Health benefits of drinking water
Approximately 60% of our bodies are made up of water. This water helps to regulate body temperature, lubricate and cushion the joints, protect vital organs, tissues, and the spinal cord, and aids in digestion and the elimination of waste and toxins from the body. Throughout the day we are losing water regularly via exhaling, sweating, urinating, and through bowel movements. If we don’t replenish this loss by drinking plenty of water, then it is easy to become dehydrated.
There are many different opinions out there about how much water we should drink, which can make it difficult to figure out what the right answer is. I tend to go by the rule of drinking half of your body weight in ounces every day. By drinking enough water, you will also enjoy the additional benefits of:
- Preventing constipation
- Maximizing physical performance
- Increased nutrient absorption
- Weight loss
- Improved circulation
- More energy
- Improved cognitive function
- Healthier skin
With all of the benefits of water, its clear to see why clean drinking water would be important. This is why I have included information in this blog about the various contaminants commonly found in tap water, and ways to avoid them.
Common contaminants in tap water
1. Pathogenic microbes: Viruses, bacteria, parasites, fungi
2. Inorganic minerals: Chloramine, chloride, chlorine
3. Trihalomethane’s: Bromodichloromethane, bromoform, chloroform
4. Heavy metals: Aluminum, barium, cadmium, cobalt, chromium, copper, iron, lead, mercury, nickel, etc.
5. Pharmaceutical drugs: Too many to even try listing.
6. Pesticides and Volatile Organic Compounds: Trust me, you don’t even want to see how huge this list would be.
You may have only heard of a few of these contaminants, and you may also feel clueless as to what they mean for your health. Well I can tell you that many of these contaminants are carcinogenic (cancer causing), neurotoxic (toxic to the nervous system), and endocrine disruptors (hormonal imbalances). I’m just taking a wild guess here, but I’m thinking you aren’t interested in messing around with any of that? If you want to get more information about each individual contaminant, the health consequences associated to them, and what specific contaminants are in your water, I would suggest using this search tool on the EWG website. When I put in my zip code, there were over 25 different chemicals found in the tap water for my city. Among these chemicals includes Hexavalent Chromium. Have you ever watched the awesome movie Erin Brockovich with Julia Roberts? Well in that movie (based on a true story), hundreds of people were severely ill due to a chemical that they were being exposed to in their water. This chemical happened to be Hexavalent Chromium. No bueno!
Alternatives to tap water
If you’re lucky enough to live near a natural well or spring where you can fill up your own containers, this would be the best option. I live near an alkaline well, and fill 5 gallon glass jars for my drinking water. If you want to know why I only use glass or stainless steel, read my blog about the health risks associated to plastic. If you want to see if there is a healthy spring near you, there is an awesome website called Find A Spring dedicated to this very purpose. In addition to the well water, I have also purchased myself a Big Berkey. The Berkey filters are truly some of the best filters on the market. They can remove all of the contaminants that I listed previously from your very own tap water. The cool thing too is that they remove all of the bad stuff while leaving the healthy minerals untouched. The Berkey is much cheaper per gallon than the alkaline water I get, so I use it for washing my veggies, water for my cats, filling ice cube trays, and for all cooking purposes. They come in different sizes, including a travel size you can take camping. This way you can drink water from the river, lake, or pond near your campsite. I was super stoked when I discovered that. There are a lot of other filters out there, I am simply sharing the one that I have personal experience with. Do your research, and make sure that whatever filter you go with has been vigorously tested. Here are some additional ones that my colleagues have recommended as well.
- Ovopur Origin Water Filter
- Aquasana 3-stage Under Counter Water Filter
- Aquaperform Under-the-Sink Filter With Faucet
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Affiliate Disclosure: In the spirit of full disclosure, there are affiliate links in this article, which means that I may get a commission if you decide to purchase any such product. I only recommend products and services that I use and love myself.