Water is an essential nutrient, needed to control body temperature, lubricate and cushion joints, transport nutrients, and remove waste. Consuming approximately 64 ounces of total water daily was the recommendation from the Nutrition Council in 1945. In 2005 the Food Nutrition Board set the Adequate Intake (AI) for total water at 101 ounces (about 12 cups) for men age 19-30 and 74 ounces (about 9 cups) for women age 19-30. However, that does not mean the requirement must be met by drinking plain glasses of water. Water also comes from the food we eat and the beverages we drink. For example, watermelon is 91% water, carrots are 88% water, and even roasted chicken is 65% water. Even your morning coffee or tea counts towards the fluid goal.
How much should we drink? Drinking to satisfy thirst is a good rule of thumb, but older adults beware. As we age, the sensation of thirst does not kick in as quickly, especially on hot summer days or cold dry days. Older adults should be more careful about staying hydrated during these times. Check out missourifamilies.org for more thirst-quenching info.