MSD Manual

Please confirm that you are not located inside the Russian Federation

honeypot link
Quick Facts

About Body Water

By

The Manual's Editorial Staff

Last full review/revision Jun 2020| Content last modified Jun 2020
CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSONAL VERSION
Get the full details

About half your body weight is water. So if you are a 160-pound woman, you have about 80 pounds (10 gallons) of water in your body.

You need the right amount of water in your body for good health. Either too much or too little can cause serious problems.

The water in your body contains electrolytes Overview of Electrolytes Electrolytes are minerals that circulate in your blood. These minerals are also in your stomach juices, in your stool (poop), in your urine, and inside your body's tissues. Salt (sodium) is... read more . Electrolytes are minerals, such as sodium and potassium, that help with many important body functions. Your body needs the right balance of electrolytes.

How does your body balance the amount of water?

Your body constantly balances how much water and electrolytes you have.

When your body needs more water:

  • Your brain makes you feel thirsty so you’ll drink more

  • Your brain also signals your kidneys to make less urine, so water and electrolytes don't leave your body

When your body needs less water:

  • Your brain signals your kidneys to make more urine

What can throw off my body's water balance?

Most of the time, your body does this balancing act automatically. You don't have to think about it. It's not necessary to force yourself to drink when you're not thirsty.

However, if you lose a lot of water very quickly and don't have a way to replace it, you can have trouble. Also, certain diseases that affect your brain or your kidneys can throw off how your body balances water and electrolytes.

NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSONAL VERSION
CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSONAL VERSION
OTHER TOPICS IN THIS CHAPTER
Others also read
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Test your knowledge
Nausea and Vomiting in Adults
Nausea is an uncomfortable sensation of needing to vomit. A person may also experience dizziness, abdominal discomfort, and/or food aversion. Vomiting is a powerful stomach contraction that forces the stomach’s contents up through the esophagus and out the mouth. Which of the following is NOT one of the common causes of nausea and vomiting?
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID

Also of Interest

Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
TOP