We’re basically water. You must have heard that said a thousand times. We also know of the many benefits of water. Let’s find out what percentage of the human body is made up of water, and how important it is. You’ll be amazed.

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The percentage of water in the human body

Depending on a person’s age, health, and nutrition, the percentage of water in the human body can vary from around 50% to 70%.

Women have more fatty tissue which contains less fat than muscle, hence their percentage of water is somewhat lower than that of men.

The body’s water content is not only lost through sweating (hydration and heat) or in urine, we also lose water when we eat and metabolise food. Even breathing uses up to 20% of the body’s water.

The importance of water

Water is important for our body because it serves as the necessary vehicle for it to carry out the majority of vital functions. It’s so essential that we cannot survive without drinking water for more than 3 or 4 days.

Skin contains 72% water, blood 83%, organs such as the heart, liver and kidneys between 70- 80%, lungs also 80%, bones some 22% water, muscles 76%, fatty tissue 10% and the brain 75%.

Water’s role in the body

  • It’s essential to metabolise the nutrients from foods.

  • It’s required for these nutrients to enter cells.

  • It facilitates gas exchange in the alveoli.

  • It lubricates the digestive system.

  • It improves kidney function.

  • It aids the elimination of toxins.

  • It improves intestinal transit.

  • It acts as a shock absorber for the joints.

  • It improves caloric expenditure.

  • It acts as a temperature control.

Ideal percentage of water in the body

The general recommendation is to drink 2 litres of fluids per day, between water and other drinks that contain water such as juice, soft drinks, broths, soups, herbal teas, etc. Moreover, fresh food—fruit and veg in particular—have a high water content.

This recommendation of 2 litres (some 8 glasses of water) varies according to several determining factors such as the climate and your level of physical activity. So, a sedentary person who lives at 21 degrees doesn’t need the same amount of water as a sportsperson who trains at 30 degrees. We’ve already discussed hydration and sports, remember?

That’s why experts recommend that men who play sports or live an active lifestyle should drink up to 13 glasses per day, while a woman in the same context should drink 9, or 2.2 litres. This translates to an ideal percentage in men of between 50 – 65%, and in woman between 45 – 60%.

Drinking too much water is bad for you

Excesses of anything are never good, and drinking water non-stop can also have a negative impact on your body:

  • It can disrupt your sleep because you need to empty your bladder.

  • It can produce hyperhydrosis or excessive sweating, and dermatological issues.

  • It can produce problems.

  • It can cause headaches due to oedema in the brain cells.

  • Hyponatremia results from low sodium levels, causing vomiting, fatigue dizziness, etc.

  • Potassium deficiency and as a result, muscle problems.

  • Poor digestion because gastric juices are too diluted.

It is said that when you feel thirsty, at least 30 minutes have passed since you should have drunk. Don’t stress though. Nobody gets dehydrated in normal situations. Follow this advice: Drink a glass of water before breakfast, two throughout the morning (a small bottle at work), two more with lunch (or one and a tea), two more in the afternoon (one can be a coffee or the bottle you drink at the gym), and one more with dinner. Simple!

Get ready to exercise with AXA Health Keeper, besides keeping fit you’ll drink more too!