1

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Have a Tanita Scale? What is your total body water %?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 19, 2012 at 5:11 PM

Hi,

For those of you who have a Tanita or similar scale that shows TBW% (Total Body Water %), can you please post your reading first thing in the morning before taking in any liquids? Mine runs between 49.5 and 50.5% and I'm curious if thats normal or average.

Thanks, Scott

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on July 04, 2012
at 01:22 AM

People should include ages too, that will make a difference.

782d92f4127823bdfb2ddfcbcf961d0e

(5231)

on June 20, 2012
at 12:31 AM

The easiest, more accurate way to find your BF is to have it done with calipers. Do you belong to a gym? Maybe someone there can measure you.

7f8bc7ce5c34aae50408d31812c839b0

(2698)

on June 20, 2012
at 12:02 AM

Thanks. Glad to hear somebody else finds such a huge error in BF%. Perhaps I'm not actually 26% BF. I don't think so because I've lost 35+ pounds and I was 30% on the same scale before I started.

1a8287e347615e85e0cbf6930795cfcb

(439)

on May 20, 2012
at 02:44 PM

Good luck, but keep in mind that the scale is not very accurate, not even as a relative measure for a single person over time. Water % or BF % can change on a Tanita as a result of a dietary or hormonal changes, without necessarily reflecting significant real changes. Anyway, it is fun to track, so I do it. Tanita seems to dislike low carb, so simply eating tons of fruit led to slightly lower bf % and higher water % for me within in a couple of days.

7f8bc7ce5c34aae50408d31812c839b0

(2698)

on May 20, 2012
at 02:32 PM

I think your probably right. Lower BF leads to higher TBW.

7f8bc7ce5c34aae50408d31812c839b0

(2698)

on May 20, 2012
at 02:31 PM

Thanks for the detailed answer. My thinking is if one lowers their BF% then since fat is NOT water, TBW% should probably go up. Especially if weight remains the same. I'm male, 5'11", 180 lbs. My scale says I'm 26% BF and 50% water. If I can change my BF% to 20% (my goal) without losing significant weight, I'm pretty sure I should see TBW% rise.

7f8bc7ce5c34aae50408d31812c839b0

(2698)

on May 20, 2012
at 02:26 PM

I really have no idea how accurate it is. I think it works by sending electrical signals up one leg and down the other and measuring the time the signal take to travel. Then some algorithm is used to decide fat and water percentages.

1144bcd270d99a61c2bc6a23f6290d46

(234)

on May 20, 2012
at 02:47 AM

Interesting other comment about carb count. I used to eat 150-200g or so of carbs a day. Now I'm around 100g, wonder if that makes a difference? I did notice that when I was doing even lower carb, that my water % went up but I wasn't sure if that was because my fat % was going down. I'm so curious now about this too, the answers are so varied!

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8 Answers

1
E7e57f3e3a156df4072ca85d463f8ed3

(358)

on August 15, 2012
at 02:43 AM

Does the Tanita actually measure both fat and water or does it measure one approximately and calculate the other by difference? That could explain why one goes up and the other appears to go down. Eating carbs is supposed to cause people to retain water, so if you lose carbs you should lose water, not gain it.

I recall a post on another site & people with Tanitas stood with thighs together, apart, both hands & feet on the thing and got horrendously variable fat contents.

0
782d92f4127823bdfb2ddfcbcf961d0e

on June 19, 2012
at 11:58 PM

I have a Tanita scale but I only use it to weigh myself. I find it pretty accurate. It's always within 0.2 lbs of what I weigh when I get measured at the gym. However, the body fat measurement is waaaaaaaaay off: about 24% when I'm actually about 10 to 11%. I don't suppose the total body water measurement would be any better. FWIW it's about 51%. I'm female and between 112-115lbs.

From what I understand, more accurate measurements are taken between hand and foot. Those would be the professional scales and cost a few thousand dollars. No thanks, I'll just use the one I have for weighing.

7f8bc7ce5c34aae50408d31812c839b0

(2698)

on June 20, 2012
at 12:02 AM

Thanks. Glad to hear somebody else finds such a huge error in BF%. Perhaps I'm not actually 26% BF. I don't think so because I've lost 35+ pounds and I was 30% on the same scale before I started.

