The human body is made up of around 55-60 percent water! We need around 2.7-3.7 liters of fluids PER DAY. Water is vital for our bodies and our survival. In fact, we wouldn’t last more than three days without water. With all of the different types of water to be found such as tap water, bottled water, distilled water, etc., it can be difficult to know what to drink and more importantly, what NOT to drink. Not all potable (drinkable) water is made the same.
The Benefits of Water
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, it is vital to stay hydrated. In fact, maintaining a hydrated body ensures that your body functions properly, your joints are lubricated, and you can maintain a regulated body temperature. Harvard also notes that you’ll enjoy better sleep as well as a clearer mind when properly hydrated! It is also important to drink your water throughout the day, evenly, rather than flooding your body all at once.
Why NOT Tap
Americans drink over one billion glasses of tap water every day! Most of the tap water in the US is considered potable. However, there are more and more contaminants being found in our tap water. According to the EWG (Environmental Working Group), the carcinogens found in our tap water greatly increase our risk for cancer.
In a recent study, the EWG found 22 carcinogens commonly found in our drinking water. Most of the water tested met the legal standards set by the government yet contained enough carcinogens to create a greater risk for cancers. Some of the contaminants included arsenic, uranium, radium and byproducts of water disinfectants. An astonishing 87 percent of higher risk of cancers come from arsenic and byproducts of disinfectants. The dangers of arsenic give way to a greater risk of skin cancers, bladder cancer and lung cancers. The byproducts of disinfectants cause a greater risk for liver and bladder cancers.
Also, besides what’s in the water, there’s the pipes to think about when drinking water straight from the tap in the US. Lead leaks into water due to running through lead pipes, faucets and other plumbing fixtures. Pipes and pipe fittings made prior to 1986 may carry lead into tap water through the pipes all the way from their source. According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), drinking water can make up to 20 percent of a person’s total exposure to lead! It’s much worse for infants, who can have up to 60 percent of their exposure to lead due to mixing their formula with tap water.
What to Watch for in Bottled Water
Besides the extremely environmental downsides to drinking bottled water (Oh, plastics!), bottled water is not all that it is bottled up to be. A study published in Frontiers in Chemistry analyzed samples from 259 bottled waters sold around the world. They found that 93 percent of them contained microplastics – otherwise known as synthetic polymer particles. In fact, some of the particles found could be identified WITHOUT a magnifying glass or microscope. These included some of the most popular and widely recognized bottled water brands around the world. The average shown from all brands was 325 microplastic particles per liter per bottle of water. Nestle Pure Life had the highest concentrations – with more than 10,000 microplastic particles per liter!
Arsenic has also crept its way into bottled water (which is no surprise as some bottlers simply fill up with municipal water). Also, as of a study done by Consumer Reports, three common bottled water brands tested for levels of PFAS (the “forever chemicals”) and one brand (Whole Foods brand of Starkey Spring Water) had much higher arsenic levels than the rest.
So, How do I Actually Drink Safe Water?!
- Get a Good Filter. Aquasana makes filters for all of the water coming into your house. Whether you choose a whole house filter or a filter for your sink, you can remove the most contaminants without having any chemicals added during the filtration process. Another great filtering option for drinking water is the Big Berkey water filtration system, which filters and removes viruses as well. This a great option as you can filter and purify your own water from home, saving you from purchasing plastics in the process.
- When Buying Bottled, Choose Wisely. There are several bottled waters that tested low to 0 in PFAS and lower heavy metals. These include Arrowhead Natural Spring water, Boxed Water is Better, Fiji water and Good and Gather (Target).
- Choose Mountain Spring Waters. When buying bottled, stock up on the larger gallons and stick with mountain spring water. This tends to be the best option as long as it states the sourced spring on the label. One of our favorites is El Dorado Spring Water.
Be sure to drink plenty of water every day – staying hydrated is key! But also, stay aware of the quality of the water you are choosing. There are numerous ways to ensure you are drinking safe and healthy water!
At Progressive Health and Wellness, we offer specialized focus with helping our clients stay on track through all aspects of life. We also offer help and advice on hydration and finding the right resources for you. Reach out to us for more information on what we can offer you.