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How Much Water Does It Take to Grow an Apple? Facts & FAQ

apple plantation

Virtually everyone has bought apples, yet most people have probably never stopped to think about how much water and resources go into a single apple. We know fruit and veggies use water to grow, but the numbers would surprise you! Agriculture uses about 42% of all freshwater in the US yearly, and growing just one apple requires about 125 liters, or just over 33 gallons.

This is actually a lot for the apple’s size. Pineapples, despite being much larger than apples, require about the same amount of water to grow. Let’s check out some more info about fruit, water, and other interesting tidbits.

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How Much Water Does It Take to Grow Fruits and Vegetables?

watering seedling tomato plant
Photo Credit: Fotokostic, Shutterstock

Every fruit and vegetable has differing nutritional content and requirements, including water use. Universally, though, these plants need more water when they’re producing fruit or veggies. Let’s check out how much water it takes to grow some of your favorite fruits and vegetables.

Water Needed to Produce 1 Pound of Food:

Mango 216 gallons
Corn 146 gallons
Peach 109 gallons
Tomato 26 gallons
Potato 34 gallons
Orange 67 gallons
Cucumber 42 gallons

How Much Water Content Do Fruits and Vegetables Have?

fruits and vegetables in the table
Photo Credit: monticello, Shutterstock

We all know that water is essential to plant life, but it’s especially important for fruit and vegetable plants. Generally, fruits have more water content than vegetables, which widely vary in water content. Apples, for instance, are 86% water. They’re a delicious and nutritious snack that can also help supplement daily hydration requirements.

Somewhat surprisingly, apples aren’t even the fruit with the highest water content. Some numerous fruits and vegetables have a higher water content, which makes them better at satisfying thirst. Leafy greens are a prime example of veggies that are chock full of water, but they’re not the only ones. Let’s take a look at how much water your favorite produce contains.

Water Content Percentage by Fruit & Vegetable Type:

Bananas 70%
Avocado 72%
Pineapple 87%
Pear 80%
Carrot 87%
Orange 86%
Celery 95%
Lettuce 95%
Radish 95%
Tomato 95%

Does Fruit Hydrate You?

man drinking water
Image Credit: Piqsels

If fruits are mostly water, it stands to reason that they’re pretty good at hydrating you. In fact, there’s been a recent wave of health-related articles that claim fruit can hydrate you as well as water, if not better. One common explanation is that fruit has “structured water” that hydrates you more effectively than plain old water. Does that claim hold any water in reality?

Not really, as it turns out. Fruit doesn’t have a special kind of water that’s absorbed more easily by the body, but the electrolytes in fruit might help speed water absorption.

There’s also the matter of servings. An average adult should drink eight, 8-oz glasses of water per day, and plain water contains no extra sugars like fruit does. To get as much hydration from fruit as you’d get from water, you would have to eat a lot of fruit.

That doesn’t mean that fruit isn’t a great way to supplement your daily hydration. On the contrary, eating small to moderate amounts of fruit is a delicious, low-calorie method to get a little more hydration in your day-to-day life.

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Apples are one of the most beloved fruits in the world, but not everyone knows that they take 33 gallons of water to grow! Other fruits and veggies are largely water too, taking variable amounts of water to get from crop to table. Regardless, they’re a tasty and nutritious way to hydrate and stave off junk food cravings.


Featured Image Credit: LianeM, Shutterstock


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