How to Drink Water
Our bodies are made up of between 60% – 78% water. As newborns we have the largest water content, and as grown adults we have somewhat less.
We drink it, bathe in it, cook with it, swim in it, and use it to irrigate our plants, gardens, and fields.
We all know the importance of drinking water, of staying hydrated. If not, you should know that drinking water is one of the most important things we need for our health, and longevity. How to drink water correctly is vital to our health and longevity.
Not only just drinking water, but also the right kind of water, and in the right amounts.
Sourcing our water from a mountain spring is ideal in that it is pure, and also contains some beneficial minerals.
Even springs from non-mountainous areas can be an excellent source of water. Well water is also a very good source of pure or relatively pure water.
Well water is quite pure and does also contain minerals. It is best to test your well water first though to be sure it has acceptable levels of minerals, and does not contain contaminants.
Rain water is another good source of pure water that normally does not require filtration. Strangely though, in certain areas in the U.S. it is illegal for citizens to harness, and utilize rain water for consumption.
How We Benefit from Water
- Water makes up the largest capacity of most parts of the body
- Regulates temperature of the body – respiration and sweating
- Used by the brain to make neurotransmitters, and hormones
- Creates saliva which aids in digestion
- Transforms food to useable parts needed to survive by aiding in digestion
- Makes it possible for the body’s cells, to reproduce, grow, and live
- Aids in delivering oxygen throughout the body
- Keeps joints lubricated
- Works as a shock absorber for spinal chord and brain
- Flushes the body’s waste primarily in the urine
- Maintains moisture of mucous membranes
Is Tap Water Safe?
The tap water we have in the United States is regulated by the EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, which has regulations on over 90 known water contaminants.
Despite this regulation dangerous contaminants like chromium-6, lead, flourine, arsenic, bacteria, chloroform and others are appearing in many American’s tap water in levels above what the EPA considers safe.
These contaminants can cause a myriad of health issues, such as cancer, asthma, reproductive and developmental problems, behavior and learning difficulties, anemia, kidney damage, brain damage, and at high levels can cause seizures, coma, and even death.
There is also concern that some pharmaceutical drugs that were flushed down toilets have made their way back into our drinking water.
Low levels have been detected of various drugs such as anti biotics, and even birth control pills among others in some treated water.
Experts insist that these levels are negligible, but to me, any amounts of these drugs in my drinking water is concerning.
Chlorine is added to our water in order to kill viruses, parasites, and bacteria. Fluoride is also added to the water to prevent tooth decay. Unfortunately chlorine and it’s by products have been linked to asthma, and cancers.
One positive about chlorine is that it eventually evaporates. Unfortunately, I can often smell and taste chlorine in my unfiltered tap, and shower water.
Fluoride is a toxic chemical that is somewhere between arsenic and lead on the scale of toxicity. It is a highly caustic industrial chemical. Flouride is the active toxin in roach powders, and rat poison.
Fluoride has been linked to cancer, degeneration of muscles, osteoporosis, autoimmune disorders, and others.
Flouride does not evaporate, and digestion does not eliminate it. Flouride finds a home in our fat cells where it accumulates.
Best Water Filters
Since we have clearly established that our tap water is potentially toxic, and tastes and smells less than good(ok bad), we know that we should filter the water coming into the house, or at least buy water that has been filtered.
But which filter or filters should I use, you may be asking? After all, there are different types of water filters. There are charcoal filters, reverse osmosis filters, and distilled water filter systems, among others. Then, of course, there is bottled water.
Bottled Water Bottled water has become more popular, and is consumed more than ever before. If you are drinking bottled water, you should be commended for trying to do the right, healthy thing by drinking filtered water.
However, drinking bottled water may be more detrimental than positive. First of all, the cost of bottled water is MUCH higher than the cost of filtered tap water.
Bottled water in a store can be as much as $2.00 for 12 ounces. Water filtered from the tap typically ranges in the penny to ten cents a glass range for the same amout of water.
Secondly, due to the fact that bottled water is in plastic bottles, there is the possibility of harmful plastic by-products leaching into your drinking water.
Thirdly, the waste that plastic bottles cause are very often a serious burden to the environment.
Fourthly, packs of bottled water are heavy to lug from the store to the car, car to the house, and house to the refrigerator. Not to mention all of the space they take up.
Reverse Osmosis Water Filters
Reverse Osmosis Filters utilize a system of introducing water into a high pressure system that is sent through a semipermeable membrane or filter.
This powerful system is very effective at removing virtually all contaminants in the water. It also removes all of the nutrients in the water such as any vitamins, and minerals.
The fact that it also removes all of the vitamins and minerals is not however a concern as most water that we are subjected to contains very few of these beneficial nutrients anyway. We should be looking to receive the nutrition we need from the food we eat, and with supplements.
Charcoal Water Filters
Perhaps the most common water filters you will come across are those made with activated charcoal. Although catalytic, and activated carbon filters are normally successful at removing heavy metals, chloramine, and hydrogen sulfide, they are not consistently effective in negating inorganic impurities that are dissolved, or with metals like copper, minerals, and salts.
Activated charcoal/carbon works by catalytic reduction or absorption to eliminate contaminants. Activated charcoal filters do an excellent job of removing chlorine, smells, and taste.
