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Water – The Fluid of Life

The importance of water is critical to good health. It is often overlooked when dealing with health issues. I always ask when consulting with an individual “How much water do you drink”? The reply I usually get is, “I don’t drink water –  it doesn’t taste good.” Many of our body’s processes are connected to water. It is the best fluid we can put into our bodies. This article will show you how important water is to maintaining good health and how to judge if what you are drinking is healthy for you.

According to Dr. Batmanghelidj “every function of the body is monitored and pegged to the efficient flow of water.” Many of the chemical reactions in the body are dependent on water. The energy generated on cellular levels is created by water. Water is integral to the structure of cells. Nerve cells and neurons in the brain produce compounds that need water to be transported to their destination. Cholesterol management is regulated by water. In TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) the lungs and the kidneys control the moisture of the body working with the skin. This follows along the same line of action in how water is important in all lung disorders such as asthma and how histamine release is controlled by the bodies’ regulation of water. According to Dr. Batmanghelidj many disease processes are caused by dehydration or basically lack of water. A growing number of physicians are realizing the importance of water in treating disorders of dyspepsia, colitis, hiatal hernia, headaches, rheumatoid arthritis, low back pain, high cholesterol, excess body weight, asthma, and even diabetes.

So how much water should you drink? This is an interesting question; the standard has been 6-8 glasses a day. Alcohol, caffeine containing beverages (colas), coffee and tea do not count when we talk about water consumption. The basic math goes like this you drink half your body weight in fluid ounces per day. Example: a 150-pound individual need approximately 75 ounces of clean water per day. Do you get that much?

Now that we know the importance of water, let’s look at the quality issues of water. Are you drinking clean living water? How safe is the tap water? Are you drinking bottled water? Recently the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) stated that America’s municipal water supplies are contaminated and are coming under scrutiny. City water can have numerous additives that can be harmful to your health. Granted we don’t want bacteria in our water either but is fluoride necessary as well as other contaminants. These contaminants can be heavy metals (lead, cadmium, arsenic), industrial pollutants, pesticides etc. Are there regulations and tests that cities can test for contaminants? Regulations of water are present but according to the EPA unless the contaminant level is above the regulation known as Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) there are no federal guidelines that require that consumers be notified of the presence of these contaminants. Another issue is that water can become contaminated after leaving the water treatment center. There are home tests available so you can check your water. Another issue in regards to chlorine is the formation of compounds that are know cancer-causing agents that can form once inside your body. So what do we drink and how can we have safer water?

We have numerous choices when it comes to selecting water. Water is broken down into five categories: purified, drinking, fluoridated, natural source, and specialty. Tap water is the source of purified, drinking, and fluoridated. Bottled water is labeled natural source meaning spring or aquifer sources; specialty waters are flavored or carbonated varieties.

We can also choose mineral waters, distilled and filtered waters but how do you know which is better. There is a lot of controversy as to which form of filtration is best. I personally feel like it is up to the individual as to how much you want to spend and what are you trying to clean out. Let’s look at this closer. Many home filters use carbon block technology. This is good for getting most contaminants out of the water, specifically chlorine and organic chemicals. It will improve taste and smell. It is important to change these regularly since they get plugged up. They will not remove microorganism, toxic minerals or additives. Reverse osmosis is another method of filtration. Forcing water through a thin membrane usually measured in microns does this. This removes most additives like fluoride and other dissolved minerals salts, heavy metals and pollutants.

Distilled water if done properly is one of the best ways to remove unwanted additives and toxic metals. It is done by boiling water and recondensing the steam to form clean water. People always ask me which is better distilled or spring. I again say it is a matter of preference. Distilled is flavorless and lacks electrical charge. It has been recommended by numerous health professionals for detoxifying the body. As long as spring water has been tested I think it is fine as long as you consume your daily levels.

If you are concerned about your drinking water I recommend you do your homework. Check out the current source of your water. Ask for an analysis no matter what type you are drinking. Any reputable company will be able to provide this information. Two good books for more information are Your Body’s Many Cries for Water by F. Batmanghelidj, MD or The Shocking Truth about Water by Patricia Bragg.

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