Did you know that you can survive almost a month without food but only a few days without water? Without sufficient water in the body physical performance can suffer. It’s especially important to stay hydrated during times of intense heat. We are sure to experience some hot days soon, so be sure to keep a water bottle handy.

Some of the benefits of drinking water is that it cushions the joints, regulates body temperature and lubricates the digestive tract. Water carries needed nutrients to every cell in the body and moisturizes the skin. It’s a cheap beauty treatment! Water is also soothing for gout, arthritis, heartburn and other digestive problems.

Drinking water can even ward off kidney stones, gallstones and urinary tract infections. When you are sufficiently hydrated it may even reduce oxidative stress and, when you begin to sweat, help keep your energy level up during high-intensity exercise.

Some symptoms of dehydration can be dry lips and mouth, dizziness and headaches, forgetfulness, confusion and increased heart rate. Keeping a filled water bottle with you at all times can remind you to drink and prevent any of the above things from happening.

To tell if you are sufficiently hydrated check your urine. It should be light yellow to clear in color. If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Drinking more water can also help with constipation—and it’s cheaper than the alternatives.

The benefits to being well hydrated are endless. Like exercise, drinking a big glass of water when you first awaken can fire up your metabolism. Water helps your body to flush out toxins. And if you think you are hungry and craving something, try drinking water and see if what you think is hunger is still there.

Drinking sufficient amounts of water can help fight against flu. Your immune system gets a boost, and water can flush toxins through the sweat and urine as it leaves your body.

We are lucky to have a plentiful supply of water, and we need to take care of this natural resource by not wasting it. Think about how long you let the tap run when you are doing household chores. Using a refillable water bottle is good for the environment and good for your pocketbook. So, drink up and enjoy the myriad benefits of H2O!

Ginger Lambert is a personal trainer and fitness instructor. Check out her website for information on fitness boot-camp classes for any level.