Some water filters utilize multiple charcoal containing canisters in series in order to intensify the filtration process.
Reverse osmosis water filters, and distilled water filters do a more thorough job of filtering out most all contaminants.
The most common carbon water filters are either PAC, powder activated carbon, or GAC, granulated activated carbon.
Distilling water is another common way to filter out the vast majority of the contaminants in typical tap water. Distillation works by heating tap or other types of unfiltered water to boiling. The resulting steam is then captured and sent to a condenser where it is then cooled and turned back into water.
This cooled water is now purified, and free from the vast majority of contaminants. Distillation thoroughly removes dissolved solids from the water, and in addition, when we drink it, has the capability of removing inorganic materials in our bodies which may be harmful to us.
Distillers are not filters, but rather devices or appliances that treat water once it is collected. Distilled water is considered among the purest due to it’s extraordinary ability to remove dissolved solids from water.
Faucet filters, also known as point of use filters are an extremely popular form of water filtration. These filters are placed on or near a kitchen or bathroom faucet, and filter the water as it comes into and out of faucet.
Point of use filters can also be placed under the sink in order to filter the water going to the faucet directly above.
These filters often utilize charcoal or carbon to help clear the water of contaminants, and have replaceable internal filters that can be replaced after a period of use.
Reverse Osmosis, and Distiller filters are also often used in these point of use filter applications.
Shower Water Filters
Although we may not realize it, most of us absorb more chlorine, it’s harmful by products, and other toxic chemicals through the shower water than through drinking chlorinated water from the tap.
In addition the warmer water from the shower tends to make absorbing chlorine easier as the warm air can expand the lungs. Tests have revealed that we absorb more than 60% of our total chlorine through unfilitered shower, and bath water.
This coupled with the fact that we may shower for a longer period of time and are exposed to more areas of the body sets the stage for maximum chlorine absorption. The chlorine also escapes into the air and into other areas of the house making further inhalation, and ingestion more likely.
This unfiltered chlorinated shower water has also shown to be harmful to the health of our skin, hair, and even our mucous membranes, although we may not realize it. Shower filters are useful in filtering out chlorine, and VOC’s or volatile organic compounds in our water.
Whole House Water Filters
We know that municipal water system treatment plants add chlorine to destroy many pathogens. Flouride is also a problematic, toxic substance that is often added to this water.
A great way to be sure that all of your household water taps are treated without having to worry about having filters on each tap or close by to treat or filter your water.
Not to mention it will eliminate the need to buy, and dispose of bottled water. Another great benefit of having a whole house filter, is it will help keep the air in your home much cleaner due to the elimination of dangerous gases like chlorine that are present in standing water such as in the toilet bowl.
Whole house filters can be Reverse Osmosis, or Charcoal type filters. As these filters are placed on your water supply that just comes into the house from the main, they are required to filter larger volumes of water.
As a result these filters are larger, and more expensive than those other point of use filters, such as those on your kitchen faucet.
But, because it can be the only filter you need for the entire home, your costs may not be much more than if you bought numerous other filters, or regularly purchase bottled water at the store.
One negative with a whole house filter compared with point of use filters, is that it will not filter out water that travels from itself to the points of use.
Depending on the types and condition of your pipes in your house, you may pick up some contaminants in the last leg of the water’s journey.
Garden Water Filters
It is now possible for gardeners to filter the municipal water that has been their only additional water option other than rain water to irrigate their gardens.
Heavily chlorinated water can kill microorganisms in the soil that are there to protect the plant and its food source. Garden water filters can eliminate 85% of the chlorine that is present in municipal water.
The garden water filter works by converting free chlorine to a harmless chloride. Its components of copper and zinc works on the method of electrochemical oxidation reduction.
These outdoor inline faucet filters also provide protection for bathing pets, summer time kid sprinkler activities, and for washing cars.
Filters are a Must
Water is an irreplaceable part of our lives, and our good health. Our bodies are made up of between 60% to78% water from newborn babies to adult males.
We drink it, bathe in it, cook with it, swim in it, and use it to irrigate our plants, gardens, and fields. We benefit from water in many different ways.
Unless you have access to clean water from a mountain spring, other natural spring, a well, or can use rainwater, it is a must to filter your water.
Chlorine, flouride, volatile organic compounds, and other dissolved solids are present in municipal treated water that most of us are subjected to.
Chlorine is added to our water in order to kill viruses, parasites, and bacteria. Fluoride is also added to the water to prevent tooth decay.
Unfortunately, these and other contaminants are linked to diseases such as cancer, osteoporosis, asthma, autoimmune diseases, and others.
There are many ways to filter water including charcoal or carbon filters, reverse osmosis filters, distilled water systems, and bottled water.
Reverse osmosis, and distillers are considered the most effective at removing all contaminants. The different types of filters available include point of use or faucet filters, shower filters, whole house filters, and garden filters.
There are also portable water filters, including pitcher filters, straw water filters, and others that allow for filtering of water while at home or away.
If you are unsure of what filter to use for your home or application, you should know that any filter is better than no filter.
Compare features and prices of the various filters here to determine what water filter is right for you.