HOW WATER AFFECTS YOUR BODY?
“Water is the driving force of all nature.” – Leonardo Da Vinci
We all need water to survive. It is essential to every plant and animal on earth. Without it our body cannot carry out important functions, such as balancing the internal temperature, aiding in digestion, helping to balance the pH of the body, keeping cells alive, etc. Without water a body can survive for roughly 3 days, however this depends on certain factors like how much water an individual body needs and how it uses water.
Each day humans must consume a certain amount of water. Of course, this varies according to age and gender, and also by where someone lives. Generally, an adult male needs about 3 litres per day while an adult female needs about 2.2 litres per day. All of the water a person needs does not have to come from drinking liquids, as some of this water is contained in the food we eat.
Water is of major importance to all living things; in some organisms, up to 90% of their body weight comes from water. Up to 60% of the human adult body is water. The brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79% and even the bones are watery: 31%. You can see why nutritionists always insist that we must keep hydrated in order to have better health.
So why then are most people happy drinking fluorinated tap water and never really give the quality of it a second thought? Why don’t we put more of an effort into drinking the freshest and purest water we can find? Is it habit, lack of awareness or a general trust that our local authorities will make sure we have water that is clean enough for our daily needs and for good health?
Of course, there are also many experts that promote numerous types of drinking grade water and water systems, with each one containing a certain health benefit and supposedly more outstanding for the body than the other type of water. All of this can be confusing and frustrating, when most health conscious people just want a nice glass of simple clean water to drink. After all, how do you really know which type of water is best for your body if you have a dozen “experts” touting a dozen different types of water and water systems? I certainly don’t have the answer to this, but one thing I can do is explain which types of water are available, what potential benefits specific water systems may have on your health and let you to decide which one works best for you.
So, let’s take a look at the types of water and water systems that are being promoted in all the health magazines and online blogs by the experts;
Types of Water:
- Alkaline / pH
1: Tap Water
Tap water is the water that you get directly from your faucet; it may or may not be suitable for drinking purposes. This is something which you must check with your authorities as it must meet the regulations set by the local Municipal bodies. However, even if they declare it safe to drink, the downside to tap water is that it is fluorinated and unfortunately drinking this over long periods of time may cause damage to your pineal gland, as fluoride accumulates to strikingly high levels in this gland. The pineal gland is located between the two hemispheres of the brain and is responsible for the synthesis and secretion of the hormone melatonin. Melatonin maintains the body’s circadian rhythm, regulates the onset of puberty in females, and helps protect the body from cell damage caused by free radicals. For these reasons, if you are going to consume tap water, it might be a good idea to invest in a water filter system that removes fluoride and other contaminates like lead and arsenic that can be found in this type of water.
2: Mineral Water
Mineral water is the water that naturally contains minerals. It is obtained from underground sources, which makes it rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium and manganese. No further minerals can be added to the water. The water also cannot be subjected to any treatment, except for limited ones such as carbonation, iron or manganese removal, before packaging. The essential minerals give it a reputation of healthy drinking water. The component of mineral water can vary from brand to brand. The presence of the minerals also gives the water a characteristic salty taste.
3: Spring Water
In some places, rainwater accumulated underground tends to “leak” out at the surface as a spring or puddle. Natural springs are not passed through a community water system and are yet considered suitable for drinking as it comes from under the ground, unless of course you have a complete filtration system that not only filters the water, but also cleans and purifies it into drinking water.
4: Well Water
When it rains, water trickles down and travels through the inner crevices of the soil, beneath the ground to form underground lakes. This happens over a period of time. In rural areas, one of the primary sources of water is what is dug out from deep wells. Deep wells directly tap groundwater and bring it to the surface from which people can take their water.
5: Purified Water
Purified water is the water which after deriving from its source has undergone purification treatment in a plant. The act of purifying entails removing all bacteria, contaminants and dissolved solids, making it suitable for drinking and other purposes. You can either purchase it from the supermarkets or install a water purifier at home and have pure water to consume.
6: Distilled Water
Distilled water or demineralised water is one where the water has been subjected to a treatment that removes all its minerals and salt by the process of reverse osmosis and distillation. It is an absolutely pure form of water, but it is not typically recommended for drinking. It can cause mineral deficiencies because it is devoid of all salts and most of the natural minerals in the water are gone as a result of this process. Drinking this water may cause a rapid sodium, potassium, chloride, and magnesium loss. However, if you like this type of water, a simple solution is to put a pinch of Pink Himalayan Salt into each glass of distilled water you consumed, which will replenish your body with minerals that were removed in the initial process.
7: Sparkling Water
You may have encountered waiters in your favourite restaurant asking your preference of water: regular, mineral or sparkling. Sparkling water is the water that has undergone carbonation which makes your water fizzy just like your sodas. Sparkling water may be spring water, purified water or even mineral water, upon addition of carbon dioxide it becomes sparkling water. It is important to note that having sparkling water or any carbonated drink with a meal or indeed an hour before or an hour after a meal is not advisable, as it disrupts your digestive enzymes and makes it more difficult for your body to digest the food you have just eaten.
