How Long Can the Human Body Survive Without Food or Water?

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The human body cannot survive without food and water for long periods of time. In fact, according to SurvivalTopics.com, the longest a person can go without water is 10 days--without food, it's four to six weeks. However, due to certain other variables, these numbers can vary. Second to oxygen, water is the most important compound that the human body needs for survival. If you question this statement, try not drinking water for one day.

How Long Can the Human Body Survive Without Food or Water?
How Long Can the Human Body Survive Without Food or Water?

Water

The amount of daily water required for optimum health is 2 quarts. That equals to four 16-oz. bottles of water. However, this amount changes if you become more physically active, the weather becomes hotter or the climate is dryer. In these situations, you are losing water through your pores via sweat and will need to replenish what is lost. In conditions like these, you will need to drink up to or about one gallon a day.

Temperature

Because the amount of water needed to drink depends on several variables, we will base the amount needed on the consideration that the person is in the shade. In addition, the amount of water needed for survival is different when the temperature is 120 degrees F compared to 50 degrees F and those in between. Therefore, we'll take the average amount and assume that it is 85 degrees F outside and the person is in the shade. The maximum number of days that the human body can go without water at 85 degrees F in the shade is eight days. As a note, at 50 degrees F in the shade the human body cannot last beyond 10 days, and at 120 degrees F in the shade no longer than two. So you can see it really depends upon the temperature.

Food

A person can go without food for a longer period of time. However, going without food for a few days or even up to a week will make us feel quite different. Some of the symptoms of lack of nutrients from food are weakness, making poor decisions, lethargy, irritability and confusion.

Variables

The amount of time a human can go without food based on information from medical doctors is no longer than four to six weeks. However, other variables can shorten or lengthen this time. Variables such as being obese or not drinking adequate amounts of water can change this amount of time. An obese person who is in good health can last anywhere from three to 25 weeks without food. However, if there is a shortage of both food and water, the person will not survive more than 10 days.

Prevention/Solution

Water and food may not always be readily available. For many different reasons you may find yourself in a position where you may wish you were prepared. Survival Topics .com suggests stocking up on Meals Ready to Eat, food bars and other prepared food supplies. In addition, it suggests learning survival skills for hunting, fishing and trapping. Learning what wild plants are good to eat is also essential. Also, keep a supply of iodine tablets for water purification.

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