Water requirements for daily life

How much should people drink? Official recommendations give guidelines for daily requirements.

The most recent official recommendation about water requirement has been published by the European Food Safety Authority in 2010.1 This extensive scientific review has enabled the definition of adequate water intakes, based on European fluid intakes, desirable urine osmolarityand energy intake. The reference values assumed a moderate climate and moderate level of physical activity.

Table: Dietary Reference Values for water1


A table showing dietary reference values for water

These values include water that originates from both consumed fluids and food. The European Scientific Authority has also stated that the contribution of food to total water waterintake represents about 20% in adults. On this basis, it means that male adults should drink 2 L per day, and female adults 1.6 L.

No maximal tolerable intake level has been set by EFSA. This is justified by the great ability of healthy individuals to excrete excess water intakes within a large range of observed intakes. In healthy subjects the kidneys have the ability to excrete up to 0.7 to 1L/hour.1


  1. EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition, and Allergies (NDA); Scientific Opinion on Dietary reference values for water. EFSA Journal 2010; 8(3):1459. doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2010.1459. Available online:www.efsa.europa.eu.


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Expert Working Group

Our Expert Working Group meet regularly to discuss the importance of healthy hydration and to develop strategies to encourage patients and the general public to adopt healthier hydration practices.

Prof. Max Lafontan
INSERM Unit 858, University of Toulouse, France
Prof. David Haslam
Watton-at-Stone, Hertfordshire / National Obesity Forum, UK
Prof. Hardinsyah
Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia
Prof. Jean-François Duhamel
CHU de Caen, France
Dr. Simón Barquera
National Institute of Public Health, Cuernavaca, Mexico
Prof. Lawrence E. Armstrong
University Professor, specialist in sports physiology and expert in hydration, Connecticut, USA

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