Can I take juice instead of water?

Dear Doctor,

Is there a problem in drinking fresh juice instead of water when one is thirsty? How can I avoid this because every time I feel like drinking water I go for cold fresh juice? Anita

Dear Anita,

Fruit juice does provide phytonutrients that augment body’s immunity. It also supplies some vitamins and minerals and potassium which are useful for the body. But it has its drawbacks too. Fruit juice does not contain the fibre present in fruits. Hence, one becomes devoid of the advantages of fibre. Juice of fruits is high in sugar, hence calories. It is a cause for obesity and concern. Much of the childhood obesity in western countries is said to be due to excess consumption of fruit juice. The high acid content of fruit juice is not good for the stomach. High sugar combined with high acid content is harmful for the teeth and gums, causing dental caries, tooth decay and early fall. Fruit juice can also induce diabetes in vulnerable people and impair good control of diabetes in diabetic patients. Processed fruit juices contain chemicals as preservatives which can cause allergic skin reactions, precipitation and aggravation of asthma.

Water is an important constitution of the body, forming nearly 70 per cent. It is necessary to cleanse the body of toxins and other harmful substances, via urine. It aids in digestion and helps in eliminating waste matter from the bowels. Electrolyte balance of the body is maintained with help of water. Moreover, the feeling of thirst is satiated by drinking water, but fruit juice may in fact aggravate it.

Considering these points, water is always a better choice than fruit juice. Fruit juice should be restricted to not more than one to two glasses per day.