by Savannah Peters, MS, ATC, LAT

Nothing tastes better than that first sip of water on a hot summer day but, did you know that 20% of the water our bodies need comes from the food we eat? While we often hear the recommendation of drinking eight glasses or 64 ounces of water a day, the National Academy of Medicine suggests even higher amounts. For physically demanding jobs, proper hydration becomes even more essential. Luckily, there are simple and tasty ways to replenish your fluid and electrolyte levels. Let’s dive in and discover these hydrating food choices perfect for hot days that suit your preferences and lifestyle.

Beef Kebabs

Time: 30 minutes | Serves: 4-6

For the spice mix:
– 4 tsp. salt
– 2 tsp. paprika
– 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
– 1/2 tsp. onion powder
– 1/2 tsp. black pepper
– 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
– 1/4 tsp. ground oregano
– 1/4 tsp. ground thyme

For the kebabs & orzo:
– 2 1/4 lb. top sirloin or tri-tip steak, trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch pieces
– Salt, to taste
– 1 1/2 c. orzo
– Olive oil for orzo and kebabs
– Black pepper, to taste
– 2 pt. yellow or red cherry tomatoes
– 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
– 1 zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise into chunks
– 1 large red onion, cut into chunks

1. Mix the spice mix in a small bowl.

2. Pat the meat dry and sprinkle with spice mix. Place in large resealable plastic bags and refrigerate 2-3 hours. Remove from fridge 30 minutes before grilling.

3. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the orzo and cook according to the package directions. Drain and return to the pot. Toss with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm while you grill the kebabs.

4. Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium high. Thread the meat, cherry tomatoes, bell pepper, zucchini and red onion onto 18 skewers, alternating ingredients. Brush lightly with olive oil and season the vegetables with salt.

5. Grill the kebabs, turning a few times, until charred, about 4 minutes for medium-rare steak. Serve with the orzo.

Alternatively, try with chicken, tofu, or shrimp!

Strawberry-Lime Slushie

Time: 2 minutes Serves: 1

– 2 cups frozen, unsweetened, strawberries
– 1 lime, juiced
– ½ cup 100% cranberry juice

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until completely smooth, about 1 minute.

Strawberries and limes are renowned for their rich Vitamin C content. When combined, they create a delicious and cooling beverage that satisfies your taste buds and supports a healthy immune system. Additionally, both fruits have high water content, making an ideal choice to stay hydrated and meet your daily hydration goals.

Quick Pickles

For my fellow pickle lovers, pickling foods can be a great and simple way to keep hydration interesting. Pickled foods can be a great source of probiotics, antioxidants, and vitamins, keeping you hydrated and replenishing electrolytes.

Savannah Peters, MS, ATC, LAT || Savannah is an Injury Prevention Specialist in Hillsboro, OR. She grew up in California then pursued further education in New York where she studied and played volleyball at Clarkson University. She holds a master’s degree from Stony Brook University. She enjoys playing volleyball, creating and exploring new foods, and hanging out with her cats, Potato and Luna. .

Be sure to check out our other blogs for further injury prevention education and tips for the industrial athlete from Work Right NW!