Walk Talk Nutrition: 8 glasses of water?

waterglassesMichelle Obama recently made another foray into the nutrition profession, with her advice to drink 8 glasses of water a day, for health.  She also claims water is an “energy” drink, which is false, since water has zero calories, and calories are energy.  Her initiative, with the semi-unfortunate title of “Drink Up”, is predictably funded by beverage companies with a vested interest in water consumption.

The “8 glasses of water a day” recommendation has been floating around for a long time.  What’s the truth behind the advice?  Kathy and Donna discuss the origins and the health and nutritional rationale for drinking 8 glasses of water a day

WalkTalk22You can find the official Institute of Medicine water recommendations here.

Kathy wrote about water here.

Here’s a discussion of the 8 glasses recommendation from Scientific American.

The basics:

  1. For most people, drink to thirst.
  2. All beverages, except alcoholic, count towards fluid intake.
  3. Water in foods counts too.  And high water content foods are filling, helping you control appetite.

Here are some random numbers on the % of water in certain foods:

  • bananas 75% water
  • cantaloupe 90%
  • cucumber 97%
  • orange 85%
  • lettuce 95%
  • kidney beans 67%
  • cooked meats 67%
  • bacon 23%
  • apple 85%
  • blueberries 84%
  • baked potato 75% (like banana)
  • boiled potato 77%
  • potato chips 2%
  • cooked oatmeal 85%
  • Cheerios 5%
  • granola bar 4%
  • yogurt 85%

So good news: coffee and tea can be counted towards fluid intake.  But what about espresso?

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