Facts About Water


Today is World Water Day and to celebrate I thought I would share some fun facts about water.

  • Water is the largest single component of the body, making up 60% of body weight.
  • Drinking 8 cups/day of water burns approximately 100 calories through thermogenesis.
  • Total body of water is higher in athletes than none athletes and decreases as you age due to a loss in muscle mass.
  • Water is needed for:
    • digestion, absorption and excretion
    • structure and function of circulatory system
    • transport for nutrients
    • maintains body temperature
    • lubricate joints
  • Food provides approximately 20% of fluid intake.

Water Balance and Water Percentage in Foods Table

  • Thirst is a signal to consume more water.
  • Water is loss through breath, urine, bowel movements and sweat.
  • In moderate weather, adults can live 10 days without water and children can live 5 days. In contrast, you can live several weeks without food.
  • A loss of 5-6% of water causes dehydration, 10% causes severe disorders and 20% causes death.
  • Mild dehydration decreases metabolism by 3%.

Percentage of Body Weight Lost and Effects of Dehydration Figure

  • Signs/symptoms of dehydration:
    • excessive thirst
    • fatigue and weakness
    • headache
    • dry mouth
    • dizziness
    • little to no urination or dark urination
    • muscle cramping
  • Adults need 35 mL/kg, children need 50-60 mL/kg and infants need 150 mL/kg. Lactating women need an additional 600-700 mL/day of water.
  • In most cases, 2.0-2.5 L of water daily for adults is adequate.
  • After exercise, drink 2 cups of water for every pound of sweat loss.
  • You may need more water depending on:
    • exercise
    • environment (hot, low humidity and high altitude)
    • illness
    • pregnant/lactating


Mahan LK, Escott-Stump S. Krause’s Food, Nutrition & Diet Therapy. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders/Elsevier. 2004.

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Do you like water?

-I love it, but I don’t drink enough. I’m working on increasing my water intake.


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