Water has been used since antiquity as a symbol by which to express devotion and purity. Some cultures, like the ancient Greeks, went as far as to worship gods who were thought to live in and command the waters.

Throughout our history, the places we’ve been able and unable to live in have been defined by water. The fertile crescent, the so-called “birthplace of civilization”, is fertile because of the presence of water in the soil. Since then most of our cities have been built in consideration of nearby lakes, rivers, and wells. Wars have been fought for the land nearest an easily-accessible water supply.

With two-thirds of the earth’s surface covered by water and the human body consisting of 50-75 percent water (depending on age, size, and some other factors), it is evidently clear that water is one of the prime elements responsible for life on earth. Water circulates through the land just as it does through the human body, transporting, dissolving and replenishing nutrients and organic matter, while carrying away waste material.

Further, in the body, it regulates the activities of fluids, tissues, cells, lymph, blood and glandular secretions. Without sufficient water, we would die within a few days. Here’s a breakdown of the human body: the brain is made up of 95 percent water; blood is 82 percent water; and lungs are 90 percent water.

A mere 2 percent drop in our body’s water supply can trigger signs of dehydration: fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on smaller print, such as a computer screen.

Mild dehydration is also one of the most common causes of daytime fatigue. An estimated 75 percent of Americans have mild, chronic dehydration. That is a pretty scary statistic for a developed country where water is readily available through a tap or bottle.

Water is important to the mechanics of the human body. The body cannot work without it, just as a car cannot run without gas and oil. In fact, all the cell and organ functions made up in our entire anatomy and physiology depend on water for their functioning.

• Water serves as a lubricant.

• Water forms the base for saliva.

• Water forms the fluids that surround the joints.

• Water regulates the body temperature, as the cooling and heating is distributed through perspiration.

• Water helps to alleviate constipation by moving food through the intestinal tract and thereby eliminating waste.

• Water regulates metabolism.

In addition to the daily maintenance of our bodies, water also plays a key role in the prevention of disease. Drinking eight glasses of water daily can decrease the risk of colon cancer by 45 percent, bladder cancer by 50 percent and it can potentially even reduce the risk of breast cancer. And those are just a few examples.

Water can even help you lose weight by helping you feel full and eat less.

With all the many benefits to drinking water, why drink anything else? Water doesn’t just come from a glass though. Many foods are rich in water, including salads, soups, vegetables and fruits like melons, apples and oranges.

Drinking water doesn’t have to be a burden or a diet regime; it can be a healthful exercise that keeps your body in first-rate condition. Are you thirsty yet?

(Borrowed heavily from this article.)