You probably get about 20 percent of your daily fluid need just from the foods you eat. Fruits tend to have plenty of water, whereas something dry like toast has much less.
The other 80 percent of your fluid need comes from the beverages you drink or liquid foods you eat.
Plain water is probably the best choice because it provides water without adding any calories. Drink tap water, bottled water, sparkling water and there are even waters infused with fruit-flavorings. Some brands of flavored water also have sweeteners added, so you need to read the label if you want to avoid the extra calories (plus they taste more like soft drinks than water).
Herbal teas have virtually no calories unless you add sugar and milk. Other healthy beverages include 100-percent fruit juices, vegetable juices and low-fat milk. They contain some calories but also offer lots of vitamins and minerals. It's important to note that vegetable juices can be high in sodium.
Coffee and black or green tea contain caffeine and many people think that the diuretic effect of caffeine offsets the amount of water supplied, but recent studies suggest that's not true. Caffeine is a nervous system stimulant and caffeine-sensitive individuals may need to avoid excess consumption of highly caffeinated beverages like coffee, colas and energy drinks.
Sugar-sweetened soft drinks usually contain no nutritional value, and they may have a lot of calories that can lead to excess weight gain if you regularly consume more calories than your body burns.
Other high-calorie beverages include milk shakes, malts, ice cream sodas and frozen sugary coffee drinks.
More About Drinking Water
- Back Pain and Chronic Dehydration
- Dehydration and Headaches
- Will Drinking Water Help Me Lose Weight
- Why Do I Need More Water When It's Hot?
Armstrong LE, Pumerantz AC, Roti MW, Judelson DA, Watson G, Dias JC, Sokmen B, Casa DJ, Maresh CM, Lieberman H, Kellogg M. "Fluid, electrolyte, and renal indices of hydration during 11 days of controlled caffeine consumption." Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2005 Jun;15(3):252-65.