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How Much of Your Body Is Water?
The amount of water in the human body ranges from 45-75%.1 The average adult human body is 50-65% water, averaging around 57-60%. The percentage of water in infants is much higher, typically around 75-78% water, dropping to 65% by one year of age.2
Body composition varies according to gender and fitness level because fatty tissue contains less water than lean tissue. The average adult male is about 60% water. The average adult woman is about 55% water because women naturally have more fatty tissue than men.3 Overweight men and women have less water, as a percent than their leaner counterparts.
Who Has the Most Water?
- Babies and children have the highest percentage of water.
- Adult men contain the next highest level of water.
- Adult women contain a lower percentage of water than babies or men.
- Obese men and women have less water, as a percentage than lean adults.
The percent of water depends on your hydration level.2 People feel thirsty when they have already lost around 2-3% of their body’s water. Being dehydrated by just 2% impairs performance in mental tasks and physical coordination.4
Although liquid water is the most abundant molecule in the body, additional water is found in hydrated compounds. About 30-40% of the weight of the human body is the skeleton, but when the bound water is removed, either by chemical desiccation or heat, half the weight is lost.5
Why is Water So Crucial to Body Function?
Where Exactly Is Water in the Human Body?
Most of the body’s water is in the intracellular fluid (2/3 of the body’s water). The other third is in the extracellular fluid (1/3 of the water).6
The amount of water varies, depending on the organ. Much of the water is in blood plasma (20% of the body’s total).6 According to a study published in 1945 and still widely cited, the amount of water in the human heart and brain is 73%, the lungs are 83%, muscles and kidneys are 79%, the skin is 64%, and the bones are around 31%.7
What Is the Function of Water in the Body?
Water serves multiple purposes:
- Water is the primary building block of cells.
- It acts as an insulator, regulating internal body temperature. This is partly because water has a high specific heat, plus the body uses perspiration and respiration to regulate temperature.
- Water is needed to metabolize proteins and carbohydrates used as food. It is the primary component of saliva, used to digest carbohydrates and aid in swallowing food.
- The compound lubricates joints.
- Water insulates the brain, spinal cord, organs, and fetus. It acts as a shock absorber.
- Water is used to flush waste and toxins from the body via urine.
- Water is the principal solvent in the body. It dissolves minerals, soluble vitamins, and certain nutrients.
- Water carries oxygen and nutrients to cells.
Are You Drinking Enough Water?
You’ve probably heard that the human body is made up of over 70 percent water, and that drinking enough every day is essential for everything from maintaining a healthy weight to energy levels and flushing toxins out of the body. But despite everything we know about how critical water is for human health, statistics show that almost half of American adults do not drink enough water on a daily basis. As many as 7 percent of adults admit to not drinking any water at all. So how much water is enough? And what really happens when you don’t get enough?
How Drinking Water Affects Your Body and Health
The outward symptoms and effects of dehydration are fairly obvious, from dry skin and lack of energy to brain fog and muscle cramps if you’re exercising without adequately replacing the water you are losing through sweat. But the effects of chronic dehydration reach all the way down into the cells, which, like the organs, need enough water to function optimally and remove metabolic waste from the body.
Some of the most common signs and symptoms of dehydration include:
- Dark urine
- Feeling thirsty (fun fact: if you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated)
- Bad breath
- Muscle cramps and fatigue
- Dry skin
- Low blood pressure
- Decreased sweat production or clammy skin if you’re exercising and should otherwise be sweating
- Elevated cravings for sweet, sugary foods (one of the ways dehydration can lead to weight gain)
Not drinking enough water is the most obvious cause of dehydration. But there are a few factors that can affect your hydration levels, as well as how much water you should be drinking on a daily basis, which differs from person to person and can even differ from day to day depending on your health and lifestyle.
Common causes of dehydration include:
- Lifestyle factors like diet, exercise and activity levels, and alcohol consumption
- Stress levels
How Much Water Is Enough?
You’ve probably heard the conventional wisdom that says eight glasses of water per day is the rule, but everything from your activity and hormone levels to your body weight can affect how much water you actually need. As a rule of thumb, most adults are advised to consume at least eight 8 oz. glasses of water per day, but certain fluids and water-soluble fruits and vegetables count toward your hydration allowance.
Keep in mind that drinking and eating diuretic food and drinks may require more water, and women may need to drink more during the menstrual cycle to compensate for elevated hormone levels. Start with a commitment to drink a minimum of four to six 8 oz glasses of water every day, and adjust accordingly as needed.
What is the average percentage of water in the human body?
Most of the human body is water, with an average of roughly 60%. The amount of water in the body changes slightly with age, sex, and hydration levels.
While the average percentage of water in a person’s body is around 60%, the percentage can vary from roughly 45–75%.
For example, babies have a high percentage of water in their bodies, which decreases with age.
Also, fatty tissue contains less water than muscle, so the percentage of water can vary with body type.
Water is essential for health and is necessary for numerous bodily functions. These include:
- temperature regulation
- cellular function
- waste removal
People can maintain the balance of water in their bodies by drinking fluids throughout the day. They may need to drink more water after exercise and in hot weather.
This article will discuss the percentage of water in the human body, why it varies, and why it is important.
The percentage of water in the body varies slightly, depending on factors such as age and sex, but is usually within the 45–75% range.
There is more water in lean muscle than there is in fatty tissue.
Typically, a female body contains a lower percentage of water than a male one. This is due to females having a higher percentage of fat.
This water distribution means that people with a higher percentage of body fat are likely to have a lower percentage of water in their bodies.
In physiology, body water is the water content of an animal body that is contained in the tissues, the blood, the bones and elsewhere. The percentages of body water contained in various fluid compartments add up to total body water (TBW). This water makes up a significant fraction of the human body, both by weight and by volume. Ensuring the right amount of body water is part of fluid balance, an aspect of homeostasis.