Hungry for hydration: Thirst-quenching foods

Cathleen Kronemer, NSCA-CPT, Certified Health Coach, is a longtime fitness instructor at the Jewish Community Center. She is also a member of the St. Louis Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

By Cathleen Kronemer, NSCA-CPT, Lifestyle/Weight Management Coach

Here we are, approaching the midpoint of summer, and St. Louis is right on schedule with its heat and humidity!  Last week’s three-digit temperatures forced many athletes indoors, as well as families with young children.  The call to stay hydrated is ubiquitous, in every newspaper and on every television news station. Yet sometimes, water just doesn’t quite do the trick!

I find it hard to consume vast quantities of liquid even in the steamiest of circumstances, and I must believe I am not alone in this arena. Even iced tea and my trademark Crystal Light get boring after a while. Knowing how vital fluids are to keeping our bodies humming, I decided to seek out some readily-available summer foods which have particularly high water contents.


Watermelon, the quintessential food of summertime, contains 92 percent water and a mere 8 percent natural sugar. As an added bonus, each delicious serving offers essential electrolytes such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and the very important sodium, of which we lose copious amounts as we sweat. Watermelon is also rich in Vitamin C, beta carotene and lycopene, which will provide some protection from UV light.

If seed-spitting is not quite to your liking, help yourself to a dish of berries. Strawberries are comprised of approximately 92 percent water, and rank fourth among antioxidant -rich fruit.  A surprising benefit is that the polyphenols found in strawberries have been found to aid in regulating the blood sugar response in active individuals.

Moving from fruit to vegetables, refreshing cucumbers have a 96 percent water content as well as a healthy mix of electrolytes such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium.  Added to salads or enjoyed by the slice, cucumbers are always a good choice!

Sometimes young ones can be on the finicky side when it comes to fruits and vegetables. Smoothies are a fun way to keep busy children hydrated and satisfied – a blender, ice, and a bit of imagination can go a long way!  Lowfat yogurt blends easily with just about any fruit; and the ice and added liquid guarantee happy hydration.

Whether your summer activities take you outdoors or not, it is wise to be prudent about your liquid intake.  Eat, drink, and be healthy!