What’s in the water?
Water is something we all need and in most countries we are lucky enough to turn on the tap and out it comes ready for our consumption.
But many of us don’t know why water is so important to our health what it actually does for the body and what’s in the water we get from the taps. Well in this blog I intend to cover those very questions.
Why is water important to our health?
Our bodies are made up of roughly 60-70% water we require water to survive it is suggested we could survive approximately 3 weeks with no food and just water but only approximately 3 days without water.
There used to be recommendations that we drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, but people have since questioned the scientific value of this statement. The NHS in the UK recommend you drink enough not to be thirsty and you are passing clear urine. See the following link http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/dehydration/Pages/introduction.aspx The reason why the NHS offer such vague advice on the quantity is because the volume of water you must consume is based on many factors. Your size, your activity levels and the climate you live in all contribute to the amount of water you must intake.
I personally tend to drink at least two litres of water as standard every day but I will drink a lot more when working out as I am losing water due to sweating.
Drinking water can benefit our health in a number of ways such as;
- Aids skin complexion
- Can help with headaches
- Helps with sports and helps combat fatigue
- Can potentially aid weight loss
- Is used by the body to protect our joints
- I personally find I mistake thirst for hunger and what I actually need is to drink water
A big myth is that body builders or sports models will remove water from their diets before a competition or photo shoot to get ripped. This is not true and in many cases they do the opposite and would increase their water intake. This is because it helps give definition to our muscle, our muscles cells have the highest water content than others in our body .
Tap Water? (UK Based)
So we all know that we need to drink water but what is in the water that comes out of our taps? Depending on the area you live in your water may have been treated differently or additives added. You can find out how you local water is treated here
The most common chemicals that are added to water are;
- Liquified chlorine
- Fluorosilicic acid
- Aluminium sulphate
- Calcium hydroxide
- Sodium silicofluoride
The most controversial additive to water in recent times has been the introduction Fluoride as a medicinal additive to aid in tooth hygiene. Some believe that the addition of this chemical and thus consumption of it in large quantities is detrimental to our health.
If we decided we didn’t want to drink tap water as we were not happy with the local quality or additives we have two further options. We can start drinking bottled water or we can invest in water filters I will cover the advantages and disadvantages of each here. In another blog I will look at the different water filters available on the market to us today.
So water filters are available to us to install inline with our mains water, large dispensers or attached to personal bottles. Inline filters are a great thing at home if you have a busy household and want to ensure all the water your family is drinking is filtered. Jugs again work well at home as a cheaper option to inline filters. If your out and about or at work then bottles are a the go to option.
So what do filters actually filter out the water? Well they will deal with most harmful substances most activated carbon filters (most common) will cover Chlorine, Mercury, Lead. For a typical list Brita publish one for their filters here.
However you will notice this doesn’t cover Fluoride to remove this from your water you need a specific type of filter reverse osmosis, deionizers or activated alumina. These are covered in my other blog as to what options you can get these in.
Bottled Water (Spring or Mineral)
Another option is bottled spring water this is big business and then countless brands out there selling us the latest Peckham Spring water.
So is this water safe to drink? The main issues we find with bottled of water is knowing the levels and which contaminants are in it. In the UK it is law for companies to state the source of the water. Writing this blog I could not find a source that had this data but will keep looking and update you. There is a study by the Daily Mail but I am not one for quoting their stories.
In short it comes down to personal preference if you are concerned by chlorine and Fluoride in your water then maybe you should switch to Bottled Water. However you could also get a good water filter instead and ultimately save yourself some money.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments section.