Does drinking juice count as water intake?

Staying hydrated is important for overall health. Many people wonder if drinking fruit juice and other beverages counts toward their daily water intake. This article explores whether juice can contribute to meeting your fluid needs.

How much water do you need daily?

The recommended total water intake per day varies based on factors like age, gender, activity level, and health status. The Institute of Medicine provides general total water intake recommendations:

Gender Age Range Total Water Intake (liters per day)
Male 19-30 years 3.7
Male 31-50 years 3.7
Male 51+ years 3.7
Female 19-30 years 2.7
Female 31-50 years 2.7
Female 51+ years 2.7

These recommendations include water from all beverages and foods. Only about 80% of total water intake comes from drinking water and beverages, with the other 20% coming from food.

Does juice hydrate like water?

Plain water is the best way to meet fluid needs, but other beverages like juice can contribute. Fruit juice is mostly water, providing about 80-90% water by volume. So drinking an 8 oz glass of juice provides about 6-7 oz (180-210 mL) of fluid.

Juice provides hydration, as it contains useful amounts of water and key electrolytes like potassium. Research shows that beverages like fruit juice and milk are as effective as plain water for rehydration after exercise.

However, juice and other beverages are not perfect substitutes for water. Water is ideal because it has no calories, additives, or acidity. Fruit juice contains natural sugars and has an acidic pH, which may contribute to dental erosion with excess intake.

So juice can provide hydration, but water should make up the bulk of fluid intake. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting juice to 4-6 oz (120-180 mL) per day for children under 7 years. For older children and adults, 8-12 oz (240-360 mL) of juice can be part of a balanced diet and contribute to fluid needs. But juice should not replace plain water as the primary beverage.

Factors impacting hydration from juice

Certain factors influence how well juice hydrates and contributes to water balance:

Sugar content

Beverages high in sugar like juice, soda, and sports drinks are not as effective for rehydration. The gut absorbs water more slowly when beverages contain over 6-8% carbohydrate or sugar concentration.

Salt content

Drinks with some salt, like sports drinks, promote better hydration than plain water when sweating due to exercise or heat. The electrolytes in these beverages enhance fluid balance.


Drinking larger volumes is key for meeting fluid needs. So consuming more juice or water better hydrates than smaller amounts.

Meal timing

Drinking juice along with meals or snacks helps retain more fluid compared to drinking on an empty stomach. Fluids consumed outside of eating may pass through the system more quickly.


Caffeinated drinks like coffee tend to have a mild diuretic effect. But this effect is small, so coffee and tea can contribute to hydration, especially when consumed with meals.

Juice varieties and their hydration potential

Not all juices are equal when it comes to nutritional value and hydration potential. Some key factors to consider:

Fruit vs. vegetable juice

Both provide hydration, but vegetable juices like tomato and carrot juice contain less natural sugar.

100% juice vs. juice drinks

Read labels closely, as juice drinks, cocktails, and punches often contain added sugars and minimal juice content. 100% juices contain more nutrients and less added sweeteners.

Fresh vs. processed juice

Freshly squeezed or extracted juices retain more vitamins and antioxidants than heavily processed varieties. But both can contribute to fluid intake.

Fiber content

Juices without pulp contain minimal fiber. Opt for juices with higher pulp and fiber, which promotes better blood sugar regulation.

Sodium content

Some juices add considerable sodium, such as tomato and vegetable juice. Higher sodium drinks retain fluids well.

Potassium content

Higher potassium juices like orange, grapefruit, and pineapple help maintain fluid balance.

Tips for getting fluid from juice

Here are some tips for meeting your fluid needs with juice:

– Choose 100% fruit juices and limit juice portions to 4-8 oz per day. Avoid sugar-laden juice drinks.

– Bulk up on vegetable juices like low-sodium tomato and carrot juice for hydration with less sugar.

– For fresh juice, opt for citrus, apple, grape, pineapple, or other fruits high in water content.

– When possible, make your own fresh juices and smoothies using whole fruits and veggies.

– Pair juices with snacks or meals to retain more fluid than drinking on an empty stomach.

– Always drink water as your primary beverage and sip it often throughout the day.

– If drinking juice before or after exercise, combine with some salty snacks to promote fluid absorption.

– Consider diluting your juice with a bit of water to reduce sugar content.

– Limit intake of juice and other sugary drinks if you have diabetes or metabolic syndrome risk factors.

Does juice count as water intake?

Juice can contribute to meeting daily fluid needs, as it provides hydration like water. However, juice should not replace plain water as your primary beverage. Here are some key takeaways:

– Juice is hydrating thanks to its high water content and electrolytes. An 8 oz serving provides about 6-7 oz of fluid.

– Juice is not as ideal for hydration as plain water due to its natural sugars and acidity. Intake should be limited to 4-8 oz per day for children and 8-12 oz for adults.

– Vegetable juices, fresh juices, and juices with pulp provide superior nutrition and hydration compared to heavily processed varieties.

– Pairing juice with meals or snacks helps maximize fluid absorption. Drink water consistently throughout the day as your primary beverage.

– While juice can contribute to fluid intake, water should make up the bulk of your daily fluid consumption.Aim to meet the Institute of Medicine’s recommended total water intake from beverages, foods, and drinking plain water.


Drinking fruit juice and vegetable juice can help meet your hydration needs, especially when you choose fresh, low-sugar varieties. But juice should not replace water as your go-to beverage. Water is nutritionally optimal and should make up most of your total fluid intake. Limit juice portions, focus on quality over sugary juice drinks, and always pair your juice with water for ideal hydration.

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