How Much Water Is Lost in Feces

Water helps moisten feces for easier transit through and out of the colon. Typically, during normal bowel movements adults lose about 100 to 200 milliliters of water as part of feces daily. As you might expect, we would lose more water from our body via the feces during bouts of diarrhea. This also means that we need to drink more fluids as tolerated during, as well as after, these unpleasant episodes.

Water is the Basis of Our Body 149 Do We Lose Body Water When We Breathe?

Water is also lost from our body through breathing. When we inhale, air moving through our air passageways (that is, the trachea and bronchi) becomes humidified. This means that we are adding moisture to it. Subsequently, when we exhale, much of the humidified air is lost to the outside environment. This is noticeable on a cold day as humidified exhaled air condenses to form little clouds. The amount of body water lost in this process is about 300 to 500 milliliters, depending on the humidity level of the air. For instance, in a dry environment, such as a desert climate or at higher altitudes, a little more of our body water is used to humidify the air we inhale. This in turn means that a little more water would be lost during exhalation. Conversely, breathing more humid air decreases the amount of water lost through our lungs.

Do We Lose Body Water in Sweat?

We sweat throughout the day to help remove extra body heat produced by normal cell operations, but most of time we do not even notice it because it is so minimal. For an adult this can add up to about V liter or 2 cups (see Figure 7.2). However, when we exercise or find ourselves in a hot environment, sweating certainly becomes more obvious. This is especially true if it is humid. Increased moisture in the air can hinder the evaporation process, allowing sweat to accumulate on our skin.

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