Can You Drink Juice Instead of Water?

Two women holding glass of juice and eating
Two young women drinking juice and eating fruit. (Image: DAJ/amana images/Getty Images)

You have probably heard the recommendation that you drink several glasses of water each day for proper health and hydration, but you may be wondering if water is the only beverage you can have to meet this quota. While water should make up the majority of your daily beverage consumption, a glass of 100 percent fruit juice can be part of a nutritious diet. However, it is not a good idea to drink more than that in one day.

Benefits of Water

Water helps replenish the fluids your body loses when you are physically active, when you sweat and when you urinate. MedlinePlus.com notes that you should aim to drink between six and eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day to ensure that your body has plenty of fluids. Water is inexpensive, easy to get and does not contain any calories.

Benefits of Juice

As long as you opt for 100 percent fruit juice, a glass each day can count towards your daily recommendation of fruit. Drinking pure fruit juice will supply some of the vitamins and minerals you would get from eating a whole piece of fruit. Orange, apple and cranberry juice all contain a healthy dose of nutrients like potassium and vitamin C. Another benefit of fruit juice is that if you have a hard time eating enough fruit, it can help you consume enough of this important food group.

Drawback of Juice

The primary drawback of juice, even if it is 100 percent juice, is that it contains calories, which water does not. Drinking too much fruit juice could lead to weight gain, particularly if you drink more than one glass per day. For comparison, a 1-cup serving of canned apple juice contains 114 calories, a 1-cup serving of orange juice from concentrate contains 112 calories and the same amount of unsweetened pineapple juice contains 132 calories.

How to Include Juice in Your Diet

You do not need to completely eliminate fruit juice from your daily diet because it is a nutritious drink, but you do need to limit how much you consume. The Harvard School of Public Health recommends keeping your daily intake to four ounces or less. Have a small glass with your breakfast or drink it as part of a healthy snack. Dilute a 4-ounce serving of juice in 4 ounces of seltzer water for a flavorful alternative to straight juice.

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