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Water consumption in free-living adults
  1. E Al-Jalali,
  2. S M Shirreffs
  1. School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire LE11 3TU, UK


Water is the largest single component of the human body. It is obtained from food and beverage consumption and by metabolic production in the body. This study investigated water consumption in adults living in the UK. 40 males and 40 females (mean±SD age 34±13 years, body mass 72±19 kg, height 169±10 cm, body mass index 25±6 kg/m2, mean arterial blood pressure 97±13 mm Hg) completed a three consecutive day dietary record for 1 weekend and 2 week days. Every item consumed (food and drinks), the eating occasion (meal or snack), time, food preparation method, brand of product, location of consumption and details of any people with them were recorded. Females tended to consume more water than males (2402±827 ml/day, 2056±911 ml/day respectively p=0.079). More water was consumed via nonwater beverages than food and plain water (p=0.000): for females this was 1013±552 ml, 556±220 ml and 833±683 ml and for males were 924±637 ml, 567±248 ml and 565±574 ml, respectively. This is equivalent to 27±11% of total daily water intake from food, 45±20% from nonwater beverages and 28±21% from plain water. There was no difference in total water intake on weekend days compared to week days for females 2488±1041 ml, 2446±831 ml and 2272±921 ml (p=0.892) or for males 2132±1353 ml, 2101±1295 ml and 1934±876 ml (p=0.869). There was no difference in total water intake among females and males relative to weekend days and week day 1 and week day 2 (p=0.191), (p=0.160) and (p=0.097). The mean amount of water consumed per person per day in UK population was 2229±882 ml with 1668±766 ml being obtained from beverages. This is similar to previous research1 which found that the total beverage consumption in Britain in 2000/2001 was 1988 ml/day for males and 1585 ml/day for females.

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