How Much Blood Is in Your Body and How Much You Can Lose

How Much Blood Is in Your Body?

The average adult male has between 50 and 60 liters (1.8 – 2.4 gallons) of blood stored within him at any given time. The amount of blood varies from person to person, but it averages out to approximately 100-120 quarts (40-50 US fl oz). At rest, the heart pumps about one quart per minute; during exercise or physical exertion, the heart pumps less often. So, if your heart beats once every five minutes, then you have about three hours of continuous pumping power. That means that the average man’s heart will pump enough blood to fill up a standard sized water bottle four times over! If all the blood in your body were pumped into a single container, it would reach the moon and back.

What does this mean?

Well, if you lost all your blood, you’d die. There are no exceptions. Even if you had a complete and total lack of oxygen to the brain, heart failure, or some other cause of death was instantaneous, there would still be no way to revive you without a donor organ.

There is another thing that needs to be mentioned: The average human being loses about 3% of their body weight each day due to dehydration. To be safe, drinking 8 glasses of water a day is sufficient to keep you hydrated. In reality, you may lose closer to 5% or even as much as 10% of your body weight due to dehydration when you are sick or working in extreme conditions.

This also means that you should get into the habit of drinking AT LEAST 8 glasses of water a day. If you’re sick, try to drink as much as you can!

If you bleed heavily, this is when it gets really bad. You can lose up to a half of a liter of blood and still survive. Any more than that and you may not make it to the hospital in time (assuming you’re not killed by your injuries first).

Once the bleeding has been slowed however, it is almost impossible for internal bleeding to kill you. Odds are that you’ll die from the original injury itself rather than blood loss.

Keep in mind that blood is not all the same. Blood plasma, for example, only makes up about 55% of your blood. The rest is made up of red and white blood cells as well as platelets, proteins and other things.

So when we’re talking about giving someone a unit of blood, this may not be as helpful as you think. It takes nearly a liter (1000ml) of plasma to fully replace the amount lost by an average human being during surgery.

Sources & references used in this article:

Obesity: how big a problem? by I Wickelgren – 1998 –

… -step Dietary Plan to Control Your Cravings and Lose Weight, Recognize how Foods Affect the Way You Feel, and Stabilize the Level of Sugar in Your Blood by K DesMaisons – 1999 –

Great expectations:” I’m losing 25% of my weight no matter what you say”. by B Wansink – 2007 – Bantam

Blood loss at delivery: how accurate is your estimation? by TA Wadden, LG Womble, DB Sarwer… – Journal of Consulting …, 2003 –

Full catastrophe living: Using the wisdom of your body and mind to face stress, pain, and illness by P Glover – Australian Midwifery, 2003 – Elsevier

AARP The paleo diet revised: Lose weight and get healthy by eating the foods you were designed to eat by J Kabat-Zinn, TN Hanh – 2009 –