Ask Dr Libby

Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough - - BACKYARD BANTER -

Email your ques­tions for Dr Libby to ask.dr­libby@fair­fax­me­ Please note, only a se­lec­tion of ques­tions can be an­swered.

much fluid? Kind­est, Jennifer

Hi Jennifer. Per­cent­age body wa­ter can vary de­pend­ing on a num­ber of fac­tors, such as age, gen­der and level of mus­cle mass. It can be any­where from 45 to 70 per cent of body weight but for adults, it is typ­i­cally be­tween 50 to 60 per cent.

With­out know­ing how your to­tal body wa­ter was mea­sured it’s dif­fi­cult to com­ment on this, but I en­cour­age you to re­flect on


the level of ac­cu­racy that can be ob­tained when mea­sur­ing your body com­po­si­tion out­side a lab­o­ra­tory set­ting. Rather than look­ing to a mea­sure­ment, I can­not en­cour­age you enough to sim­ply bring aware­ness to your body and any signs or symp­toms that may in­di­cate de­hy­dra­tion or fluid re­ten­tion.

A mea­sure­ment of to­tal body wa­ter doesn’t tell us the full pic­ture, as it doesn’t in­di­cate where the fluid ac­tu­ally is in the


Thirst is the body’s way of sig­nalling to you that it re­quires wa­ter.

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