At least half of your body is made up of water; on average, an adult’s body is 55% to 75% water (about 10-12 gallons).  The specific percentage varies from person to person, depending on factors such as body composition, age, and gender.

Every cell, tissue, and organ in your body needs water to function.  Water transports nutrients and oxygen to your body’s cells and carries away waste products.  It regulates body temperature and moistens body tissues such as those in your mouth, eyes, and nose.  Water is the primary part of every fluid in your body.  It helps prevent constipation.  And it helps cushion your joints and protect your body’s organs and tissues.  

In order to keep your body functioning normally – and to avoid dehydration – you need to provide it with an ongoing supply of water.  Signs of dehydration include:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Little or no urination
  • Muscle weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling light-headed

Just because your body needs at least 8 cups of water a day doesn’t mean you have to stand at the faucet constantly. Rather, you can get your daily water requirement from drinking and eating.

Certain foods – such as fruits and vegetables – have high water content.  The table below gives you an idea of how some foods and beverages can help your body get the fluid it needs:

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