Water: The critical elements for getting it right.
May 7, 2018 By Billy
* Take ten minutes for yourself to read the essentials for getting it right with the water you’re drinking since it’s vitally important for your health. And if you find this useful, then please send it to a friend.
This topic is thought to be an easy one and taken for granted which is why it never gets the attention it deserves. But the fact is, water is one of the pillars of life. Without water, we sure wouldn’t last very long. And because it’s what we put the most of into our bodies, it warrants some serious consideration. After all, our bodies are seventy-percent water! Water that is clean and pure is vital for so many things, some of the most notable being the proper functioning of our organs, a strong immune system, maintaining energy and vitality, mental clarity, and yes, even longevity. Thankfully, getting this right isn’t hard! But there are a few key factors.
The Problem with Water Today
Unfortunately, pure water is not all that easy to come by. Most water available today (tap and bottled) is far from pure and is not the same water we were drinking a hundred years ago (or even ten years ago, for that matter). Much of it is contaminated with chlorine, fluoride, lead, mercury, pesticides, and bacteria (to mention just a few). In urbanized areas where recycled water is used, testing reveals even trace amounts of pharmaceuticals due to them passing through the user’s body. Yikes! Impure water might well be why we get sick more than we think we should, or develop allergies due to a weak immune system, or often feel just ‘okay’ instead of energized and really alive.
So where can you find the cleanest, purest water? It may be no surprise that it turns out that fresh spring water, assuming it’s free of contaminants, is the best water. Well water is a close second to fresh spring water, again purity being the determining factor.
Filtering is a Start
The problem, however, is that we don’t all have access to a fresh, pure spring or a well. So what to do? Well, an inexpensive first step would be a filter. A simple carbon filtration system will remove large sediment and chlorine. These carbon filters are the filters that attach to your faucet or come inside the common pitchers. You might want to consider a carbon filter even if you have well water. Well water can sometimes be a little over-mineralized, creating a kind of metallic taste. A carbon filter should take care of that.
You can go a step further and get a whole house carbon filtration system where all of your water is filtered before it runs through any of the faucets in your home. Any plumber can install one for you.
However, where recycled water is used in more populated areas, carbon filtration is definitely not adequate for the healthy lifestyle we’re going for. Sure these systems can take out sediment and chlorine (chlorine is a large molecule which a carbon filter has no problem trapping), but they are inadequate for filtering out most of the other contaminants. This is very important. The filtration of both the commonly used pitchers and refrigerators is nowhere close to sufficient. The only ways to thoroughly filter your water are with a reverse-osmosis filter or a distiller.
A reverse-osmosis filter works by squeezing the water through a pressurized filter membrane. The pores in the membrane are the size of a water molecule, allowing virtually only pure water molecules to pass through. The filters typically need to be changed once a year; otherwise, the system doesn’t really require any maintenance. These, too, are units that any plumber can install for you under your kitchen sink, and they’re generally no more than a few hundred bucks. Or you can rent one for the sake of maintenance that is typically included.
The distiller option works by having the water steamed and then pressed through a filter. These are more expensive than reverse-osmosis systems, but the filtration is a little better, too. Both reverse-osmosis systems and distillation filters are generally installed under the kitchen sink with a separate faucet on the countertop. At a minimum, I believe a good quality reverse-osmosis system should be considered a basic household amenity.
Mineralizing and Ionizing
Reverse-osmosis systems and water distillation systems do present one minor issue. The filtering process, being as thorough as it is, filters out trace minerals. Trace minerals include over 70 minerals that are found in spring water. What’s the role of these trace minerals? They make the water more absorbable, and they’re beneficial for the body on their own account, too. There are trace mineral products available at most natural food stores for adding to your water after filtration, which I feel are only fair, at best. Of course you can get these minerals in food, as well, which are naturally better.
There’s another thing that sets spring water apart: ionization. In springs or streams or rivers, water rushing and churning over rocks creates a bonding of water molecules into hexagonal structures (this is why snowflakes are hexagonal shaped). This helps explain the surface tension of water—the way water holds itself together. Think of how you can fill a glass slightly higher than the top of the glass without the water spilling over. It’s this ionization that makes it more absorbable by the body. With municipal water, you actually have to drink more of it to quench your body’s thirst, since much of it passes right through, due to the lesser absorption.
There are also such things as water ionizers. These are units that sit on your countertop. They filter the water and add minerals and use electricity to create an ionization comparable to the churning of flowing spring water, creating the bonding of water molecules. The drawback, besides cost, is that water ionizers only use carbon filters, so you’ll still need a reverse-osmosis filter or distiller for the water to pass through first, for the purpose of getting the water free of small contaminants. If money is a factor, don’t sweat it. I do feel these products are a little over-hyped, the emphasis being that they make the water alkaline forming. The notion that people feel better using them is likely because they are simply drinking more water since the ionizers do improve the taste with minerals. And you can alkalize your body with a healthy diet anyway. The most important thing here is water purity. And of course drinking enough of it.
What about bottled water? Can you really get the purity that the bottling companies advertise? Well, maybe. Most bottled water is reverse-osmosis filtered. Some companies advertise natural spring water, which should theoretically provide the minerals, but it’s worth noting that the structured water ions begin to dissipate after sitting for about a month. The more critical factor is the purity of the spring which, to the consumer, is really unknown.
