Since the human body is about 65 percent water we must consider it as an important
nutrient. Rubner, a German physiologist, found that during starvation an animal can live if it
loses nearly all the glycogen and fat, as well as half the body protein, but a loss of 20 percent
of the water in the body results in death. One can live without food for over a month, but
without water only a few days.
· Sources of water for our bodies come from l) fluid foods in the diet, 2) solid foods in
the diet, and 3) water produced in the body resulting from metabolism of energy nutrients.
Water is lost from the body by way of the kidneys (urine), skin (perspiration), lungs (expired
air), intestinal tract (feces), and eyes (tears). (See Table 1.)
· A reasonable recommendation for water consumption per day would be a tablespoon
for each 15 calories of food. A 2,200 calorie diet would require about 10 cups or 2 ½ quarts
· Water may be stored effectively by one of two methods:
1) individual containers of 1 -2 gallon size.
2) large immovable reservoirs of 50-100 gallon size.
The advantage of small individual containers is the ease with which they can be transported. Large reservoirs, although immovable, may be connected to a potable water system so that circulation of fresh water is continuous.
TABLE 1. WATER BALANCE
Liquid Food 4.7 cups
Solid Food 2.1 – 3.8 cups
Water produced in body 1.7 cups
TOTAL 8.5 – 10.2 cups
Vaporization (lungs & skin) 3.9 – 4.2 cups
Feces 0.3 – 0.4 cups
Urine 4.2 – 5.5 cups
TOTAL 8.4 – 10.1 cups
14 gallons of water per person (2 week supply)