4 Reasons Why Water Is More Important Than Food

Water is more important than food for numerous reasons, but four will be enough to support that statement.

1. Lack of Water Kills You Quicker than Lack of Food

All survival schools teach you how to prioritize your objectives in the wilderness, and the list goes like this:

  1. Shelter
  2. Water
  3. Fire
  4. Food

Source: Willow Haven Outdoor

Shelter is ranking at first place because hypothermia can kill you within minutes/hours.

The lack of food can take up to 3 months to kill you, but the lack of water will kill you within 1 week.

2. Water Builds More Tissue than Food

Water builds up to 75% of our body. The exact percentages depend on age and type of tissue, but water typically builds:

  • 73-78% of the brain and heart
  • 80-83% of the blood
  • 90% of the lungs
  • 22-31% of the bones
  • 65-75% of the skin
  • 75-79% of the muscles and kidneys
  • and so on…

Water is like a majority shareholder in your body. It is involved in all systems – from the nervous system to the locomotor system. All system in the body require water to function.

So if you want to improve your health, drinking enough clean water should be your first priority. Then you can worry about your diet.

3. Physical Capacity Depends on Hydration

Your macronutrient distribution can be perfect. You can have all the vitamins and minerals your body needs. But those things don’t matter if you dehydrate. Losing more than 4% of your body weight in water leads to a reduction in physical capacity of about 30%.

Water improves your physical performance in several ways:

  • Proper hydration allows your body to sweat and dissipate heat. Consequently, your core temperature will less likely exceed the critical point estimated at about 103 °F (39.5 °C).
  • Sufficient water intake allows your lungs and blood to effectively transport oxygen.
  • If you are well-hydrated, your muscles will waste less glycogen.
  • Water acts as a shock absorber for vital organs, including the brain and the spinal column, so it decreases risk for injuries.
  • Water improves mobility and reduces risks for joint-related injuries by lubricating the joints.

4. Digestion is Impossible Without Water

Water is involved in every step of digestion – from producing saliva and hydrochloric acid in the stomach to assisting in the transportation of nutrients.

Food is useless if it can’t be digested properly, and water is involved in every part of the digestion process. So, if you have to prioritize between water and food, always choose water.


To learn more about how water intake determines your health, read about the benefits of water.

To learn how you can calculate your daily water intake based on you body weight and adjust for physical activity (if any), read this article.

To learn how you can improve the quality of your drinking water, read about the ways to purify drinking water.