Then there’s the bottling itself: plastic versus glass. Plastic is made of petroleum which inevitably leaches its own contaminants, especially if the water’s been sitting in the bottle for months (and invariably it has) – even those boasting that their containers are ‘BPA free’. If you’re out somewhere and you’re dehydrated and you grab a plastic bottle of water, no big deal. But for your everyday drinking water, opt for water sold in glass. And if you’re on the go throughout your day, then take water with you in a glass or steel bottle rather than plastic. If you’re using a delivery that provides spring water to your home in five-gallon containers, I suggest a service that will provide glass containers instead of plastic. Just be careful muscling around what adds up to about fifty pounds of water and glass! (Tip: wrap a slightly damp towel around the glass container first. Then, with the towel wrapped around it, pick it up with a bear hug. You’ll get a better grip.)
Keep in mind that not all municipal water is bad. If you live in smaller towns and more rural areas, for instance, your local water may, in fact, be sourced from a well with only light chlorination added. Like I mentioned, just chlorination alone can be removed via a carbon filter. Or even just filling a pitcher and letting it sit for a few hours does the trick since chlorine is a gas that quickly evaporates out of the water. It would also be worth getting your water tested. There are home test kits you can purchase on the web, but it only takes a couple hundred dollars to send it to be lab tested.
Some Notes on Hydration
Okay, so now we know the importance of pure water. Make sure you’re getting the best available. And plenty of it. How much water should you be drinking? Listen to your body. Most people are consistently in a state of mild dehydration without even being aware of it. It’s kind of the norm. And when you think about it, this just might be a function of our inferior tap water. The most common water often doesn’t taste that good. So we don’t go out of our way to drink it. It’s instinctual—the body doesn’t want it the same way it wants pure water.
If you find yourself craving cold ice water, it’s likely an indication you’re dehydrated. Dehydration produces a slightly higher body temperature and the body wants to cool down, hence the craving for something cold. If your urine is consistently a darker yellow color, that’s another sign that you’re not getting enough water. Migraines are often caused by dehydration, too. And daytime sluggishness generally comes with it. The body is wrapped in a thin layer of facia that aids in your body parts moving smoothly. When dehydrated, cells in the facia shrink, and things don’t move as well, often giving the body a chronic mild ache. Also the body’s ability to remove toxic waste from cells becomes stagnant which is reflected by everything slowing down and becoming weaker. As always, pay attention to what your body is telling you. Everything works better when you’re properly hydrated.
Ironically, a lot of dehydration is caused by other things that we’re drinking. Coffee is dehydrating. So is alcohol. Even sports drinks can be because they’re full of sugar. After all, what does it take for your body to detoxify all that sugar? Water! (Water is the universal solvent for any toxin in the body.) Sports drinks are overhyped, false-advertised products. Even ‘natural’ juice products need to be red-flagged for important reasons that’s covered in the Infinity Health Manual. The bottom line is to quench your thirst with what’s worked best ever since humans began to populate the earth: water. Make the majority of your hydration with unadulterated pure H2O! I can guarantee you that it will make a noteworthy difference in your health, including how you feel, if your hydration has not been raised to this caliber already. You’ll see.
A side note about when to drink the majority of your water (which we delve into in the Infinity Health Manual), it’s important to drink one to two cups of pure water when your feet hit the floor first thing in the morning. Naturally, the body is in a state of mild dehydration after a night’s sleep. Tea and coffee are acceptable to have after your water. And then of course the idea is to stay hydrated throughout the day. Because of the variables of body type, body size, and climate, it’s hard to put a number on exactly how much water to drink. A general rule is one to two liters per day. Naturally if you’re hiking all day in a dry climate you’re going to drink more. Whilst drinking water that’s adequately pure, trust your body’s instincts and continue to satisfy your thirst exclusively with water rather than bottled drinks. A helpful gauge is the color of your urine. Light yellow is what we’re shooting for. Note – if you’re having to get up numerous times throughout the night, this being a gauge of over-hydration might be something to consider. This we cover in the ‘Sleep’ chapter in the Infinity Heath Manual.
You know what’s also good at helping you to stay hydrated? High-water content foods. Just another reason to consume fresh fruits and vegetables. Grapes, apples, pears, berries, cucumbers, watermelon, and celery are just a few of the excellent sources of hydrating foods. Now that’s pure water!
A note about hydrating during meals: it’s less than ideal for the majority of hydrating to be with your meals which has interestingly become the norm. The key is to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day rather than hydrating when you sit down to eat. In the ‘digestion’ chapter of the Infinity Health Manual I break down how water can dilute, however slightly, your digestive enzymes. Try to leave a window of thirty minutes before and after your meals to curb your water intake. If you’re hydrating properly all day, that shouldn’t be a problem. Try it. You’ll find this becomes the body’s natural preference. Of course if you’re already thirsty when you sit down to eat, then drink up. Hydration is a bigger priority than enzymes.
A note about the water from your shower: when unfiltered hot (municipal tap) water is sprayed from a faucet, the chlorine instantly turns to gas which is then inhaled. More chlorine can be absorbed by the body during a ten minute shower than by drinking chlorinated water all day! Filtering your drinking water is vital, but don’t forget to filter your bathing water. A simple, inexpensive (less than thirty bucks) carbon filter from your local home improvement store can solve this problem for you. The shower head screws off, the filter screws onto the pipe, and then the shower head screws onto the filter. Easy. The whole-house water conditioner mentioned above also takes care of the chlorine for your showers, and all of your other faucets as well.
Okay, this all might seem like a lot of information for something as basic as water. But it’s truly so important to give your body the best water possible, and taking a few easy steps towards making this happen has definite rewards. Plus, it gives you just that much less to worry about. Whatever you do, find a way—within your budget—to do something for the sake of this vital element of your health. Bottom line: being well-hydrated with pure water ultimately makes everything in your body work far better – not to mention last longer too. So drink up!
Yours truly, and at your service always,