The Drink of Life
Our bodies contain at least 60% water, in fact, you could say that our inner organs are bathed in it. To say that water is important for living would be an understatement. Water contains only three molecules – 1 oxygen and 2 hydrogen (H2O), but within those three little molecules exists the components of our survival.
“Water is the primary component of all the bodily fluids – blood, lymph, digestive juices, urine, tears, and sweat. Water is involved in almost every bodily function: circulation, digestion, absorption, and elimination of wastes. Water carries the electrolytes, mineral salts that help convey electrical currents in the body. Water requirements vary greatly from person to person. The climate in which we live, our activity level, and our diet all influence our individual needs for water.”
Clearly, water isn’t just for drinking. Because our body can only function as optimally as the degree with what it’s fed, choosing water becomes a very important decision. Ideally, we need uncontaminated H2O-whether it’s been treated with health-compromising chemicals or has become polluted some other way- only water with the most natural balance of minerals will keep us healthy.
In today’s world, finding high-quality H2O isn’t as easy it one would think. To find out which type of H2O is healthiest, and which types of containers poison your water, keep reading.
ALL WATER IS NOT EQUAL
Most tap water in the U.S. today is treated with chemicals (chlorine, phosphates, and other chemicals) intended to kill unwanted organisms an make it safe for human consumption. However, additional contaminants- fertilizers, pesticides, animal waste products and now even pharmaceutical medication- contaminate our H2O supply and are not completely filtered out.
In March 2008, the Washington Post reported a study undertaken on the water supply in Arlington, Virginia by the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The researchers found small concentrations of pharmaceutical medications – anti-seizure medications, antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs – in the aqua. In another study, researchers found “pharmaceuticals, along with trace amounts of caffeine…in the drinking water supplies of 24 of 28 U.S. metropolitan areas tested.” This was the first time that the federal government had funded such a study and the results were certainly surprising if not astounding.
This raises the question: which water is safe to drink?
Even well water is becoming less safe because it comes from groundwater supplies. It can vary in mineral content and can contain heavy metals, insecticides, agricultural wastes and even gasoline by-products. If we are drinking well water, then it should be tested for mineral content as well as contaminants.
Spring Water and Mineral Water
Walk into any grocery store and you will see rows upon rows of spring water for sale. This is the “natural” H2O found in underground springs, but near to the surface of the earth. This H2O may be disinfected with chlorine, but otherwise is not processed. Since it comes from underground sources, it may also contain harmful chemicals. Make certain that the aqua has been tested and you can get lab reports from the companies selling the water. Also, different parts of the country have different amounts of minerals in their underground springs. Water from the Midwest has the highest mineral content.
Most of the spring water is bottled in plastic bottles that have come under scrutiny as of late for being carcinogenic, which can lead to more serious health issues. Of course, it would be ideal to drink spring H2O from glass bottles – that is, if these can be found. Mineral water, on the other hand, is spring water that is found deeper in the earth in underground pools. Even though the water is naturally “bubbly,” carbon dioxide is added to make it carbonated. Make certain that the aqua has been checked for contamination.
This is H2O that has been treated with a carbon filter to remove chemicals, metals and bacteria. This is one of the best forms of water to drink. The minerals stay intact and the most common contaminants are filtered out. There are home units that can be purchased and attached to the home’s H2O supply – even the shower. There are many types available, each having different capabilities.
Distilled water is actually tap water that has been boiled until the minerals have been steamed out. It also may be highly filtered to remove all minerals and trace elements. It is great for ironing and for some detoxification programs, but not for everyday use. The reality is that we need the minerals that H2O provides so that we don’t experience dehydration.