Understanding Fluid Consumption Patterns to Improve Healthy Hydration

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Abstract

Water is quantitatively by far the No. 1 nutrient in our diet. Of course, this can vary, depending on the amount and the quality of food and drink one consumes, but approximately 50% of what we eat and drink every day is water (CIQUAL, Table CIQUAL 2008, composition nutritionnelle des aliments, 2008, Centre d'Information sur la Qualité des Aliments, http://www.afssa.fr/TableCIQUAL/; US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, 2005, USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 18. Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page, http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp; NUTTAB, 2006, Food Standards Australia New Zealand [FSANZ], http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/monitoringandsurveillance/nuttab2006/). It is also the No. 1 component of the human body by mass. This varies from one person to another, depending on individual characteristics such as body weight, ratio between lean and adipose tissues, and physiological state (pregnancy, etc), but approximately 60% of the adult body is composed of water. [Nutr Rev 2005;63(6 pt 2):S40-S54]. Finally, no biological reaction or function in the body would be possible without water. In other words, life is not possible without water. This makes the quantity and the quality of the fluids we have to drink every day quite an important issue both nutritionally and physiologically. From this perspective, it is interesting to discuss available recommendations for water intake and their reliability. This is very challenging, because no study is available on the long-term health effects of the quantity and/or the quality of fluids ingested

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