % and a high content of lutein, potassium, fiber, folate and vitamin E, spinach should always be in your fridge. It’s great in salads, in sandwiches and in green smoothies. I usually like to mix a banana with a handful of spinach and some frozen berries for a refreshing and nutrient dense green smoothie.
Zucchinis are great grilled on a BBQ, in green smoothies and even in cakes and muffins. You won’t even taste it but it’s a great way to add vegetables into your desserts and therefore make it healthier. Zucchinis are also great raw, either in salads or with a dip. You will also enjoy it baked and topped with a tomato sauce.