Water balance in Our Bodies: Why It Matters
How Our Bodies Use Water
Water is key to our health, making up a big part of our body weight. Lean parts of our body have more water than fatty parts. This means men usually have more body water (around 60%) than women (about 52 to 55%). Kids and babies have the most water in their bodies (about 70%), but this drops as we get older or if someone has more body fat.
Think of it this way: a 70 kg (154 lbs) person has about 42 liters (10.5 gallons) of water in their body. This water is inside cells, around cells, and in the blood.
Drinking Water: How Much Do We Need?
It’s important to drink enough water every day. Adults should drink 1.5 to 2 quarts (around 2 liters) of liquids to stay healthy. This helps avoid dehydration and other health problems. Our kidneys help keep our water levels just right, getting rid of extra water or saving water when we need it.
Keeping Water Balanced
Our body has ways to make sure we have enough water:
- Feeling Thirsty: Thirst tells us to drink water when we need it.
- Working Together: Our brain and kidneys work together to control how much water we keep or let go of, depending on what we need.
- Water Movement: Water moves where it’s needed in our bodies to keep everything balanced.
Water: How We Lose It and Why We Need More
We lose water every day when we pee, sweat, breathe, and even through our guts. Usually, drinking fluids makes up for this loss. But if we lose too much water, like from being sick, we can get dehydrated.
Our bodies also balance water with salts, like sodium and potassium. This helps keep our blood and our health in good shape. Drinking water, feeling thirsty, and how our kidneys work are all part of keeping this balance.
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