Apple Juice Is Better For Hydration Than You May Think

If you've ever sunk your teeth into a crisp, juicy apple at the peak of picking season, you've already experienced the hydrating properties of apples. Those juices dribbling down your chin happen to be 86% water.

Fruit juice often gets a bad rap for being high in sugar and low in fiber — and rightfully so, as it is. But there is a time and place for everything and the juice from apples is an excellent replenishing beverage.

Not only may an apple a day keep the doctor away, but a cup of its juice may offer a solid alternative to your favorite sports drink. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2016 found that apple juice cut with water was more successful in treating mild dehydration in children than a medical electrolyte drink and that participants were less likely to need intravenous fluids after consuming the diluted apple juice.

How to use apple juice for hydration

Diluting the apple juice with water is important if you choose to use it to replenish fluids. Full-strength juice can have the opposite effect and potentially draw fluid into your gut and cause diarrhea. This is counterintuitive if your goal is to treat fluid loss from an upset digestive system, per a study by The Journal of Pediatrics. To properly dilute apple juice for hydration, simply use a one-to-one ratio of half water and half juice.

Because it consists of so much water, apple juice can be a good option for general overall hydration throughout the day. For those looking to switch things up or for kids (or adults!) who love the taste, it can offer a more flavorful alternative to water from time to time. 

However, for replenishing fluids and preventing fluid loss during and after strenuous activity, sports drinks may be a better bet, as they are specifically designed to be loaded with carbohydrates and electrolytes. While apple juice contains some electrolytes in the form of potassium, sodium, magnesium, and calcium, the amounts are not up to par with most sports drinks.