Water makes up about 60% of our body weight, and nearly all of our body’s major systems depend on water to function and survive. There is water in every cell of the body, from the brain to the teeth.

According to the Mayo Clinic Health System, water plays the following important roles in our body:

> Regulates body temperature

> Moistens tissues in the eyes, nose and mouth

> Protects body organs and tissues

> Carries nutrients and oxygen to cells

> Lubricates joints

> Lessens burden on the kidneys and liver by flushing out waste products

> Dissolves minerals and nutrients to make them accessible to your body

Our body loses water through sweating, urinating, and even breathing. A lack of water is a major cause of daytime fatigue and can impair our body in many ways. Just being 2% dehydrated can degrade physical and mental functions (eg: making it difficult to focus on reading). At a 4% loss of water, your capacity for muscular work decreases; a 6% loss can cause heat exhaustion; just an 8% loss of water can cause hallucinations.

Drinking water is essential to keeping your body functioning properly and feeling healthy. To maintain the balance of water in your body, drink fluids throughout the day. Foods like leafy greens, melons and tomatoes contain a lot of water too. Drink more water after exercise and in hot weather. Choose plain water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages. Avoid diuretic drinks (eg: coffee, tea and soft drinks) which make you urinate more.