People who get most of their daily requirement for liquids from plain water rather than other beverages may have healthier diets overall, suggests a study from Queens College of the City of University of New York.
In this new report, researchers looked at data from a national health and nutrition survey conducted between 1999 and 2006 involving more than 12,000 Americans age 20 and older.
On average, respondents got one-third of their daily fluids from water, 48 percent from other beverages and the rest from food.
People who drank more "plain water" tended to eat more fiber, less sugar and fewer calorie-dense foods.
Calorie density refers to the amount of calories in a food in relation to its weight; fruits and vegetables, for instance, tend to have a low calorie density.
The reverse was true of people who got much of their fluids from other beverages, according to a report of the study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
People can meet their daily fluid needs from any source, including coffee, tea, juice and milk. Drinking plain water, therefore, is not necessary, but it may be preferable for limiting caloric intake.
As for how much water a person should drink, there is no straightforward answer - despite the popular belief that people need 8 glasses of water per day. As a general rule of thumb, sedentary healthy adults can let their thirst be their guide on when to drink, says the author of this study.
All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.