How Much of Our Body Is Water

Water makes up about 60 percent of our total body weight, typically a little more for men and a little less for women. For instance, a 175-pound man might attribute more than 100 pounds of his weight to water. Roughly two-thirds of our body water is found within our cells as intracellular fluid, while the remaining one-third is extracellular fluid found bathing our cells. As mentioned earlier, extracellular fluid includes both the fluid between our cells and also the plasma portion of our blood.

When looking at certain body tissue, skeletal muscle is a little more than 70 percent water (by weight), while fat tissue is less than 10 percent water (Figure 7.1). By and large, it is the ratio of skeletal muscle to fat tissue that has the greatest impact on the amount of water in the body. Because men tend to have a higher percentage of muscle and a lower percentage of fat compared with women, they tend to have a higher percentage of body water. However, regardless of gender, a lean muscular person will have a higher percentage of body water while a non-muscular, overweight person will have a lower percentage of body water.

The percentage of body water is largely determined by the relative amount of muscle to body fat.

Skeletal muscle Adipose tissue

Figure 7.1 Difference in composition between skeletal muscle and adipose (fat) tissue. Skeletal muscle is largely water and then protein while adipose tissue is mostly fat and very little water, protein, and other material.

Skeletal muscle Adipose tissue

Figure 7.1 Difference in composition between skeletal muscle and adipose (fat) tissue. Skeletal muscle is largely water and then protein while adipose tissue is mostly fat and very little water, protein, and other material.

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