Facts and figures

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  • Approximately 60% of an individual’s body weight is water.
  • Fluid is vital for the body to function properly. It is involved in:
  • removing waste, toxins and excess nutrients from the body
  • preserving the skin’s elasticity, softness and colouring
  • regulating temperature through sweating
  • memory processing and concentration
  • normalising blood pressure
  • aiding digestion of food
  • cushioning joints and keeping muscles working properly.
  • According to the European Food Safety Authority, under moderate activity and environmental conditions, the amount of water we should consume (from a combination of beverages and foods) is about 2.5 litres per day for adult males and 2.0 litres per day for adult females1.
  • Black coffee contains more than 95% water. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recently concluded that a cause and effect relationship has been established between the dietary intake of water and the maintenance of normal and physical cognitive function 2.

Fluid choices

  • In a Consensus Statement3 issued in 2006, the International Life Sciences Institute recommends consuming a variety of caffeinated and non-caffeinated beverages, including water, milk, tea, coffee, juice, soft drinks and sports drinks to meet the body’s fluid requirements.
  • The Institute of Medicine4 in the US (2) states that when it comes to meeting daily hydration needs, all beverages, including those with caffeine, are hydrating.
  • Advice to abstain from drinking moderate amounts of caffeinated coffee, in order to maintain adequate fluid balance, is unfounded. The Beverage Guidance Panel in the U.S. undertook a systematic review of the scientific evidence on coffee and hydration, and concludes that caffeine consumption of up to 500mg/day (the equivalent of approximately 5 regular cups of coffee) does not cause dehydration5.

1 EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition, and Allergies (NDA) (2010) Scientific Opinion on Dietary reference values for water. EFSA Journal; 8(3):1459. [48 pp.]. doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2010.1459.
2 EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) (2011). Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to water and maintenance of normal physical and cognitive functions (ID 1102, 1209, 1294, 1331), maintenance of normal thermoregulation (ID 1208) and “basic requirement of all living things” (ID 1207) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006. EFSA Journal;9(4):2075 [16 pp.].doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2011.2075
3 Armstrong L et al. (2007) Consensus statement on Hydration and Health Promotion. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 26(5S) 529-613
4 The Institute of Medicine, (2004) Report on Dietary Reference Intakes, Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride and Sulphate.
5 Popkin BM et al. (2006) A new proposed guidance system for beverage consumption in the United States. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 83, 529-542.

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