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February 11, 2004

Running Time: 0:58:58
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The vast majority of healthy people adequately meet their daily hydration needs by letting thirst be their guide, says the newest report on nutrient recommendations from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. The report set general recommendations for water intake based on detailed national data, which showed that women who appear to be adequately hydrated consume an average of approximately 2.7 liters (91 ounces) of total water -- from all beverages and foods -- each day, and men average approximately 3.7 liters (125 ounces) daily. These values represent adequate intake levels, the panel said; those who are very physically active or who live in hot climates may need to consume more water. About 80 percent of people's total water comes from drinking water and beverages -- including caffeinated beverages -- and the other 20 percent is derived from food.

John W. Erdman, Nutrition Research Chair and Professor at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana and Chair, Standing Committee on the Scientific Evaluation of Dietary Reference Intakes and Lawrence Appel, Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology, and International Health, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Md. and Chair, Panel on Dietary Reference Intakes for Electrolytes and Water.