How Long Can a Person Live Without Water?

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The length of which a person can live without water is dependent on weather conditions and the person's percentage of body fat. Discover how someone with a high percentage of body fat can become dehydrated quickly with advice from a registered and licensed dietitian in this free video on nutrition and diets.

Part of the Video Series: Nutrition & Diets
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Video Transcript

My name is Christine Marquette and I'm a registered and licensed dietitian with the Austin Regional Clinic and I'm going to talk to you about how long a person can live without water. This is actually very dependent on two things: weather conditions, and the person's percentage of body fat. The more body fat a person has, the less bodied water that they have, so if somebody has a very high percentage of body fat, they're actually going to become dehydrated much more quickly than somebody that has a higher percentage of body water. As far as these conditions, the climate also has a huge impact. If you were say, out in the desert. It's a hundred and twenty degrees, you would probably only survive about two days without water. However, if you were in a colder climate, say maybe it was about fifty degrees, and you were in shape, you may be able to survive up to ten days. Maybe even fourteen days, again, if you were somebody who had a very high body water percentage. So it's a very wide range, maximum of two days in a very hot climate, all the way up to a maximum of fourteen days in a colder climate, if you have a very high body water percentage. The other thing to keep in mind is your actual health status. If you have any type of sickness, say for example you had a cold or the flu or something like that, you are already running a fever, that would also cause you to become more dehydrated more quickly so you would not survive as long without water as somebody that entered that state in a healthy condition, so wide range of how long you can survive without water.


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