New York Hospital Dietician Discusses Hydration During the Summer

Posted on: June 17, 2013

A Cooler Way to Stay Hydrated This Summer!

by  Kimberly Stein RD, CDN, Northern Westchester Hospital

boy drinking water

Summer is just around the corner and with your beach plans being set in motion; you’ll want to remember to pack more than just your bathing suit this season. As temps rise and we start to feel the heat, staying hydrated is extra important to get the maximum out of your days in the sun.

Water is the zero calorie drink that has a loving relationship with our body.  It helps balance our body fluids, controls caloric intake, energizes muscles and skin, and flushes unwanted toxins away.  While it might seem daunting to gulp down the recommended 8 glasses per day, it can be done! Believe it or not, there are some really neat ways of increasing your fluid intake just by what you eat! Here are some refreshing foods and recipes to help you stay hydrated this sunny season…

1. Watermelon
Its name might be a clear giveaway but watermelon is approximately 90% water. Seeds or no seeds, this juicy fruit is a nutritional powerhouse. Vitamin C and lycopene (what makes watermelon that beautiful red color) both aid in cancer prevention and boosting antioxidant levels.  Buy it whole and chomp down on individual slices or try a new salsa recipe by mixing it with some peppers and spices for a new sweet and spicy twist.

2. Bell Peppers
This crunchy, yet sweet vegetable comes in a variety of colors- take your pick! Bell peppers pack a nutritional punch with their wide array of vitamins and minerals; supporting eyesight, brain function, and cancer prevention. Peppers are about 92% water, so you are sure to feel refreshed after taking a bite of this veggie.

3. Pineapple
A super sweet treat and equally as juicy, pineapple is sure to satisfy your hunger and your thirst. Pineapple is full of a specific enzyme called bromelain, which is designed to aid digestion. The added fiber in pineapple will also help with digestion, by making you feel more full. Cut up some pineapple and add it to your stir-fry with some veggies. The sweetness of the fruit will add a whole new flavor to your meal.

4. Cucumber
Munching on a cucumber might be the next best thing to drinking a glass of water. This star vegetable has a 96% water content! Cucumbers are packed with vitamin C, which assist with lowering inflammation. Slice some into your salad for a cool, satisfying crunch.

These and other mouth-watering recipes can be found on our website.

Watermelon Salsa
Courtesy of

Watermelon is a juicy fruit that will cool you down in the summer heat!

3 cups finely diced seedless watermelon (about 2 ¼ pounds with rind)
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup lime juice
¼ cup minced red onion
¼ tsp salt, or to taste

1. Place watermelon, jalapeños, cilantro, lime juice, and onion in a medium bowl.
2. Stir well to combine.
3. (Optional) Season with salt.
4. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Nutrition Facts: Serves 8 – Serving Size ½ cup. Calories 26, Protein 1g, Fat 0g, Carbohydrates 7g, Fiber 1g, Sodium 75 mg, Cholesterol 0mg

Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Dip
Courtesy of

Try this fun and healthy hummus alternative for your next party!

¾ cup pomegranate juice
½ cup walnuts
3 tbsp. unseasoned bread crumbs
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 (16-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
¼ tsp. ground cumin, plus more for garnish
1 tbsp. olive oil, plus 1 tsp. for garnish
Pita toasts, for serving

1. Put the pomegranate juice, into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until juice has reduced to about 2 tbsp. (about 6 minutes). Set aside to cool and thicken.
2. Toast the walnuts in a dry skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant (about 2 minutes). Set aside to cool.
3. Put the walnuts and breadcrumbs into a food processor and process until finely ground.
4. Add the reduced pomegranate juice, lemon juice, red peppers, cayenne pepper and cumin and process until smooth. With the processor on add olive oil slowly.
5.  Season with salt, to taste. Sprinkle with cumin and olive oil and serve.

Nutrition Facts: Serves 8 – Serving Size 1/8 recipe. Calories 113, Protein 1.6g, Fat 7.4g, (Sat Fat 2.5g, Mono 2.5g, Poly 3.8g), Carbohydrates 16g, Fiber 0.6g,Sodium 136 mg,
Cholesterol 0mg

Tropical Cucumber Salad
Courtesy of

This combo is an island treat you are sure to enjoy!

3 – 5 tsp. fish sauce
1 tsp. freshly grated lime zest, plus more for garnish
2 tbsp. lime juice
1 tbsp. canola oil
2 tsp. light brown sugar
1 tsp. rice vinegar
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper
1 medium cucumber, cut into ¾ -inch dice
1 avocado, cut into ¾ -inch dice
1 mango, cut into ¾ -inch dice
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. Whisk fish sauce to taste, lime zest, lime juice, oil, brown sugar, vinegar, and crushed red pepper in a large bowl until combined.
2.  Add cucumber, avocado, mango and cilantro
3.  Gently toss to coat
Serve garnished with lime zest

Nutrition Facts: Serves 4 – Serving Size 1 cup. Calories 169, Protein 3g, Fat 11g, (Sat Fat 1g, Mono 7g), Carbohydrates 18g, Fiber 5g, Sodium 178mg, Cholesterol 0mg