November 29, 2011, Information

Water: What you should know

Most of us don’t drink enough water and we may not recognise the body’s signs for more. The stand out symptoms of dehydration are thirst, dry skin, dark coloured urine and fatigue but there are other less obvious symptoms that can also be related to dehydration.

  • Digestive disturbances, namely heartburn and constipation.
  • Urinary tract infections
  • High cholesterol
  • Chronic fatigue

The general guideline is 1L per 30kg of body weight. More may be needed in cases of extremely hot weather or regular exercise/sweating(Bikram yoga anyone?).

The type of water you are drinking is also important. Let’s start with bottled water.

I personally do not drink bottled water. I read an amazing statistic recently that stated 40% of bottled water is tap water, just a lot more expensive(http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/10/02/more-deception-about-bottled-water.aspx).

The main problem I see with bottled water is the plastic bottles most brands are packaged in. Plastic bottles contain bisphenol A, a chemical which binds to estrogen receptors in the body causing all sorts of serious health problems. Reusing plastic bottles and or leaving them in the sun increases the leaching potential of this chemical. If you taste even the slightest hint of plastic in your water do not drink it!

Secondly the impact of plastic bottles on the climate is disastrous. Each year around the world about 1.5 million tons of plastic are used to manufacture water bottles. By products of this process are toxic compounds such as ethylbenzene, ethylene oxide and benzene. Not to mention the millions of barrels of oil used to make the plastic bottles, most of which end up in landfill!!

If you are interested in learning more about bottled water and its effects on your body and the planet check out this documentary. Its a real eye-opener.

So what about tap water?

There are a few things to consider about tap water. There have been many studies in Australia to show that tap water is contaminated with pollutants, most of which are heavy metals and pesticides(www.lead.org.au/lanv8n1/l8v1-11.html www.foe.org.au/chemicals/pesticides-in-domestic-drinking-water-catchments).

These pollutants are toxic to the body(don’t even water your plants with tap water). They are endocrine(hormone) disruptors and are difficult for your body to remove. Heavy metals harden tissue and organs and put an added burden on the kidneys and liver which use water to metabolise and excrete wastes.

The fluoride issue is constantly debated world wide but Dr Mercola in the U.S makes a compelling argument against water fluoridation in his article; http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/07/01/paul-connett-interview.aspx

So what’s the best answer?

There are various water filters on the market today, ranging from very economical to very expensive. The simple Britta filter, available in supermarkets, does a pretty good job, so long as the filter cartridge is changed regularly.

If you wanted something a little more advanced, I recommend the Nikken PiMag water filter www.enikken.com.au/info/pimag/main.html. This is what I use at home and in the clinic. It is reasonably priced around $600.

I also use a shower filter and I really notice the difference on my hair and skin. The smell of shower water is very different with a filter.

For anyone who truly wants to be healthy, water intake is undoubtedly important. It’s also important to be aware of what’s actually in our water supply and how we can protect ourselves against the harmful effects. There’s lots of information out there and plenty of state of the art products to consider.

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