Imagine that you're having a great day, hanging out on the beach with friends or working on some DIY projects around your yard at home. You got an early start because you wanted to take advantage of as many hours of sunshine as possible. Before you know it, you become aware that you've been out there for hours and haven't had anything to drink or eat. You suddenly realize that you're not feeling so well. You might be showing the first symptoms of dehydration! In such situations, it's good to know ahead of time what types of food or drinks can quickly hydrate your body.

Symptoms that Suggest You Need Food and Drinks for Hydration

If you're in relatively good health, you should easily be able to spend a few hours outdoors without adverse effects, as long as you stay hydrated. Whether you're playing volleyball on the beach or deep-cleaning your garage, it's important to maintain a healthy water level in your body. The following list includes symptoms that often accompany dehydration:

  • Dry mouth
  • Thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Dark yellow urine
  • Lack of perspiration on a hot day or upon exertion
  • Dry skin

Especially if you experience more than one of these symptoms, it's a good idea to consume food or drinks as soon as possible that will help hydrate your body.

Keep These Foods On Hand to Help You When You're Feeling Dehydrated

One of the easiest ways to hydrate your body by eating something, especially during summer, is to munch on a few slices of watermelon. As the name suggests, water is a primary component of the sweet, red, juicy fruit that's a summertime favorite in most households. Cucumbers are another easy-to-come-by food that can help restore your body when you're feeling dehydrated.

All of the foods on this next list have high water content and can help you when you're exhibiting symptoms of dehydration, although a few of the listed items might surprise you:

  • Celery
  • Blackberries
  • Cottage cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Leafy greens

If your eyes widened when you read the last three items on the list, you're likely not the only person who didn't realize that cottage cheese, yogurt, and leafy greens such as spinach and lettuce are comprised mostly of water! Cottage cheese is high in water and protein. It's also a great source of B vitamins. Consider it a versatile food because you add a lot of different fruit toppings and other ingredients to enhance its flavor. Keeping a container of fresh cottage cheese in the fridge means you always have helpful food on hand if you're feeling dehydrated.

It's Possible to Feel Dehydrated in the Winter

It's not uncommon for people to become dehydrated when they spend hours outdoors in the summer heat without drinking or eating anything. Summertime isn't the only time of year, however, when you might be at risk for dehydration. It can happen anywhere at any time. During colder weather, you might not have access to food options, such as watermelon or cucumbers from a garden. Warm broth, on the other hand, is a staple item in many homes during winter. You can make large batches ahead of time to store in a freezer. While you'll want to make sure you don't add too much salt, sipping broth is a great remedy if you feel dehydrated. If you're away at school, it's easy to keep broth on hand and heat it up in a microwave, as needed!

What to Drink and Not Drink to Stay Hydrated

Thinking back to the scenes described earlier, such as chilling on a beach with your besties or doing yard work at home, then suddenly feeling ill from dehydration, it's understandable that you might reach for a cold soda, beer, or other drink to get some liquid into your body. The problem here is that soda and alcohol can cause dehydration, so neither is the best choice when your goal is to get fluids into your body. If you do plan on imbibing, keep this simple rule of thumb in mind: For every 12 ounces of alcohol, drink 16 ounces of water. Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it flushes the fluids from your body and causes you to have to relieve your bladder often. Drinking water alongside alcohol helps replenish the fluids in your body and keeps you from getting dehydrated.

If feelings of dehydration hit, instead of reaching for alcohol or soda, it's much better to just drink water. In fact, in a best-case scenario, you would drink water intermittently throughout your visit to the beach or home-project day, which would keep you adequately hydrated all day long. However, if you're feeling thirsty or having any symptoms of dehydration, drinking a glass of water is the best remedy possible. Many stores nowadays sell water that has added electrolytes. Consider this a rescue item when you're feeling dehydrated because dehydration often causes a depletion of electrolytes. The sooner you replace them, the better you'll feel.

Coconut water, as well, is another helpful option when you need to drink something to help you feel hydrated. Think of coconut water as a natural sports drink. It contains potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, and sodium -- all electrolytes that your body needs for adequate hydration.

No matter what time of year it happens to be or what you're doing at the time, remembering which foods and drinks are most helpful can come in handy if you're feeling dehydrated.