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How Much Should You Drink? Beverage Guidance System

I am sure you know about the Food Pyramid, but did you know that there is a similar pyramid for beverages?

Well there is.
The Beverage Guidance Panel (I know, there is a panel for everything) has developed guidelines for beverage classification and how much you should drink in a day. For individuals older than 6 years, the Panel recommends the following ranges of intake for beverages:

  • Level 1: (water), 20 to 50 fl oz/day
  • Level 2: (unsweetened tea and coffee), 0 to 40 fl oz/day (may replace water, but caffeine is a limiting factor, up to 400 mg/day, or ~32 fl oz coffee/day)
  • Level 3: (low-fat and skim milk and soy beverages), 0 to 16 fl oz/day
  • Level 4: (noncalorically sweetened beverages), 0 to 32 fl oz/day (may substitute for tea and coffee with the same limitations as for caffeine)
  • Level 5: (caloric beverages with some nutrients), 0 to 8 fl oz of 100% fruit juices/day, 0 to 1 alcoholic drink/day for women and 0 to 2 alcoholic drinks/day for men (one drink is ~12 fl oz of beer, 5 fl oz of wine, or 1.5 fl oz of distilled spirits) and 0 fl oz of whole milk/day
  • Level 6: (calorically sweetened beverages), 0 to 8 fl oz/day
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