A study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition shows that plain water is not needed as long as enough fluid is obtained from other drinks and food.

Twenty-seven healthy men consumed one of two diets for three-day periods and were studied in a lab setting. The first diet included plain water while the second omitted it, relying on only foods, orange juice, diet soda, and coffee for fluid. None of the nine measures of hydration were affected.

So drink a glass of water or any other beverage with every meal to prevent constipation. You'll also want to replace fluids whenever you sweat a lot, particularly when you exercise or in hot weather. Drink water whenever you feel thirsty, but there's no need to force yourself to drink extra fluids.

Journal of the American College of Nutrition, April, 2003.

Checked 5/3/07

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