( CNN) Water is known as the elixir of life, with good reason. Every system in your body needed most to survive.

This feature is part of CNN Parallels, an interactive series exploring ways you can improve your health by making small changes to your daily habits.

“Water governs our body temperature, maintains 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 attains 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 nature of the temperature and your environment.

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