How Much Water Do You Eat?
We’re told day after day how much water we should be drinking. Some experts say you should determine your necessary water intake by body weight, others says it’s decided by your gender – but the general rule of thumb is that you should drink approximately 2 litres per day (and more during hotter months or illness).
Have you considered that the food you eat also contains water – which directly contributes to your daily intake?
Approximately 80% of our water intake comes from drinking water and other beverages, and the other 20% comes from food. Assuming these percentages are accurate for most of us, the recommended amount of beverages, including water, would be approximately 9 cups for women and 12.5 cups for men.
While 20% may seem like a lot of fluid to get from food, many common food items are mostly water. Here are some foods with high water content:
- Lettuce (1½ cup) – 95%
- Watermelon (1½ cup) – 92%
- Broccoli (1½ cup) – 91%
- Grapefruit (1½ cup) – 91%
- Milk (1 cup) – 89%
- Orange juice (3/4 cup) – 88%
- Carrot (1½ cup) – 87%
- Yogurt (1 cup) – 85%
- Apple (one medium) – 84%
If you consume the specified amounts of these foods regularly, you may be consuming more water than you know. Keep it up!
How Much Water Does it Take to Make Food?
It also takes more water to produce different types of food.
Different foods are more “water-friendly” than others. With 92% of the water we use being used for food production, it’s essential we shop smart. A few small difference to our shopping baskets could make all the difference for the world’s water consumption. The key to lower water consumption? Less red meat. Red meat is one of the worst foods for water consumption. When comparing a vegetarian’s consumption of water per day, it is around 2,500 litres. For meat eaters, however, it stands at twice that. 5,000 litres of water per day.
So, what can you do?
- Have one meat-free day a week. Less meat means lower water consumption. Try to go veggie!
- Choose grass-fed meat rather than corn. Corn fed meat requires more water to grow the corn, to then feed the animal. Grass-fed animals cut out this use of water as they are eating a natural plant.
- Do not waste food. In advanced nations, we throw away nearly a third of the food we purchase. This wastes the food and the water used to grow/feed it.