Does drinking juice with water count as drinking water?

Staying hydrated is important for our health. Water makes up about 60% of our body weight and is essential for many bodily functions including regulating temperature, cushioning joints, protecting organs and tissues, and more. But when it comes to meeting our daily fluid needs, does drinking juice with added water count as drinking plain water?

The Importance of Staying Hydrated

The Institute of Medicine recommends that women consume 2.7 liters (91 ounces) of total water per day from all beverages and foods, and men consume 3.7 liters (125 ounces) per day. These recommended intake levels vary based on factors like age, health status, and physical activity level.

Getting enough fluid prevents dehydration, which can cause headaches, fatigue, dizziness, and impaired cognitive function. In severe cases, dehydration can lead to organ damage. Drinking adequate water is also linked to weight management, heart and kidney health, and athletic performance.

What Counts Towards Your Total Fluid Intake?

Plain drinking water is the healthiest way to meet your hydration needs, but other beverages can contribute as well. Here are some examples of fluids that count towards your daily total:

  • Plain water
  • Sparkling/mineral water
  • Tea and coffee
  • Milk and plant-based milks
  • Fruit juice with no added sugars
  • Vegetable juice
  • Soup broths
  • Smoothies made with fruits and vegetables

The main thing is to choose unsweetened, low-calorie options whenever possible. Beverages like soda, sweet tea, sports drinks, juice cocktails, and alcohol provide hydration but add extra sugar and calories without nutritional benefits.

The Pros and Cons of Fruit Juice

What about fruit juice? Pure juices made from fruits and vegetables can provide hydration along with some vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. But fruit juice has some drawbacks:

Pros Cons
– Convenient source of fluids – High in natural sugars
– Provides some nutrients like vitamin C, potassium, etc. – Lacks fiber from whole fruits/veggies
– Variety of flavors – Potential food safety risks if unpasteurized

Fruit juice contains beneficial compounds from fruits and vegetables, but the juicing process removes the pulp and skins which contain fiber. The resulting juice is high in sugar without the fiber to slow absorption. Drinking juice spikes blood sugar levels more dramatically compared to eating whole produce.

Diluting Juice with Water

One way to improve the nutritional profile of fruit juice is to dilute it with water. Adding water reduces the concentration of sugars and provides hydration. The ideal juice-to-water ratio depends on your goals:

  • 1:1 ratio – Cuts the sugars and calories in half while still providing nutrients.
  • 1:3 ratio – Provides more hydration with less spike in blood sugar levels.
  • 1:5+ ratio – Maximizes hydration with minimal sugars/calories.

Diluting juice makes it more like whole produce nutritionally by lowering the sugar content. Be sure to use 100% juice without added sweeteners for the healthiest option.

Tips for Diluting Juice

Here are some tips for diluting juice at home:

  • Use a pitcher or bottle to mix juice and water.
  • Start with mostly water and add small amounts of juice to taste.
  • Mix and store diluted juice in the fridge for up to 3-5 days.
  • Add frozen fruit like berries or orange slices to make a flavored water beverage.
  • Try sparkling water instead of plain water for variety.
  • Gradually increase water and decrease juice over time as your taste adapts.

Diluted juice is safer for children than full-strength juice. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting juice intake to 4-6 oz per day for kids 1-6 years old, and 8-12 oz for kids 7-18 years.

Does Diluted Juice Count as Drinking Water?

When it comes to meeting daily fluid requirements, diluted juice can count towards your total water intake. However, it shouldn’t completely replace plain water for optimum hydration. Here are some considerations:

  • Hydration – Diluted juice provides fluid, but may not hydrate as efficiently as plain water.
  • Sugars and calories – Even when diluted, juice contains more natural sugars than plain water.
  • Nutrients – Juice contains beneficial vitamins and antioxidants, but lacks fiber from whole fruits/veggies.
  • Variety – Alternating between plain water and diluted juice can help meet fluid needs.

Drinking some diluted juice can add flavor and nutrients to your daily fluid intake. Just be sure plain water makes up the majority of what you drink for optimal hydration. Aim for at least 6-8 cups of total fluids daily from a mix of water, diluted juice, tea, coffee, milk and other beverages.

Healthy Hydration Tips

Here are some tips to help you stay hydrated and healthfully meet your daily fluid needs:

  • Drink a glass of water with each meal and snack.
  • Carry a refillable water bottle throughout your day.
  • Choose water or unsweetened teas and coffee.
  • Limit juice to 4-6 oz per day, and dilute it with water.
  • Eat fruits and veggies with high water content like oranges, grapes, lettuce, celery, etc.
  • Choose lower-sodium soups and broths.
  • Drink before, during and after exercise.
  • Listen to your thirst cues and drink when thirsty.
  • Monitor your urine color as an indicator of hydration status.

Meeting fluid needs throughout the day will help you stay energized and healthy. Drinking some diluted fruit or vegetable juice can add flavor and nutrients, as long as plain water makes up most of your daily fluid intake.


Drinking diluted juice can contribute to your daily fluid needs and provide beneficial vitamins and antioxidants. However, plain water should make up the majority of intake for optimal hydration. The ideal approach is to focus on plain water and eat whole fruits and veggies, using small amounts of diluted juice for variety. Limit juice to 4-6 oz per day for children under 18 and 8-12 oz per day for adults. Diluting juice helps reduce the sugar content and makes it more nutritionally similar to whole produce. Getting adequate fluids from a mix of plain water, diluted juices, coffee, tea, milk and other beverages is important for staying hydrated and healthy.

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