Water is important, rather ESSENTIAL, to our overall health. It is the most abundant substance on the earth and in the human body. Roughly 55-60% of the adult body is made up of water, and every living cell in the body needs it to keep functioning. Our bodies lack the capability to store water, therefore daily consumption of water is essential for survival.
Water plays many roles in the body…
- Transports nutrients throughout the body
- Aids in removing waste and flushing toxins
- Regulates body temperature
- Improves cell-to-cell communication
- Lubricates bones and joints
- Moistens oxygen for easier breathing
Recent studies also claim water deficits can negatively impact cognitive performance. A peer-reviewed article by Riebl and Davy, The Hydration Equation: Update on Water Balance and Cognitive Performance, suggests even mild dehydration (a body water loss of 1–2%) can impair cognitive abilities. Unfortunately, we may experience mild dehydration by simply doing routine daily activities. On top of that, this study reported adults drink only one liter (~ 4 cups) of water a day on average, which is way below the recommended daily intake. According to the findings of this study, decline in cognitive function due to lack of hydration may be a huge problem faced by our society. Cognitive performance problems from mild dehydration include poor concentration, increased reaction time, short-term memory problems, moodiness and anxiety.
So, now that we understand the importance of staying hydrated, let’s talk water options…
Distilled water (bottled water) has become a popular choice to guarantee purity. However, this may not be the best option when we dig a little deeper. The distillation process does a good job of removing most organisms and chemicals from the water, however it also removes all minerals present in the water! Removing all of the minerals from water can be detrimental to optimal wellness. The regular consumption of distilled water, especially by someone who may already be slightly deficient, can ultimately lead to mineral deficiencies. Cooking foods in demineralized water can also become a problem because it pulls more minerals from them, whereas using water containing natural minerals will lessen this loss and possibly even improve your foods.
The hormone-disrupting chemical bisphenol A, or BPA, is another concern for those consuming distilled water stored in plastic containers. BPA contamination is widespread because the chemical is a key component of the epoxy used as an anti-corrosive coating inside most of the plastic water bottles manufactured in the U.S. each year. The Environmental Working Group database released an article that stated, “The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found detectable levels of BPA in 93% of samples taken in 2003-2004 from people six years and older”. In 2009, tests commissioned by the EWG were the first to find BPA in the umbilical cords of nine of 10 infants sampled. BPA is one of 23 biologically disruptive chemicals being investigated by The Halifax Project, an international collaboration of scientists and doctors who are studying the connection between chemical exposures and cancer. Heard of the “BPA-free” movement? Well BPA is just the poster child that showed us that ALL plastic leaches into water from a plastic storage container. Hot storage transportation increases this leaching, which is almost always part of the life cycle of a water battle before you drink it. This also applies to plastic leaching into our food from packaging.
Our environment, the surroundings we depend on to sustain life, is also being negatively impacted by the increased consumption of plastic-stored water (distilled, filtered, spring, etc). Plastic water bottles are made of completely recyclable polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastics, but PETs don’t biodegrade. Instead they photodegrade, which means they break down into smaller fragments over time. Those fragments absorb toxins that pollute our waterways, contaminate our soil, and sicken animals (which we then eat). According to the Ocean Conservatory, plastic bottles and plastic bags are the most prevalent form of pollution found on our beaches and in our oceans. They claim, “every square mile of the ocean has over 46,000 pieces of floating plastic in it.” That’s terrible! Claims have also been made that 10% of the plastic manufactured worldwide ends up in the ocean, the majority of that settling on the ocean floor where it will never degrade.
Some of our favorite water filtration systems include the Berkey System and re-mineralized reverse osmosis systems. These filtration systems provide a natural, simple way to remove viruses, pathogenic bacteria, parasites, chlorine, lead, mercury, cadmium, copper, volatile organic compounds, and fluoride.
A side note on fluoride → “The sad irony here is that the FDA, which does not regulate fluoride in drinking water, does regulate toothpaste and on the back of a tube of fluoridated toothpaste it must state that “if your child swallows more than the recommended amount, contact a poison control center.” The amount that they’re talking about, the recommended amount, which is a pea-sized amount, is equivalent to one glass of water. The FDA is not putting a label on the tap saying don’t drink more than one glass of water. If you do, contact a poison center… There is no question that fluoride — not an excessive amount — can cause serious harm.” – Paul Connett, The Case Against Fluoride: How Hazardous Waste Ended Up in Our Drinking Water and the Bad Science and Powerful Politics That Keep It There.
Awareness of the urgent need to address water pollution is growing, both nationally and internationally. Healing our waters and providing safe and tasty drinking water are becoming a more prevalent issue. Water is the substance we need most, second in importance only to air for sustaining life. Because of the numerous roles water plays in the body, it is critical to explore safe drinking options.
- Start drinking more water and less soda, coffee, fruity drinks, and soda water. Yes, you read that right. Carbonated water DOES NOT equal pure H2O. It’s ok to drink soda water as a lovely indulgence and soda anonymous resource, but you can’t only drink soda water.
- Stop drinking out of plastic. This has never been easier with glass options available at convenience stores or the more economical choice of bringing your own metal/glass container with you everywhere. We must put an end to plastic water bottles for both human and planet health
- Invest in a water filtration system at home. This one-time investment only requires a low grade recurring cost of replacement filters with a higher return on investment for your family’s health.
- Educate others with this information with gentle, respectful words.
Reach out to us with any questions you may have regarding safe drinking water!