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Where's the Water?1

Wendy J. Dahl 2

Many frail older adults are at risk for dehydration. Providing enough water to the older adult is a challenge, as decreased thirst may limit beverage intake. Water comes in many forms, in beverages, but also in foods. When food intake decreases, so does water intake. Encouraging food and beverage intake is important in preventing dehydration in the frail older adult.

Table 1. 

Foods vary widely in water content. You may be surprised to find out that many common foods that are not liquids are quite high in water! Continue to Table 2 to learn more.

Where's the Water? Answer Key

Table 2. 

Tips for readers:

  • Frail older adults are encouraged to drink milk and other nutrient-rich beverages between meals.

  • Encourage three servings of fruit and fruit juice each day.


1. This document is FSHN11-13, one of a series of the Food Science and Human Nutrition Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date May 2011. Revised September 2018. Reviewed October 1998. Visit the EDIS website at
2. Wendy J. Dahl, PhD, associate professor, Food Science and Human Nutrition Department, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

Publication #FSHN11-13

Date: 9/18/2018

    Fact Sheet


    • Wendy Dahl