Characteristics of Beverage Consumption Habits among a Large Sample of French Adults: Associations with Total Water and Energy Intakes

Nutrients. 2016 8(10):e627

Szabo de Edelenyi F, Druesne-Pecollo N, Arnault N, Gonzalez R, Buscail C, Galan P.


Adequate hydration is a key factor for correct functioning of both cognitive and physical processes. In France, public health recommendations about adequate total water intake (TWI) only state that fluid intake should be sufficient, with particular attention paid to hydration for seniors, especially during heatwave periods. The objective of this study was to calculate the total amount of water coming from food and beverages and to analyse characteristics of consumption in participants from a large French national cohort.


TWI, as well as contribution of food and beverages to TWI was assessed among 94,939 adult participants in the Nutrinet-Santé cohort (78% women, mean age 42.9 (SE 0.04)) using three 24-h dietary records at baseline. Statistical differences in water intakes across age groups, seasons and day of the week were assessed.


The mean TWI was 2.3 L (Standard Error SE 4.7) for men and 2.1 L (SE 2.4) for women. A majority of the sample did comply with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) adequate intake recommendation, especially women. Mean total energy intake (EI) was 1884 kcal/day (SE 1.5) (2250 kcal/day (SE 3.6) for men and 1783 kcal/day (SE 1.5) for women). The contribution to the total EI from beverages was 8.3%. Water was the most consumed beverage, followed by hot beverages. The variety score, defined as the number of different categories of beverages consumed during the three 24-h records out of a maximum of 8, was positively correlated with TWI (r = 0.4); and with EI (r = 0.2), suggesting that beverage variety is an indicator of higher consumption of food and drinks. We found differences in beverage consumptions and water intakes according to age and seasonality.


The present study gives an overview of the water intake characteristics in a large population of French adults. TWI was found to be globally in line with public health recommendations.