How Much Water Are You Truly Drinking?

How Much Water

Are You Truly Drinking?

Everyone has an uncle or a grandpa who repeats the same joke every time they crack a beer, “it’s mostly water; I’m hydrating!” Queue the canned laughter. Unfortunately, that oddball cousin, aunt, or other distant relative is correct: drinks are mostly water. While you might not be a person who frequently drinks your recommended 8 glasses a day (you should), you do get a lot of water from the food and drinks you consume. We’ve written about the water content of certain fruits and vegetables before, but this week, we’re breaking down the actual water content in some of the most common American drinks.

steaming hot coffee being poured into a white coffee cup


Coffee may taste a lot different than water, but its contents are basically the same. Basically, coffee is over 98% water and just under 2% plant matter which comes from the coffee beans. On average, around 37 gallons of water are used to produce 1 cup of coffee beans. That includes the water the plant uses to live as well as the water used to wash away soil and impurities before roasting. Tea is basically the same water content as coffee if not a bit more, but the plant matter comes from leaves instead of beans in this case. However, the high water content of these drinks does not mean you can substitute them for good old quality water. Because the caffeine levels are so high in both of these beverages, it’s important not to overindulge.


Beer is another drink in which water makes up more than its share. Most types of beer are around 90-95% water. The rest of the formula is made up of hops, grains, and yeast which causes fermentation and the formation of alcohol. Also, we’ll answer your next question before you even Google it: no, you cannot rehydrate by drinking beer. Alcohol acts as a diuretic so you actually expel more water than you take in. Next time someone in your family tells you they’re “hydrating” while on their 15th beer watching a Husker game, you’ll have to be the bearer of bad news.

cup of soda with red straw on a wooden table


Sodas have a bit wider range than the other drinks on this list because there’s such a wide range of what constitutes “soda.” Full calorie pops will have a lower water content (somewhere in the 90-95% water range) while diet sodas and flavored, carbonated waters typically end up high in water (between 96-99% water). However, even diet sodas which are mostly water can cause issues if consumed in excess. It is important to stay properly hydrated with water, especially if you’re a person who exercises frequently or spends lots of time outdoors in hot weather.


Like all other beverages, the best way to find out how much water is in wine is to take out the “other” stuff. Typical alcohol content in wine is around 12%. Around another 1% is made up of other soluble materials such as minerals, amino acids, sugars, and aromatics. That typically leaves wine at about 85-87% wine depending on the alcohol content. The lower water percentage is one reason some people have harsher reactions to wine than they do to beer or other alcoholic drinks.

Fruit/Vegetable Juice

Fruit and vegetable juices are comparable to wine in their water retention. Orange juice, for example, is usually around 88% water. That number, mind you, is for 100% fruit juice. As you start testing fruit and vegetable juices with less natural elements, sugars, chemicals, and other substances are used fill the void. Therefore, water content may be lower if you purchase juice with extra additives. Juice should be consumed in moderation as the excess sugars can wreak havoc on the body if consumed in excess.

Ready to take your water intake seriously? Call the experts at Quality Water Services for a quote on a new clean water system today!