Does Muscle Tissue Have Less Water Than Fat Tissue?

It's no secret that the human body is full of water. In fact, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) says the amount is close to 60 percent. With so much water in our system, you might be wondering what parts of the body have the most amount, and more specifically, the water content of fat.

Fat tissue has less water than muscle tissue. Credit: Jordan Beal / EyeEm/EyeEm/GettyImages

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When it comes to water content and body mass, fat tissue has less water than muscle tissue.

Water in Muscle Tissues

While exact amounts are hard to discern, the USGA does give a general idea of things like the percentage of water in fat tissue and the amount of water in muscle tissue. That said, there is one constant: you have more water in your body at birth, and as you age, the percentage begins to decline. This is a result of your body mass changing as you get older, with lean body mass decreasing while your body fat increases.

According to the same report from the USGA, the total amount of water in your body is further broken down by where it is stored in the body, with the lungs storing the most at 83 percent. This is followed by the muscles and kidneys with 79 percent, the brain and heart with 73 percent, the skin at 64 percent and the bones storing 31 percent.

When it comes to the percentage of water in fat tissue, the water content in fat is less than the water in lean muscle tissue. Since women tend to carry more body fat than men, they have less water in their body. On average, most women will have about 55 percent of their body made of water and men are closer to the 60 percent figure.

Read more: What Is a Good Body Fat Percentage?

The Importance of Water

How important is water? Well, nearly all of the major systems in your body depend on it. From flushing out waste products to preventing constipation, water plays a key role in daily life. The Mayo Clinic points out that water also helps to regulate your temperature, it lubricates and cushions joints and protects sensitive tissues such as those in the eyes, nose and mouth.

The amount of water you need to consume in a day depends on a variety of factors such as your weight, where you live, activity level and any health conditions that may require additional water. That's why Harvard Health Publishing say the guidelines for hydration are general, and focus more on drinking water throughout the day.

Read more: What Are the Benefits of Drinking a Gallon of Water a Day?

That said, a February 2004 report from The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine proposed specific recommendations that are still being referenced, even by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Those guidelines say an adequate daily fluid intake is:

  • About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids for men
  • About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women

If you're physically active, then you need to be intentional about staying hydrated and drink additional water before you exercise, while you work out and after you finish exercising.

But if drinking a tall glass of water several times a day sounds unappealing, you can also meet your hydration needs by eating foods that are high in water. According to the Cleveland Clinic, include foods such as cucumbers, celery, iceberg lettuce, zucchini, watermelon, strawberries and cauliflower in your diet.

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