8: Alkaline / pH Water
Some claim that alkaline water, or high pH water, is the best water to drink when it comes to health, citing a long list of potential alkaline water benefits from enhanced weight loss to resistance against cancer. But does this popular beverage live up to the hype, or is it just another fad used to target health-conscious consumers? Alkaline water is a type of water with a higher pH than regular water. Because it has a higher pH level, alkaline ionized water is supposedly more beneficial than your basic tap water. It typically clocks in with a pH level around 8 or 9 while the pH of water is usually closer to 7.0 or less. It’s also said that alkaline water offers more key minerals the body needs to function properly, such as calcium, potassium, sodium and magnesium.
Now that you know the different types of water, let’s take a look at the different types of water filtration systems, you can purchase;
Types of filtration systems:
- Reverse Osmosis
1. Reverse Osmosis Filtration System
In reverse osmosis, untreated water, like saltwater, flows through a semipermeable membrane and carbon filters. The size of the membrane lets the water flow through the filter, but leaves behind salt, chemicals, minerals and impurities. The result is “pure” water that’s free from bacteria and minerals. You might have used even reverse osmosis in a water filter on a camping trip to ensure you had safe drinking water. You can also install a reverse osmosis system in your house or have a reverse osmosis filter at home. There are advantages to drinking water that’s gone through the reverse osmosis process. If you live in an area that’s plagued with water issues and concerns, this can be a good way for you to feel safe about the water that you’re drinking. If pesticide or herbicides are a concern in your community, filtering your water through a reverse osmosis system makes a lot of sense. There are, however, some disadvantages to reverse osmosis water, too. For starters, most reverse osmosis systems have no way to differentiate between “bad” ingredients and good ones. So while harmful contaminants are being removed, so are the trace minerals that your bodies need to perform properly, like iron and manganese. If you’re already not getting enough vitamins and minerals from your diet, and then you’re extracting them from your water supply as well, it can lead to a higher risk of vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
2. Hydrogen Filtration System
Hydrogen-infused water is a type of water that has additional hydrogen molecules added to it. Regular water contains one oxygen molecule and two hydrogen molecules. Once electrolysis has broken water down into individual hydrogen and oxygen molecules, additional hydrogen molecules are infused into the mixture to make hydrogenated water. Hydrogen gas is a colourless, odourless molecule that is considered the most abundant substance in the entire universe. There are several methods for how to make hydrogen water, but electrolysis is among the most common. Electrolysis is a process that passes an electric current through the water to break it down into its individual components. Hydrogen acts as an antioxidant to prevent oxidative stress and protect cells against damage. For this reason, proponents of hydrogenated water claim that adding extra free hydrogen molecules to the water can enhance its absorption, resulting in benefits like reduced inflammation, increased energy levels and enhanced muscle recovery. In fact, there are tons of different hydrogen water testimonials out there, reporting that it can do everything from fight fatigue to slow signs of aging. Despite the studies showing benefits of hydrogen water, the availability of hydrogen water research is still very limited. That said hydrogenated water is generally recognized as safe by regulatory agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration.
3. Carbon Filtration System
Carbon filters, like all water filters, are barriers that capture substances that contaminate your drinking water. Ancient Egyptians were the first to discover carbon's detoxifying powers. A filter with granular activated carbon (GAC) is a proven option to remove certain chemicals, particularly organic chemicals, from water. Carbon filters also can be used to remove chemicals that give objectionable odours or tastes to water such as hydrogen sulphide or chlorine. However, other chemicals, like iron and nitrate, are not attracted to the carbon and are not removed. Carbon filters remove contaminants through rough adsorption. Absorption soaks up particles like a sponge to water. Organic compounds bond or stick to the surface of a carbon filter because water and contaminants are both polar compounds that attract one another. Carbon filters are extremely porous and have a large surface area, making them effective at reducing bad tastes, odours, and other particles in water. The more contact time water has with the surface of a carbon filter, the more efficient the filtration.
With so many types of water, water filtration systems and not to mention the countless brands you can buy, one thing is clear…water is extremely important for your body, and you should pay more attention to the type of water you consume each day. After all, as your body is 70% water, the condition of your health literally depends on how much water you consume and the quality of that water. As we are bombarded with a variety of harmful toxins each day, we may not be able to avoid all contaminants; therefore, we must do everything we can to minimize our exposure to the ones we know of. Investing in a water filtration system is an excellent way to protect your body from many of these hidden dangers and if you don’t have the money right now to invest in your health, then at least you can consider which type of water may be best for you and your household the next time you are stocking up in the supermarket.
For a selection of high quality Superfoods made in Mexico, check out our store and start making those healthy food choices today.
Remember…YOUR PATH TO HEALTH STARTS HERE…a small change today can mean a big impact tomorrow.
Healthy Options Market...helping you begin your journey to a healthier new you, with the best superfoods and health products that Mexico has to offer.
The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Healthy Options Market. Individual articles are based upon the opinions of the respective author, who retains copyright. They are solely intended to spark discussion and the thought process behind issues pertaining to general health, wellness and are for sharing knowledge and information on research only. They are not medical advice. Always seek the advice of a Professional Healthcare Provider when making any decisions regarding your health.