We all know that proper hydration is crucial for your overall health, but we all struggle to stay hydrated at times. Fortunately, drinking water isn’t the only way to stave off dehydration; whether you’re an avid exerciser, sun-worshipper or simply don't enjoy drinking water, this guide brings together foods that are moisture-rich to keep you feeling refreshed and revitalised.


Surprisingly, some foods can be even better than water for staying hydrated because they contain naturally occurring electrolytes. Discover the best foods for optimal hydration, below.

Also, find out how much water you should drink each day and we answer the question is sparkling water good for you? Plus, check out the health benefits of ginger tea and our top healthy drink recipes.

What are the best foods to help you stay hydrated?

1. Cucumber

Green cucumber & mint gazpacho 02

Add cucumber to salads, blitz into cold soups or enjoy as a crunchy crudité with your favourite dip. For more ideas, check out our refreshing cucumber recipes, including green cucumber & mint gazpacho, Greek salad and pickled cucumbers.

2. Watermelon

Watermelon is nutritious and makes a refreshing and summery addition to sweet and savoury dishes – it pairs especially well with feta or halloumi. Enjoy cold wedges on a hot day and browse our juicy watermelon recipes for more ideas.

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3. Celery

You can do so much with budget-friendly celery. It makes a great base for stews and casseroles, and it makes a fibre-rich addition to salads. Check out the top health benefits of celery and try our recipes for celery soup, salad and juice.

4. Tomatoes

Lentil and tomato salad

Tomatoes have plenty of benefits for your health, as well as being helpful for hydration. Add fresh tomatoes to homemade salsa, risotto and easy lentil salad.

5. Strawberries

Make the most of strawberry season and reap the health benefits of this popular fruit. Whizz them into your morning smoothie, add to vegan pancakes and blend with watermelon to make a hydrating strawberry slushie.

6. Courgette

At their best in the warm summer months, versatile courgettes are great in creamy courgette lasagne, risotto and as a replacement for spaghetti for those following a keto diet. You can even bake into a delicious loaf cake, similar to lemon drizzle.

7. Bell peppers

A pot of hummus with vegetable crudites

Hydrating, budget-friendly and good for you, colourful peppers can be enjoyed in lots of ways. Serve with homemade hummus for dipping, add sliced pepper to noodle dishes or stuff halved peppers with vegetarian chilli.

8. Broth

It might not be your first thought to sip broth on a hot summer's day, but homemade broth not only helps hydrate you, it also has numerous other health benefits. Use as a base for ramen or drink straight from a mug.

9. Lettuce

There are plenty of ways to use the humble lettuce. Be inspired by our recipes for quick braised lettuce & peas, cod with bacon, lettuce & peas, and Thai green pork lettuce cups.

10. Kiwi


The juicy green flesh of kiwi fruit is packed full of nutrients and will give you a hydrating boost. Have a look at our vibrant kiwi recipes, we have smoothies, tacos and rainbow fruit lollies for you to enjoy.

11. Peaches

Peaches in a basket

Fragrant and juicy, peaches are a summer favourite, popular in savoury and sweet dishes. Try in a chutney, in a tarte tatin, or grilled in a summer salad. Find more inspiration in our peach recipes.

12. Watercress

A bunch of watercress

Watercress is so much more than a simple garnish: use this versatile leaf to make punchy salads and make flavourful soups, sauces and flavoured butters. Find out more about wonderful watercress and discover watercress recipes.

13. Oranges

Three oranges on a chopping board

Serving half-time oranges is a ritual in many sports, offering a welcome burst of hydration to players. This popular citrus fruit is also packed with vitamins and minerals, including protective antioxidants which can help to protect cells from damage. Find out the health benefits of oranges and discover orange recipes.

14. Yogurt

Yoghurt with berries

Enjoy yogurt in sweet and savoury dishes, dressings and marinades, in baking, ice lollies, or served with fruit. Whether natural or Greek, find out how to use up leftover yogurt.

15. Cottage cheese

Cottage cheese served on a small plate

High in protein and low in calories, cottage cheese is a healthier cheese option, ideal for weight management or anyone looking to boost their protein or calcium intake. Try our cottage cheese fritters, spicy tuna & cottage cheese jacket or mini spinach & cottage cheese frittatas.

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What are your favourite summer foods? Leave a comment below.


All health content on bbcgoodfood.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other healthcare professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local healthcare provider. See our website terms and conditions for more information.

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