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The Vital Importance of Your Total Body Water Percentage

Water is essential to all life.

Up to 60% of the human adult body is water. While the average percentage of water in the human body varies based on age, weight, body composition, gender, etc., more than 1/2 of the body is composed of water.

Water has a number of functions and health effects to keep us living. First and foremost, water supports good health. Additional functions include:

  1. Vital nutrient to the life of every cell.

  2. Carries nutrients and waste products throughout the body.

  3. Regulates internal body temperature by sweating and respiration

  4. Metabolizes proteins and carbohydrates that our bodies use for food

  5. Forms saliva

  6. Lubricates joints

  7. Acts as a shock absorber for brain and spinal cord

  8. Essential for physical and mental performance

  9. Supports optimal functioning of GI tract, kidneys, heart, and other body systems.

  10. Aids in weight loss and weight management

Your body water % is the amount of water in your body, expressed as a % of your total weight.

For example, your body is at least 60%, your brain and heart is 73%, your lungs are 83%, bones are 31%, and skin contains 64% water.

In general, the average total body water percentage should remain above 50%, although with aging, that number will decrease. Babies have the highest water percentage. Adult men have a higher percentage than women. Individuals with more fatty tissue have a lower body water percentage.

The decrease in total body water percentage occurs for a number of reasons. One of the main reasons is the increase of body fat and the reduction of fat-free mass as we age. Body fat (fat tissue) contains less water. This is why body weight and body composition has a direct impact on your total body water percentage.

What is the ideal body water percentage?
  • Average healthy range for adult women: varies between 45%-60%

  • Average healthy range for adult men: varies between 50%-65% of the total body

Here's 5 ways to improve your body water percentage:

  1. Maintain Adequate Hydration: Maintaining daily hydration is important. Drinking enough water daily has a positive impact on overall health, body function, and decreases risk of dehydration. On average, adults should consume a minimum of 2-2.5 liters (8-10 cups) of water per day. Intake may be higher due to daily activity, overall health, and the environment (summer time). To calculate a rough estimate of how much water your should drink daily: Divide your weight in pounds by 2 = how much water you should consume in ounces. Ex.: your total weight: 200lbs / 2 = 100 ounces of water or 12.5 cups.

  2. Drink Water with Every Meal: A good motto we use: Drink early. Drink often. Every morning, we begin the day with 2 cups of water. Water first thing in the morning helps to wake things up and get the metabolism started. Drinking water with every meal helps to reinforce the behavior to consume water when you eat a meal.

  3. Consume more Fruits and Veggies (FV): Eating higher water content fruit and vegetables will help improve your water intake. FV provide you with a variety of nutrients including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, as well as, additional water. High water content FV include: watermelon, strawberries and other berries, oranges and other citrus fruits, lettuce, spinach, cucumbers, melons, etc.

  4. Reduce Caffeine Intake: Caffeine beverages like coffee, tea, and sodas, can have a diuretic effect causing you to lose more water through urination. While these beverages can boost liquid consumption, more water can be lost in relation to water consumed.

  5. Reduce Sugar Sweetened Beverage and Alcohol Consumption: Just like caffeinated beverages, sugar sweetened beverages and alcohol can act as a diuretic or cause you to become dehydrated. Remember, everything in moderation except WATER. Water is essential. Drink it daily. Drink it early. Drink it often.

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