Nearly 60% of our body weight is water. Drinking water is essential in maintaining good health. And the benefits of drinking waterand staying well hydrated are numerous. Some include helping to: absorb nutrients, plump cells for glowing skin, lubricate joints, alleviate constipation and facilitate weight loss.
So how much water do we really need to drink to stay healthy? Most people should drink half their body weight in ounces. For example, a 150 pound man would require 75 oz daily. An easy guideline to follow is to drink a glass of water before and after each meal, and more to recover from exercise. The best way to tell if you are getting enough water is by the color of your urine— if your urine is colorless or only slightly yellow each day, you are probably getting enough liquid.
Your drinking bottle matters just as much. It is best to drink water from glass or stainless steel containers. Avoid plastic bottles which may have harmful chemicals that can leech from the bottle into the water, especially in the heat. There are many practical “on the go” bottles, some even designed with rubberized glass bottles that prevent breakage. A fun twist are bottles with infusers to add fruit.
BEST WATER TO DRINK
The best water is the simplest—it has one ingredient—water! Commercial sweetened beverages labeled as healthy water can fool people into thinking that because vitamins are added, it’s healthy, but beware of sugar and artificial sweeteners. Alkaline water is also trending, but there is not enough research out there to validate all the claims.
Tips to make drinking water pleasurable: Make everyday spa day and add fruit slices and/or herbs to a pitcher of cool water- try fresh lemon, lime, grapefruit, orange, cucumber, basil, mint, strawberries, or pineapple. These ingredients are wonderful in warm mugs of water as well. Even herbal tea can count as part of your water intake- and the flavors are limitless- some of my favorites are hibiscus, mango, coconut, and matcha green tea.
Following are some things to consider when choosing water:
Tap Water- generally uses a process with basic filtration techniques like flocculation, which adds chemicals to the water to get particles to coagulate and float so that they can be removed; sand filtration, which filters out large pieces of debris; or chlorination, which adds chlorine to kill bacteria and microorganisms. Although tap water is considered drinkable by the EPA, there are issues. For one, chlorine is not ideal for human consumption—while our bodies can technically handle it, chlorine can lead to a variety of health complications. There is also a risk of lead in tap water due to lead being present in the pipes that bring tap water to your home. To know for sure what’s in your tap water and where it’s coming from, contact your local water utility or perform your own water test.
Spring water- True spring water is captured from a natural, mountain, or artesian spring. And when harvested properly, spring water is sparkling clean. But as is the case with all types of drinking water, the water source is the key, as is where the water is bottled. In reality, most spring water is not actually bottled at the source, but is rather pumped into large tanker trucks from the source to be transported to the bottling facility. The water in those trucks must be chlorinated or ozonated at all times to protect against contamination. In this sense, spring water is hardly different from tap water, since it is largely treated the same way. Once the water is at the bottling facility, it goes through a carbon filtration process to remove the chlorine. This process may separate spring from tap water, but nitrates, metals, are more are likely to remain. Choose spring water that is “bottled at the source.”
Purified water- has been mechanically filtered or processed to remove impurities and make it suitable for use. The source of purified water isn’t what makes it the best choice on the market, it is the purification method that separates purified water from the rest.
Distilled water- is a boiling process where steam is preserved and contaminants sink and are eliminated. Distilled water is vital in areas that have poor tap water or polluted drinking water sources. The primary concerns are that some herbicides and pesticides evaporate before the water. There is also a loss of minerals during the distillation process.
Personal purification- boiling your water or using a charcoal, ceramic or ultraviolet filter can be somewhat effective. The tried-and-true camping method of using iodine tablets for disinfection can leave some pathogens behind but is fairly effective. Following iodine tablets with vitamin C treatment removes the taste left by the iodine as well.
Reverse Osmosis- is a technology that is used to remove foreign contaminants, solid substances, large molecules and minerals by pushing the water under pressure through a semi-permeable membrane. It is also used to desalinate salt water. Because it is so effective, it will also eliminate beneficial minerals in the process. Household systems make it possible to purify the water you bathe with as well as the water you drink.
Carbon filtered water- is a method of filtering that uses a piece of activated carbon to remove contaminants and impurities, utilizing chemical adsorption. When a material adsorbs something, it attaches to it by chemical attraction. The huge surface area of activated charcoal gives it countless bonding sites. When certain chemicals pass next to the carbon surface, they attach to the surface and are trapped. These can be installed under the sink for tap water and routed to purify water dispensed from the refrigerator.
Make every drop count!