Water is essential for life. We need it for hydration, digestion, circulation, creating saliva, maintaining body temperature, and more. With so many beverage options available, it can be confusing determining which ones actually contribute to our daily water needs. What about fruit juices like apple juice? Are they composed mostly of water, or do their natural sugars make them more similar to sodas in terms of hydration? Let’s take a deeper look at the ingredients and nutrition facts of apple juice to find out if it counts toward our daily water intake.
The Composition of Apple Juice
Apple juice is made by pressing apples to extract the liquid and pulp from the fruit. It typically contains three main components:
- Water – extracted from the apples
- Sugar – from natural fructose in the apples
- Trace nutrients – like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants originally found in the fruit
The specific percentages and quantities can vary between brands, but in general apple juice is composed of:
As you can see, the vast majority of apple juice is simply water – around 88% by weight. Only 10% comes from naturally-occurring sugars, and 2% is other solids like fiber, vitamins, and minerals. This is a stark contrast from soda, which gets 30-40% or more of its weight from added sugars and other flavorings.
The Nutrition Facts of Apple Juice
Looking at the nutrition label of bottled apple juice also provides more details:
|Per 8 oz Serving
|% Daily Value
Per 8 ounce serving, apple juice has 114 calories, 0g fat, 28g total carbs, and 24g sugars. So the majority of the carbohydrates come from natural fructose and glucose found in the apples. There is also a small amount of vitamin C, potassium, and other micronutrients.
Apple Juice as a Source of Hydration
Given its high water content and low to moderate sugar content, apple juice can contribute to daily hydration needs. An 8oz serving provides about a quarter of the recommended daily water intake for adults:
- Recommended daily water intake for men: 3 liters (about 13 cups)
- Recommended daily water intake for women: 2.2 liters (about 9 cups)
However, the following factors should be considered when determining how much apple juice to count toward your daily fluid requirements:
- Sugar content – Apple juice has more natural sugars than plain water, which may lead to faster fluid excretion.
- Fiber content – Lack of fiber means juice passes through the digestive system faster than whole apples.
- Serving size – Drinking more than 8-12oz of juice at a time floods the body with concentrated sugars.
Based on these points, some recommendations for counting apple juice toward daily water intake include:
- Limit apple juice to 8-12oz per serving
- Aim for no more than 24-32oz (3-4 servings) of juice per day
- Drink juicce with meals or snacks to slow absorption
- Balance juice intake with plenty of plain water
Drinking apple juice in moderation, alongside sufficient plain water, can contribute to meeting daily hydration needs without spiking blood sugar levels.
Apple Juice vs. Other Beverages
Comparing apple juice to other beverages also gives a sense of its hydration potential:
Apple and orange juice have high water content comparable to skim milk. But their higher natural sugar content lowers their hydration potential compared to plain water. Meanwhile, soft drinks have added sugars that significantly reduce hydration despite their water content.
The Benefits of Apple Juice
Drinking apple juice in moderation has several benefits beyond basic hydration. These include:
- Convenience – Prepackaged juice provides hydration on-the-go.
- Flavor – Juice tastes better than plain water for some people.
- Nutrients – Juice provides some vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
- Health conditions – The nutrients in juice can help manage certain health conditions.
- Digestion – Some people find diluted juice easier to digest than plain water.
In particular, apple juice provides a concentrated dose of beneficial plant compounds like polyphenols and vitamin C. These function as antioxidants to reduce inflammation and protect cells from damage. So drinking a moderate amount of juice can fit into an overall healthy diet.
Potential Downsides to Apple Juice
There are also some potential downsides of drinking apple juice instead of plain water:
- Calories – Juice contains more calories per serving compared to water.
- Sugar spike – The natural sugars in juice can cause a quick spike and crash of blood glucose.
- Tooth decay – Fruit sugars cling to teeth and promote cavities and decay.
- Cost – Packaged juices are significantly more expensive than tap water.
- Lack of fiber – Juices have the fiber removed during processing.
To counter these, it’s best to drink apple juice in small portions alongside meals and balance it with plenty of water. Children under 5 years and people with diabetes or gut conditions should take extra care with juice intake.
Is apple juice considered water? Based on its composition and nutrition facts, apple juice can contribute to daily hydration needs. An 8oz serving provides about 88% water and 10% naturally-occurring sugars. Drinking 24-32oz of juice per day, balanced with plenty of plain water, can be part of meeting fluid requirements.
However, apple juice has less hydration potential than plain water due to its sugar content. And drinking too much juice floods the body with concentrated sugars and calories. So it’s best to enjoy apple juice in moderation as part of an overall healthy diet, focusing on plain water as the primary hydration source.