Ask Dr Libby
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these on a regular basis.
As a general guide, most adults will need between two and three litres of fluid a day. Eight glasses of water would put you at the lower end of this range.However, we also obtain some fluid from non-starchy vegetables, soups and other drinks such as herbal teas.
If you would like to have a number of glasses to aim for each day, eight glasses is probably a good starting point, but I encourage you to tune in to your body’s thirst signals and be guided by this. After all, thirst is the body’s way of signalling to you that it requires water.
Q: I’ve been told that my total body water ranges between 56-58 per cent. What should my total body water be and how do I know if I’m retaining too much fluid? Kindest, Jennifer
A: 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.