Just like muscle mass and body fat percentages, your total body water percentage is an important measure of good health. Although your age, gender and body composition all affect your body water percentage, you should aim for a body water percentage slightly over 50 percent. In addition to drinking more water, a great way to ensure that you stay within this healthy range is to eat more fruits and vegetables, which naturally contain large amounts of water.
Ideal Total Body Water Percentages
Different tissues in your body contain different amounts of water. For example, body fat contains approximately 10 percent water, while muscle is approximately 75 percent water. In general, men should have a total body water percentage between 50 and 65 percent, while the ideal range for women is between 45 and 60 percent.
Measuring Total Body Water
Using a body fat scale is one of the only ways you can estimate your total body water percentage at home. These scales use bioelectric impedance analysis, which involves sending a harmless electric current through your body. As electricity travels more easily through water, less resistance to the current indicates a higher body water percentage. Although these scales provide good estimates for most people, you should see your doctor for more effective and accurate ways to measure your total body water percentage.
- Royal College of Nursing: Total Body Water Percentage
- Medical Physiology: Principles for Clinical Medicine, Fourth Edition; Rodney A. Rhoades and David R. Bell
- Harvard School of Public Health: Measuring Obesity
- The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences: Rapid Measurement of Total Body Water to Facilitate Clinical Decision Making in Hospitalized Elderly Patients