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Can water be replaced with fruit juice? So instead of drinking a certain amount of water daily, would it be better to get your H2O from fruit juices?

Edit 1:

How about veggi juice?

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Veggi juice should probably be a separate question... But, as far as premade veggi juice goes, watch out for high sodium (this is as bad or worse than high sugar). If you're juicing your own vegetables it's not really an issue as long as you dilute or supplement the juice with enough water to allow your body to better metabolize the juice. –  Evan Plaice Mar 29 '11 at 16:02
    
I suppose you might also drink milk, tea, coffee, vegetable juices and so on –  Theta30 Sep 11 '11 at 7:18
    
Off topic per new FAQ –  Baarn Sep 21 '12 at 15:32
    
So what's going to happen say after 20 years if the FAQ changes again, are people here going to go around and close 20 years worth of questions? Just curious. –  oshirowanen Sep 21 '12 at 21:20
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closed as off topic by Greg Sep 21 '12 at 15:44

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2 Answers

up vote 14 down vote accepted

There's no absolute "better" or "worse" for this type of substitution. It depends entirely on what problem you are trying to solve and what nutritional goals you are trying to achieve.

To answer your question most literally — "Yes", you can satisfy your daily water requirements with fruit juice. There is sufficient water in virtually any fruit juice for your body to extract the water it needs.

But water and fruit juice are not the same thing. Only you can decide what that balance is to achieve your goals (or provide more details in your question to get it answered properly). Consider also: Why the extremes? Why is it all water or all juice? Moderation.

Some differences to consider:

  • Juice has calories (sometimes a lot). Water doesn't. If you substitute juice for water, you will have to cut back on caloric intake somewhere else, or gain weight.
  • Juice contains vitamins and other nutritional benefits. Water has none. If your diet doesn't currently contain enough of these nutrients, juice is a good way to get them.
  • Juice can contain a lot of sugars; some naturally occuring, some not. Too much sugar (no matter where it comes from) is not good for you. Without more details in your your question, only you can decide if the juice-equivalent of your "eight glasses per day" (give or take) contains an excessive amount of sugar.
  • Juice is not a direct one-to-one substitution for water. It takes a certain amount of water for your body to metabolize the juice. Your body wont have the same amount of water available from juice as it would from an equivalent amount of water. But unless you are living on that dire-edge of dehydration, this will not likely be a problem. Drink when you are thirsty.

Fruit juice is, essentially, a food. It provides nutrition. It provides calories. You should treat it like any other food; You should know what you are putting in your body and why.

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Excellent answer @Robert! –  Ivo Flipse Mar 23 '11 at 22:52
    
Not only are juices full of sugar, they are full of fructose, which is particularly suboptimal. Also, it's easy to end up with too much of a certain nutrient with some juices (e.g., iron with OJ, as described by Tim Ferriss). –  JDelage Mar 24 '11 at 17:24
    
+1 good answer. I'd put special emphasis on "Juice can contain a lot of sugars". Drinking large quantities of juice can be very bad for your teeth as well as make it difficult for your body to maintain a healthy blood-sugar balance. –  Evan Plaice Mar 29 '11 at 16:00
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You're supposed to drink 8-10 glasses of water a day. 8-10 glasses of juice is a lot of excess calories and sugar. You might find yourself gaining weight at a rapid pace which maybe you want. It's like drinking soda.

355 mL can of Coca Cola = 39g of sugar

200 mL juice box of Trader Joe's White Grape Juice = 30g of sugar

Just some thoughts to consider if you do switch.

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