Water is the key to life, and it takes up a big proportion of our body weight, typically around 60 percent! The precise amount of water depends on a person’s body composition.
Since fat doesn’t store any water, a person’s water content is inversely proportional to a person’s fat content.
So a really muscular and lean person would have a relatively high proportion of their body weight made up of water.
Additionally, females tend to have more fat than males and so on average tend to have lower proportion of their body weight made up of water.
Total body water can be subdivided into two major compartments, intracellular fluid which is fluid inside cells, and extracellular fluid which is fluid outside of cell like in the blood and in the interstitial tissue between cells.
Assuming that the total body water is about 60% of their body weight, roughly 2/3 of that, or 40% is intracellular fluid, and the other 1/3 or 20% is extracellular fluid. This is also known as the 60-40-20 rule.
Intracellular fluid is important for dissolving cations which are molecules with a positive charge, and anions which are molecules with a negative charge.
The major intracellular cations are potassium (K+) and magnesium (Mg2+), whereas the major anions are proteins and organic phosphates like ATP.
Fluid compartments always maintain the same concentration of positive charges as negative ones in order to stay electrically neutral - that’s called the principle of macroscopic electroneutrality. So for example, the K+ in the intracellular fluid is balanced out by negatively charged proteins and organic phosphates.
The extracellular fluid can be subdivided further into interstitial fluid, which is the fluid that can be found surrounding the cell, and plasma, which is the aqueous portion of blood.
The major cation in extracellular fluid, both in the interstitial fluid and in the plasma, is sodium (Na+) and the major anions are chloride (Cl-) and bicarbonate (HCO3-).
Now, the plasma makes up about 55% of the blood, while the remaining 45% is mostly made of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
Plasma is made up of around 90% water and 10% proteins like albumin which help transport hormones and minerals.