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8 hydrating foods that add to your daily water intake

Eating water-rich foods can help you stay hydrated, especially during the warmer months. Try a few of these refreshing – and healthy – options.

One small thing: Cut watermelon into cubes and enjoy as a refreshing dessert or pick-me-up office snack. Bonus – it adds to your daily water intake too.

Up to 60% of the adult human body is made up of water. Throughout the day we lose this vital fluid through breathing, sweating, digestion and other metabolic processes, so it’s important to keep replenishing it.

“In hot weather, the body can lose around 500ml per hour, which is why we must drink [fluids] regardless of whether we feel thirsty,” says Johannesburg-based dietitian Amanda van Huyssteen.

How much water should you drink per day?

While most experts agree you should be drinking water daily, opinions vary as to what constitutes an adequate amount. Some say eight glasses a day, which is a good standard measure, but individual needs will differ.

To help you achieve your daily fluid quota, you can include more of these foods which have a high water content

1. Cucumber
Water content: 97%
Cucumbers have a very low energy content, which makes them an extremely useful snack for weight loss.
Lunchbox hack: Take large cucumber chunks to work and dip them in hummus for a healthy snack.

2. Watermelon
Water content: 91%
In addition to its low energy content, this refreshing summer fruit provides us with vitamin C and carotenoids.
Lunchbox hack: Cut watermelon into cubes and enjoy as a refreshing dessert or pick-me-up office snack.

3. Spinach
Water content: 91%
An excellent source of vitamins and minerals, this leafy superfood is a noteworthy addition to your diet.
Lunchbox hack: A spinach-cucumber smoothie earns double water points. Blitz with apple and kiwi for a refreshing summer cooler.

4. Strawberries
Water content: 91%
These sweet berries are high in vitamin C and relatively low in kilojoules.
Lunchbox hack: This is the ultimate snack food as they’re ready to eat, or you can purée them and blend with low-fat yoghurt for a delicious strawberry smoothie.

5. Skimmed or low-fat milk
Water content: 91%
A source of calcium, vitamin D and protein, milk is simply great as a drink on its own, poured over cereal or used in cooking.
Lunchbox hack: A carton of cold plain or flavoured milk in your child’s lunchbox is a simple way to ensure a boost to their fluid, protein and calcium intake.

6. Sweet melon (spanspek)
Water content: 90%
High in vitamins A and C, sweet melon is an excellent snack and, like some other orange fruits, it is a good source of beta carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A.
Lunchbox hack: Use a melon baller or small teaspoon to make melon balls for a fruit snack on the go.

7. Carrots
Water content: 88%
High in beta carotene and a source of fibre as well as vitamins K and B6, this vegetable packs a nutritious punch.
Lunchbox hack: Carrot sticks are a simple addition to your lunchbox. Serve them with beetroot hummus or guacamole for extra nutrients and healthy fats.

8. Cauliflower
Water content: 92%
Rich in vitamin C and phytonutrients that are thought to help prevent cancer, cauliflower is a low-energy food perfect for the crudité platter.
Lunchbox hack: If you’re having leftover curry or savoury mince for lunch, why not substitute the grains for cauliflower rice?

Small change, big difference

Fruit and vegetables also add flavour to water, so add slices of watermelon, cucumber, pineapple, lemon or lime to make an infusion. Herbs like mint are also great for livening up water, which many people find difficult to drink plain.

If you have a question for our dietitians, click here, or to find a dietitian in your area, visit To get in touch with us, email