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Just how much water do we really need? The answer may depend on our age

ative effort by Aarthi Raman and Dale A. Schoeller from the Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI; from divisions of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, are Amy F. Subar and Richard P. Troiano (Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, Applied Research Program); Arthur Schatzkin, (Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, Nutritional Epidemiology Branch, National Cancer Institute); Tamara Harris and Douglas Bauer (National Institute on Aging); and James E. Everhart (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases). Additional participants include Shiela A. Bingham, at the MRC-Dunn Human Nutrition Unit, Cambridge, United Kingdom; Anne B. Newman, at the Division of Geriatric Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA; and Frances A. Tylavsky from the Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Tennessee, Memphis, TN. Their findings appear in the February 2004 issue of the American Journal of Physiology--Renal Physiology.

Methodology

Despite recent interest in water intake, few data are available on water metabolism in adults. To determine the average and range of usual water intake, urine output, and total body water, the researchers administered 2H oxide to 458 noninstitutionalized 40- to 79-yr-old adults living in temperate climates. Urine was collected in a subset of individuals (n = 280) to measure 24-hour urine production using p-aminobenzoic acid to ensure complete collection. Preformed water intake was calculated from isotopic turnover and corrected for metabolic water and insensible water absorption from humidity.

Results

Preformed water intake, which is water from beverages and food moisture, averaged 3.0 l (liters)/day in men (range: 1.4-7.7 l/day) and 2.5 l/day in women (range: 1.2-4.6 l/day). Preformed water intake was lower in the 70-79 age group (2.8 l/day) than in 40- to 49-yr-old men, and was lower in older
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Contact: Donna Krupa
djkrupa1@aol.com
703-527-7357
American Physiological Society
24-Feb-2004


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