Water is known as the elixir of life, with good reason. Every system in your body needs it to survive.
“Water regulates our body temperature, keeps our joints lubricated, helps prevent infections and delivers nutrients to our cells,” said registered US dietitian and CNN contributor Lisa Drayer. “Additionally, our kidneys and liver work hard to get rid of toxins in our bodies, and they depend on water to do their job.”
Water makes up about 60% of your body’s weight, and although you can survive without food for weeks, dehydration can kill you within days or even hours, depending on the temperature and your environment.
Dehydration means more water is moving out of your body’s cells than into them. And as this happens, it’s not just water that you lose. Small amounts of electrolytes critical to cell function and energy, such as sodium and potassium, are lost along with the water.
You’re constantly losing water and electrolytes throughout the day via breath, sweat, urine and bowel movements, so even mild dehydration can exhaust you and affect many of your body’s daily functions.