To the Editor:
At last the truth about water consumption is starting to leak out (Why You're Drinking too Much Water; 5/23/02)! I suspect the exaggeration of the amount of water a person ought to drink each day to stay healthy may have come about through careless transformations of the scientifically valid daily fluid requirement into a daily water requirement.The "fluid" humans require is, of course, water, which can be found in abundance in foods such as milk, juices, fruits, and vegetables, thus decreasing the amount of plain water required.
As the article accurately points out, a sedentary person who consumes a diet high in fresh produce can meet much of his or her fluid requirement from foods (the weight of a fresh tomato, for example, is about 94% water). And yes, the diuretic effects of caffeine are probably much less important than bottled water producers would have us believe at least for people who are used to consuming caffeine-containing beverages.
Ruth Kava, Ph.D., R.D.
Director of Nutrition
American Council on Science and Health
The Wall Street Journal