Tellusant often works with beverage companies covering categories from bottled water to beer. A fundamental metric to quantify when analyzing market growth is how much water the human body needs.
We have therefore developed the Tellusant Water Intake Calculator. It is based on a few academic papers and a significant data collection effort.
The graph above shows how much beverage water the human body needs in a few select countries. We cover 218 countries. The calculator is based on a city-by-city dataset aggregated to the country level (since large countries cover several climate zones). There are 875 cities in the data set with at least one in every country.
The next graph shows how the body ingests water:
• Metabolic water is water produced by the body’s chemical processes when it creates energy.
• Inspiratory water is the opposite of perspiration (sweat). We absorb water through the air that we breath and through the skin.
• Preformed water comes either from food we eat or beverages we drink. Almost 60% of water needs come from beverages.
What drives water needs? The graph below shows the main factors.
Each of these factors differ by country and by city. For example, if a country has a young population with many children the water need is lower. If humidity is high, more water is inspired and less needs to be drunk. These factors are taken into account in our calculator.
Finally, the water needed is compared to the water consumed. Consumption can be higher than 100% of needs. But if it is much higher we get sick or even die. One of the source paper from the U.S. Army discusses over-consumption’s debilitating consequences.
The graph below shows the beverage categories. All except well and tap water are formal. If they add up to the water needed, then future market growth is limited.
Thus the water intake calculator helps determine if a country’s formal beverage market is close to or even above the water needed by the body. For high consumption formal beverage countries this puts a limit to future growth, something not always understood by beverages companies.
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Adolph, E.F. and D.B. Dill (1938): Observations on Water Metabolism in the Desert. American Journal of Physiology. Vol. 123: pp. 369-378
Rahman et al. (2004): Water Turnover in 458 American Adults 40–79 Year of Age. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. Vol. 286: pp. F394–F401
Montain, S. et al. [U.S. Army] (2001): Sustaining Hydration in Hot Weather. Paper presented at the RTO HFM Symposium on “Blowing Hot and Cold: Protecting Against Climatic Extremes”,
American Academy of Sciences (2001): Dietary Reference Intakes.