How Food Contributes to Daily Fluid Intake

Quick Read – 2 minutes

Most of us are aware that to keep ourselves suitably hydrated, we should aim to drink enough water each day. The amount of water required to stay hydrated varies from person to person and can depend on the activity carried out that day.

The body loses water by going to the toilet and sweating. We lose more water when in a warmer climate, wearing synthetic clothing, and exercising more. Certain medical conditions e.g. diabetes or heart disease can also impact how much we need to drink.

The Eatwell Guide recommends between 6-8 cups or glasses of water a day, with lower-fat milk, fruit juice and smoothies, lower-sugar or sugar-free drinks, and tea and coffee all counting towards keeping your body hydrated. But did you know that food containing water also counts towards your daily fluid intake?

According to the Institute of Medicine, about 80% of our daily total water intake comes from drinking water and beverages. The other 20% comes from food. Food becomes a source of hydration when it contains a high percentage of water such as melons, celery, and tomatoes. Below are some more examples of fruit and vegetables which have an especially high water content:

Cucumbers - cucumbers are low in calories and are a source of vitamins and fibre. They have the highest water content of any food, containing 96% water.

Apples - apples are made up of 85% water. They are also low in calories, and a source of vitamins, fibre and antioxidants.

Spinach - spinach contains 93% water and is a very good source of iron, essential for transporting oxygen around the body and maintaining immune system health.

Oranges – oranges contain 86% water. Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, clementine's and satsumas are also good sources of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that ensures the immune and nervous systems are operating correctly, and helps the body to absorb iron.

Broccoli – florets of broccoli consist of 90% water. Broccoli contains lots of nutrients such as iron, calcium, Vitamin K, Vitamin A, and folic acid.

Eating fruit and vegetables is a great way of supplementing your water intake, maintaining hydration whilst also providing the body with the fibre, vitamins and minerals it needs to stay healthy.

Data Source: 

NHS Eat Well Guide