Heart disease is currently the leading cause of death in the United Statesdrink more water. A study in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that adults who drank five or more glasses of water every day had a substantially lower chance of having a fatal heart attack compared to adults who drank only two or fewer glasses of water every day.

Experts say you should not rely on tea or coffee to get your water quota, either, since these beverages can actually raise blood viscosity, which is the thickness and stickiness of blood. Since higher blood viscosity can make it harder for blood to flow and can lead to heart disease and heart attacks, stick to water as your beverage of choice. And drink a glass of water before you climb into bed and another when you get up because heart attacks occur more frequently in the morning. Your blood is thicker because of water loss while you’re sleeping, so be sure to get your water consumption in first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

Since your body is made up of about 83% water – your brain and muscles are about 75% water and your bones are about 22% water – water helps every metabolic process in your body. It aids in the absorption of necessary nutrients and efficiently removes toxic waste from your body.

A diet of a wide variety of vegetables and fruit, low-fat dairy products, poultry without the skin, lean cuts of red meat, nuts, whole grains, and legumes helps you stay healthy, but drinking more water also improves your overall health.

Because many people only drink about half of the amount of water they need, it’s unlikely that you’ll drink too much. However, a good rule of thumb to follow is to drink between half an ounce and an ounce of water for each pound you weigh, every day. For a 150lb person, that translates into anywhere from 75 to 150 ounces of water. Every day. If you’re more active or live in a drier climate, you might need to drink even more than that.

You don’t need to accept heart disease as an inevitable part of your life. By adding more water to your everyday diet, increasing your activity levels, and making healthy food choices, you can dramatically reduce your risk of being affected by heart disease.