Almost every cell in your body contains water. Overall your body weight can be 45 – 65% water. Body water fulfills several crucial roles, such as:
The amount of water within a person is influenced by your age, sex, and fitness level.
When we are born, we are almost 80% water. By the time we reach our first birthday, that number drops to about 65%. Lean body mass carries much more body water than body fat.
An adult man will be about 60% water compared to an adult woman that will be about 55% water. If you are physically active, that number will increase depending on your lean body mass.
Water is stored in two main body compartments:
A better gauge of healthy body water levels is your ratio of extracellular water to your total body water.
|Adults||Ages 12 to 18||Ages 19 to 50||Ages 51 and older|
range: 52% – 66%
range: 43% – 73%
range: 47% – 67%
range: 49% – 63%
range: 41% – 60%
range: 39% – 57%
Excess ECW can indicate health risks, of which most common ones are mentioned below:
On the other hand, Dehydration is a major cause for low TBW. Chronic health problems, such as diabetes, increase your odds of dehydration because of increased urination. Even being sick with a cold can make you less likely to eat and drink as much as you normally do, putting you at risk for dehydration.
Dehydration is a lack of total body water. The risks of dehydration could be serious, such as:
Alternatively, though it’s unusual, it is possible to drink too much water, which can result in water intoxication, a condition in which levels of sodium, potassium, and other electrolytes become diluted. If sodium levels fall too low, the result is hyponatremia, which can lead to several potentially serious health problems.
Certain medical conditions can make you more vulnerable to water intoxication, because they cause fluid retention in the body. So even drinking a normal amount of water may push your levels too high. These conditions include congestive heart failure, kidney disease, poorly managed diabetes, etc.
ICW : ECW balance of 3 : 2 is ideal for optimal health. Avoiding excess ECW is ideal. Reducing the amount of sodium (salt) in your diet can in turn reduce excess ECW. Sodium is located primarily in your ECW, and when excess sodium is introduced into the body, the body’s natural response is to draw water out of your cells at the expense of your ICW.
On the flip side, increasing your ICW can be achieved by increasing your Lean Body Mass/increasing muscle mass through exercising. As the muscle cells increase in size, they will require more water to maintain their function. Exercise has the additional benefit of combating obesity, and as fat mass is reduced, ECW increased due to obesity will decline over time.