We all know water is important. It makes up approximately 70% of our physiology and is critical in many areas, including digestion. However, all the water you see today is not created equal. A lot of it has been taken from a decent source, but then has been bastardized to the point that the side effects are more dangerous than the benefits. So what water do you trust? Use this guide to drinking water and see how your current water intake is affecting your body.
By now you would have to be living under a rock to not have heard that most tap water is riddled with contaminants and bares little to no semblance to its original counterpart. Some of the biggest culprits for ruining your tap water include fluoride, chlorine, and VOC’s (volatile organic compounds).
There has been several studies show that fluoride actually has no beneficial effect on our teeth and bones, like we were led to believe. In actuality, fluoride:
- Increases cavities and bone fractures
- Creates behavioral problems and increases cancer death rates
- Bio-accumulates in your tissues and is often stored in the brain and thyroid which can cause fatigue, weakness, and lowering of IQ.
As for chlorine, there has been an observed rise of allergies in connection with adding chlorine to the water supply. This points to damage being done to the immune and digestive systems, as well as your liver.
Last but not least, with industrial farming practices, VOC’s have also managed to leech into the public water supply, and have created another layer to water contamination.
Bottom line, don’t go to tap water for any of your hydration needs, unless you have a private well or your municipality has taken a more proactive approach to a cleaner water supply.
Bottled water seems innocent enough. If you have the choice between a soda or bottled water in the store, you would do yourself a favour by choosing the water.
However, one needs to keep in mind that with plastic bottled water comes xenoestrogens which can cause considerable damage to your intestinal system and your hormones. Not only that, but this author measured the pH of some common bottled waters and they actually registered on the acidic side of the scale. One can only guess that the toxins present due to poorly cured plastics has created much of this issue, and perhaps the commonly held notion that many bottled waters are simply tap water in disguise.
Not only that, but if your care about the earth you need to consider the amount of energy and resources placed into the production of plastic, and the way it is typically disposed of that does nothing to improve the health of this planet.
If you do choose bottled water, look for reputable brands in glass bottles.
Distilled water is an “ok” approach when your diet is high in produce and contains a wide variety of minerals and other nutrients, but not advisable if you are just beginning your health journey (unless no other options are available).
This is mainly due to the fact that distilled water is much more acidic and devoid of minerals. So to ensure it is suitable for the average nutrient lacking and acidic diet, add back in a pinch of sea salt.
Reverse Osmosis Water
Once considered an exceptional option for drinking water, we are now finding out that for very logical reasons, that it really isn’t the best.
Although reverse osmosis water does remove the typical contaminants in our tap water (as does distilled water), it also removes all the minerals contained in the water which ruins it’s nutritive effects, and lowers its natural alkalinity. Some water experts are referring to it as the ‘white flour’ of water, as it has been stripped of all its original health promoting properties.
Others believe than reverse osmosis water can have a dehydrating effect on your intestinal system as it pulls minerals from your intestinal lining to ‘rehydrate’ itself. If you have become constipated while drinking reverse osmosis water, that very well may be the reason.
If you do choose reverse osmosis water (or distilled) water, ensure to remineralize it with a healthy pinch of a good sea salt, or put it through a system that remineralizes it.
In this case, I’m referring to any water that has been put through a standard countertop filtration system. This may be a container or a system that attaches to your tap, whose primary responsibility is to just remove the contaminants found in your typical tap water.
This is the primary system most people tend to gravitate towards when they decide to clean up their drinking water. It is very good for most people as it gets rid of most of the offending toxins, and does not strip all the minerals out of the water like a reverse osmosis or distilled water, for example.
However, you do need to do your due diligence to ensure it takes out most of the dangerous contaminants that could be in your tap water, as they are not all created equal.
Alkaline Water System
The alkaline water systems were held by many in recent years to be the holy grail of water consumption. Although they do have their benefits, you need to keep in mind that the pH of many of them is unnaturally high.
So even though they do deliver exceptional active hydrogen and abundant colloidal mineral content, their use long term has a little asterisk beside it due to pH levels that often exceed 10, and can be as high as 12 or 13. This should not be considered healthy long term even if the majority of the population is highly acidic, as it will slowly weaken your stomach acid, one of your primary defences to unfriendly pathogens.
When looking at alkaline water systems, make sure to note the pH of the water it delivers, and if it is under 9, you should be fine to use it longer term.
The purest, most original source of water, spring water has been largely forgotten about with the advent of bottled water and all the filtration systems that have hit the market. That, and people simply don’t want to spend much time acquiring one of our basic human necessities.
Spring water, when collected from a qualified source, is the most hydrating and beneficial water you can possibly drink. Not only is it ‘alive’ (unlike any other water sources), it is exceptionally hydrating, mineralizing, and full of oxygen. Besides that, it is very tasty (when comparing with other waters, there is a noticeable difference).
Natural spring water has a pH of around 8 to 8.5.
To drink raw spring water, you will want to find an approved spring to ensure it is not contaminated. One of the best resources to find a spring near you is www.findaspring.com.
How much water do I drink?
For most people, the answer to this simple question would be ‘more than you are drinking now’. Most people are very deficient on their drinking water needs, and would have a hard time overdoing it.
However, a simple, general benchmark is to consume at least half your body weight (in pounds), in clean drinking water (in ounces). So if you weigh 160 pounds, you would need 80 ounces (10 glasses) of water. This is one simple component of many to achieve optimal health.
Much like the rest of our food supply, it’s generally not the original, pure source of food or water that is the problem, it’s what man has done to it for our ‘convenience’ and ‘well-being’.
We hope this guide to water has been helpful. Which water are you drinking to help heal your body?
Further Reading: The Importance of Pure Drinking Water and How To Optimize Hydration.