H2O: Elixir of Health and Vitality. How to get hydrated, which water filter is best, which type of water is best. Enjoy!
Water is essential to life! We can’t live without it. Literally. It comprises about 70% of adult body weight and even more for infants and children.
Essential to every cell in the body, water helps to . . .
- maintain normal temperature through sweating and respiration
- regulate thirst and appetite
- transport nutrients in the bloodstream
- remove waste and toxins through urination, perspiration, and bowel movements
- reduce friction in joints and facilitate muscle contraction
- balance pH level (acid and alkaline)
- nourish the skin, by moving the lymph
8 x 8oz: Is That Really Enough Water For You?
Everyone’s hydration needs are different, depending upon age, gender, activity level, body composition, and overall health. It’s more myth than scientific fact that healthy people should drink 8 cups x 8 ounces of water daily. A better estimate is your body weight:
Drink one-half ( ½) your weight in ounces.
For example, if you weigh 130 pounds, drink 65 ounces of water each day.
Your Body Needs More Water When You:
- are in hot, dry climates or at high altitudes
- exercise or perform rigorous work
- take certain medications such as diuretics
- are pregnant or breastfeeding
- feel ill – running a fever, experiencing diarrhea or vomiting; during acute and chronic injury/illness
What Counts as Water?
Pure H2O is best. (with added trace minerals from the earth) Caffeine-free tea, such as herbal, can count toward daily fluid intake. Coffee and fruit juice don’t contribute to hydration. Food, such as celery, tomatoes, cucumber and melons, can contribute to daily water requirement depending on the proportion of fruits and vegetables in your diet. I recommend Concentrace brand mineral drops, 5-10 drops per liter of water. These earth minerals are stripped from the water in the purification process. Unless you get your water from a natural spring, you are missing this 84 trace elements.
Are You Dehydrated?
Dehydration means your body lacks the water required to function. Many people are in a chronic state of insufficient hydration. This can result in constipation, dry skin, inflammation, urinary tract infections, fatigue, and weight gain due to increased appetite. Look at the pads of your fingers, are they wrinkled?
Inadequate hydration makes it harder for the body to eliminate toxins and can quickly lead to acute dehydration, which is life threatening. Warning signs include dry mouth, irritability, headaches, and muscle cramps. If you don’t receive fluids, you become dizzy, clumsy and exhausted. The vital organs start shutting down. Without water, you will enter into a coma and die.
You may have heard you can determine if you are dehydrated by the color of your urine. However, certain foods, supplements, and medications change urine color; it’s not a reliable guide. Your health practitioner can help you determine the amount of water that’s right for you.
Savvy Ways to Drink More Water:
- Use a “dedicated” glass or water bottle. Choose a style and size that feels right to you. Keep it by your side. Sip throughout the day.
- Do the citrus twist. Embellish water with slices of orange, lemon, or lime.
- Get fizzy. Bubbly spring water hits the spot on a hot day. Look for carbonated water without added sweetener. Search online for recipes for making your own carbonated ginger or lemon-lime beverages.
- Enjoy Virgin Sangria (or Earth Juice for kids). Pour water over fresh (or frozen) citrus, melon, blueberries or strawberries. Chill for a few hours. The water extracts some of the flavor, nutrients and color. Try with mixed fruits or carbonated water for a delicately sweetened, beautiful refreshment.
Health Benefits of Filtered Water
Most people know very little about the quality of the water they use. Even those of us who recognize the potential health risks in tap water often choose cost-effectiveness and convenience over superior quality. Searching for information about your local water quality and how to improve it can make you feel like you’re in chemistry class! Here’s primer on why you should filter water and types of filtering systems.
Why Filter Your Water?
Over 2100 known toxins may be present in drinking water, which increases your risk for illness and affects the taste and smell of water. Better tasting, better smelling, and healthier water is what you get when you filter out chemical (e.g., chlorine/ lead) and bacterial contaminants from the water you drink or use for bathing. This also reduces the risk of rectal, colon and bladder cancer, as well as gastrointestinal and autoimmune illness. The EPA recognizes the benefit of filtered water for individuals with chronic illness or compromised immune systems.