782d92f4127823bdfb2ddfcbcf961d0e

(5231)

on June 20, 2012
at 12:31 AM

The easiest, more accurate way to find your BF is to have it done with calipers. Do you belong to a gym? Maybe someone there can measure you.

0
D1728f99db66ff91d695a6df5cd38b02

(1368)

on May 22, 2012
at 08:03 PM

Used to have one, don't have any more but weighed for along time and water was always around 50%. was 18-20 year old female SAD diet at the time.

0
5cd8441bd01fc10816085bfc092477c4

(925)

on May 20, 2012
at 02:40 AM

I have a really old Tanita scale (8 years old). It doesn't do that--way cool! Do you think it is accurate? HOw does it detect that?

7f8bc7ce5c34aae50408d31812c839b0

(2698)

on May 20, 2012
at 02:26 PM

I really have no idea how accurate it is. I think it works by sending electrical signals up one leg and down the other and measuring the time the signal take to travel. Then some algorithm is used to decide fat and water percentages.

0
1a8287e347615e85e0cbf6930795cfcb

(439)

on May 20, 2012
at 02:21 AM

Between 60 and 62%.

I am female, 36 years old.

When I was lowish carb Paleo (PHD) - usually around or under 100 grams carbs per day, I was around 55-56%.

After I was able to improve my thyroid (T3) status by eating more carbohydrates - around 200 grams - and taking desiccated thyroid, my water percentage increased to 60-62%, and has stabilized there. My bodyfat % was reduced on the same scale from around 20-21% to 15-17%. I gained a bit of weight - water, muscle and fat.

I do not necessarily think I had such a significant change in water and bodyfat % as such, but relatively lower body fat % and higher water % on a Tanita can indicate, according to a friend of mine who is rather hardcore on the subject matter, improved hormonal status. I feel better with higher water %, but again, this is probably a result of a more balanced T3 and a few other hormonal improvements.

Tanita Model UM 0-51

7f8bc7ce5c34aae50408d31812c839b0

(2698)

on May 20, 2012
at 02:31 PM

Thanks for the detailed answer. My thinking is if one lowers their BF% then since fat is NOT water, TBW% should probably go up. Especially if weight remains the same. I'm male, 5'11", 180 lbs. My scale says I'm 26% BF and 50% water. If I can change my BF% to 20% (my goal) without losing significant weight, I'm pretty sure I should see TBW% rise.

1a8287e347615e85e0cbf6930795cfcb

(439)

on May 20, 2012
at 02:44 PM

Good luck, but keep in mind that the scale is not very accurate, not even as a relative measure for a single person over time. Water % or BF % can change on a Tanita as a result of a dietary or hormonal changes, without necessarily reflecting significant real changes. Anyway, it is fun to track, so I do it. Tanita seems to dislike low carb, so simply eating tons of fruit led to slightly lower bf % and higher water % for me within in a couple of days.

0
543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on May 19, 2012
at 11:31 PM

Usually somewhere between 60% & 62%

I am Male

Tanita Model BC-541

0
D55b8c8cb2aecbc43607f947a4793208

on May 19, 2012
at 09:39 PM

Sounds spot-on with my Tanita results: 1.5 years ago running ~50.0, currently running ~49.0.

0
1144bcd270d99a61c2bc6a23f6290d46

on May 19, 2012
at 05:21 PM

Mine used to say 46-48% before paleo. Now it runs 52-54%. Also am in better shape & lower fat % so not sure if that has something to do with it.

1144bcd270d99a61c2bc6a23f6290d46

(234)

on May 20, 2012
at 02:47 AM

Interesting other comment about carb count. I used to eat 150-200g or so of carbs a day. Now I'm around 100g, wonder if that makes a difference? I did notice that when I was doing even lower carb, that my water % went up but I wasn't sure if that was because my fat % was going down. I'm so curious now about this too, the answers are so varied!

7f8bc7ce5c34aae50408d31812c839b0

(2698)

on May 20, 2012
at 02:32 PM

I think your probably right. Lower BF leads to higher TBW.

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