If you think that guzzling eight glasses of bottled water a day is the healthiest choice, consider there may be healthier options for you and the planet.
Staying hydrated is essential and can enhance your mental clarity, increase your feeling of fullness, and keep the digestive tract moving. Sometimes you get hunger signals simply because you are dehydrated. There is a big debate about the best drinking water: tap water, bottled water, or filtered water.
As of 2010, there were 60,000 chemicals in use in the United States, with many chemicals making it into the drinking water supply. The Safe Drinking Water Act only regulates 91 contaminants in tap water. Studies have shown bottled water is not well regulated, may have more contaminants than filtered water, or is just filtered tap water. In 2011, US bottled water sales totaled 9.1 billion gallons. According to Charles Fishman, author of The Big Thirst, “…in the half-liter size Americans find so appealing, that comes to 222 bottles of water for each person in the country.” Skip the middleman. Save the plastic waste of the water bottles, and invest in a filtering system for your tap. By filtering it yourself, you can know what isn’t in your water.
How much water should you drink? Ideally you should obtain a large amount of water content from your food. Local, fresh-picked veggies and fruits have significantly higher water content than their weary, traveling supermarket friends. If you are not eating high water-content foods, then drinking eight glasses of water, or half your body weight in ounces, is probably a good thing to do. It’s not always mandatory if you are getting plenty of water from your diet.
“Water and air, the two essential fluids in which all life depends, have become global garbage cans.”
– Jacques Cousteau
Fresh Ideas to Extend Your Expiration Date
The take-home message is to focus on getting part of your water from high water-content fresh fruits and veggies. The rest you can get from filtered tap water. Having a clean water supply will help to reduce your overall toxic load. Reverse osmosis with a superior carbon filter is the best process. Whole house filters are the best due to absorbability of water toxins by the body through the skin. Pure, clean, filtered water is the best beverage choice.
If you are bored with the taste of water, add mint, lime, or lemon for flavor. Herbal teas can be a great addition as well, adding health benefits from the herbs. Just avoid the herbal teas with natural flavors in the ingredients. Often these “natural ingredients” are made from chemicals, not from anything natural.
Helpful tip: Don’t wait until meal time to catch up on your water intake. Chinese medicine indicates that large amounts of water will dilute digestive enzymes and secretions, and food nutrients won’t be effectively extracted. A small amount of water at a meal may be helpful, but if you stay hydrated all day, you will not need to ingest large amounts of water at meals.
For a resource for what is happening to your water supply, visit projects.nytimes.com/toxic-water to see how it is regulated and access additional links to more water information.
Find information for selecting the best type of water filter for your home and your needs at ewg.org/tap-water/getawaterfilter.
There are some natural springs in the United States where you can collect and bottle your own water. Check out findaspring.com to see if there is one near you.