In Arizona, it is impossible to get all the arsenic out of the tap water. Five times more than the allowable amount per FDA, is allowed in Arizona.
Ways to Filter Your Water:
Before you purchase any filtration system, learn about the quality of your household water supply by reading your water utility company’s “Consumer Confidence Report.” By law, all homeowners are to receive this in the mail by July 1 of each year. The report (also found online) details where your drinking water comes from, which contaminants have been found in it, and how contaminant levels compare to national standards. Next, have the water directly supplied to your house sampled and tested by a state-certified lab (also listed online). Together, these two steps will identify the most significant water supply concerns at your residence.
The chemical and/or bacterial contaminants filtered out vary by brand and model of filtering system. Learn as much as possible before purchasing a system for your home or personal use.
Countertop / personal use filters are placed in a pitcher or water bottle. These are inexpensive but typically only filter out lead/chlorine. More intricate systems, such as those used for camping, can filter out some types of bacteria and other contaminants. I recommend www.aquabelle.com.
Point-of-entry filters are installed at the main water line to your home. Point-of-use filters are affixed to a faucet or showerhead or at the plumbing line below the sink. Depending on the system, these can remove lead and other contaminants.
Ion Exchange Filters (aka Water Softeners) remove dissolved salts and other minerals that create chemically “hard water.” These filters soften water by exchanging naturally-forming mineral ions with its own ions to neutralize the harmful effect of mineral build-up in pipes, which alters the quality of your household water.
Granular Carbon/ Carbon Block Filters use a chemical or physical bonding process that pulls contaminants to the surface of the filter. Granular systems are best for removing organic chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides and industrial chemicals. A caveat with granular filters: loose material can form channels that trap water which then escapes proper filtering. Carbon block filters compress the carbon medium, eliminating channeling and providing more precision for filtering a wider range of contaminants.
Reverse Osmosis (RO) Filters force water through a membrane that draws out organic and inorganic contaminants. RO uses three times as much water as is treated but it is most effective in eliminating all disease-causing organisms and most chemical contaminants. Minerals are lost during RO so you must add trace minerals to the water or take a trace mineral supplement.
Alkaline Water Systems. You may be hearing a lot about pH alkaline water systems or bottled alkaline water. This system concentrates mineral content (it does not filter it) and some health scientists propose alkaline water can neutralize acid in the body, which is good for health. A variety of factors have to be considered when looking at the role of alkaline water in maintaining good health or supporting treatment for certain conditions.
Determining which filtering system is best for you depends upon where you live, the size of your home, your family’s health concerns, and your budget. Look for a filter that is certified using ANSI/ISF standards, such as NSF International, Underwriters Laboratories, and Water Quality Association). Also look for recommendations from the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Talk with your health practitioner about your local water supply, environmental issues, and personal needs. I do not recommend filtered water from the refrigerator or Brita only filtered water.
Why it matters
Lack of water can cause fatigue, brain fog, aches and pains in the body, dry skin, dizziness, heart palpitations, muscle cramps, and lack of sweating. Our body is up to 75% water, so yes, it’s important to drink water!
Here is a little story for you. A patient diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, came to my office for a new patient visit. After the visit, I asked him to drink half his body weight in ounces every day until our next visit. At this time he was awake about 4 hours per day and on disability. After 3 weeks, he returned to the office for his visit. He had a big smile on his face. He said, much to my surprise, I am 90% better.
Water is essential to LIFE!
Which water is best?
We are blessed in the country to have clean water to drink so freely. Did you know that only 0.1% of water on the planet is clean and drinkable?
There is filtered, ionized, alkalinized, mineralized, so many choices! My preference is to drink filtered water and to add Ionic Trace minerals, specifically I use ConcenTrace minerals, 10 drops per liter. This alkalinizes and mineralizes without burning a hole in your wallet.
If you can afford it, buy Mountain Valley Spring water in the green glass liter bottles. You can get these at Sprouts or Whole Foods. This water is literally the best I am aware of to date.
Water around the world
Around the world, many struggle to get clean water. 800 million people on the planet do not have drinkable water accessible to them. There are actually 1.6 million deaths per year attributed to dirty water and sanitation issues. (World Health Organization)