Water is by far the beverage of choice, especially if you are a health conscious individual who fully understands the power of water to nourish and sustain life. While the human body can go about 3 weeks without food, it cannot survive for more than 3 days without water. Water is essential to every bodily function. No other liquid can sustain your body like water, and the body needs a certain amount of water to function well.
The sad truth is that most people just don’t drink enough water. However, without water, your kidneys and liver cannot eliminate toxins, your colon cannot move your bowels, and thus, toxins build up in the body that lead to a host of compromising health conditions.
Dehydration is responsible for any number of uncomfortable to downright deadly symptoms such as fatigue, muscle pain, irritability, weight gain, headaches, dry skin, constipation, vertigo, low blood pressure, rapid heart rate, fever, rapid breathing and unconsciousness. Chronic dehydration may cause such things as arthritis, depression, accelerated aging and mood swings.
By the time you are thirsty, it is probably too late, you are most likely already on the way to dehydration. Urine output, color and odor, are all good indicators of the need for water.
If your urine has low odor and is pale colored, you are most likely on track. Some health practitioners say to aim for at least 10 glasses a day while others recommend half of your body weight in ounces.
Of course, if you are working out or spending time outdoors in the heat, it is essential that you replace water lost due to perspiration. You can also pull the skin on the top of your hand to see if it bounces back. If it stays up for a while, grab a glass or two of water, your tank is probably low.
What is the Best Water to Drink?
There are some people who drink enough water but are not consuming the right water. Perhaps you are under the assumption that your tap water is safe because the government says it is safe? In fact, your tap water might contain up to 80 so-called “regulated” contaminants and many unregulated toxins.
Perhaps you purchase bottled water in an attempt to stay safe; however, this can also be a problem. There is a major problem with deceptive labelling in the bottled water industry.
Don’t be fooled by marketing campaigns that state that the water is from a spring or pristine pool. Bottled water is just water and a very, very big business. Each year, over $75 billion dollars are spent on bottled water.
Bottled water in the United States falls under the authority of the FDA. Since over 70% of bottled water never crosses a state line for sale, it is exempt from the scrutiny of the FDA.
Tests done on bottled water have turned up traces of carcinogenic compounds, pharmaceuticals, fluoride, and arsenic to name a few. Bottled water is not a good value and creates mounds and mounds of trash that ends up in our oceans and landfills, no matter how much we recycle.
Toxins in Drinking Water
Known as an extremely dangerous toxin, fluoride is added to water sources including municipal water as well as bottled water. Adding fluoride to water has been banned in other countries but remains a common practice in many American cities; although some have rejected this practice since as early as 1990.
Arsenic is a heavy, toxic metal that is classified by the International Academy for Research on Cancer as a Category l carcinogen. This means that it is a known cancer causing metal. The Environmental Protection Agency set the acceptable standard for arsenic at 10 parts per billion in tap water. Many states exceed this standard.
Inhaling chlorine is dangerous to health and ingesting it is even more so. Chlorine is added to water to kill certain bacteria. Once chlorine enters the body, it joins with other compounds to form Trihalomethanes which triggers free radical damage. In a recent study, chlorine was added to the water supply of rats who developed tumors in their intestines, liver and kidneys.
The United States Council of Environmental Quality, states that people who consume water with chlorine have an over 90% higher risk of developing cancer than those who don’t. Even after the results of this and other similar studies have been presented before the government, chlorine continues to be added to water.
The Best Type of Water
So, after reading this you may be thinking, what should I drink if I cannot drink tap or bottled water? Here are a few options; as with anything, be sure that these options are suitable for your needs and do your research before making a purchase. Some systems are better than others at removing harmful contaminants. Arrange to have your tap water tested so that you know what it is you need to filter out.
There are a few options to consider when it comes to improving the quality of your drinking water. A whole house water filtration system may set you back a few bucks, but it is worth it in the long run. A good system will filter multiple impurities including chlorine from your entire water supply and requires only minor maintenance like changing the filter.
Pitcher filtration systems that go in the refrigerator are inexpensive, but they often fall short of removing all water contaminants, but remain an option nevertheless. Reverse osmosis systems, either countertop, under the counter or whole house types can be costly and actually strip water of just about everything, including healthy trace minerals. Do not use a reverse osmosis filter system unless you are going to supplement your diet with trace minerals.
Water and Digestion
You may have heard that you should not drink ice water with a meal. The reason for this is that ice water can disrupt digestion. The Chinese were the first to know and understand this and always drink warm or hot beverages, such as tea, with their meals.
Drinking ice cold water during a meal does not allow the body to properly digest food as it slows down the digestive process. How easy is it for you to function when you put your hands in ice water?
Like this, your digestive system is shocked when you drink cold fluids and is unable to perform its job well. This makes it hard for you to receive all of the nutritional benefits of the food you are eating.
Drinking warm water, especially warm lemon water helps with elimination. The American Cancer Society recommends warm lemon water to encourage regular bowel movements.
Note: When you drink cold beverages, your body has to use vital energy to warm up the liquid inside your body. This means that energy that is necessary for the digestive process is being spent somewhere else. Proper digestion requires all of that energy.
Will Ice Water Help Me Lose Weight? In reality, drinking ice cold water will only burn 8 calories more than warm water. When exercising, it is very important to remember that you need to replace water lost through perspiration, this water can be either cold or warm and will be equally hydrating.
Instead of drinking ice cold water with your meal, opt for room temperature water or even warm organic tea. Some nutritionists suggest drinking warm water thirty minutes before a meal and thirty minutes after but not during.
Avoid drinking beverages that come directly out of the refrigerator and when you eat out, make sure to tell the waiter to hold off on the ice. When you travel to Europe you will find that most restaurants already serve water without ice.