No, Eating Fruit Doesn't Actually Hydrate You More Than Drinking Water

In a turn of events that should come as a shock to absolutely nobody, fruit does not hydrate you more than water, despite what you may have heard from supposed health gurus on Instagram and other social media platforms. According to USA Today, the popular claim which has swept social media stems from an assertion that water found inside fruit stays in the body longer than plain drinking water, which, as the claim suggests, is flushed out of the body more rapidly.

For instance, one Instagram post, in particular, asserts that drinking water could cause you to expel the hydrating nutrients "without it actually reaching your cells." In an interview with USA Today, nutritionist and author Monica Reinagel debunked that notion as nonsense. As Reinagel explains, plain drinking water and water found within fruits and other foods go through the exact same digestion and expulsion process. This means that, though drinking many glasses of water per day can lead to excessive bathroom trips, it is physically impossible to digest any liquid which goes through your body without the liquid "reaching your cells." The cells are, after all, what causes the digestion process.

Health influencers appear to be twisting information from studies like the one done by the University of Aberdeen Medical School, which states fruit can efficiently hydrate the body due to the additional presence of electrolytes. While these electrolytes could help hydration faster than just water, eating fruit to stay hydrated has one major drawback. 

How much water do you really need per day?

While it is important to diversify your diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, the best way to hydrate will always be with good old-fashioned plain drinking water. There is a high percentage of water content in most fruits, but, as Monica Reinagel told USA TODAY, you would need to eat an entire pound of fruit in order to match the amount of water you could intake from a single 16-ounce water bottle. 

Figures about the recommended daily water consumption seem to vary rapidly depending on your source. The Mayo Clinic recommends roughly 3.7 liters for males and 2.7 liters for females daily, while sources over at Harvard estimate a daily intake of 4-6 cups, which clocks in at just over a single liter. Experts seem to agree that you should be drinking enough water to ensure that you aren't frequently thirsty and that your urine is a light or clear color. That means a male would need to consume around two to seven pounds of fruit daily to stay hydrated. So, don't expect to get your daily intake entirely from fruit, and be sure to get your health advice from real experts in the field of nutrition.