05 Aug The Worth Of Water
In order to survive all life on Earth needs water, I think that’s pretty clear. So, we drink it! I mean we kind of have to. Water is a basic necessity that all life requires and should be easily accessed as the Earth provides it for free. But unlike the clarity of having to drink water, what isn’t so clear to me is why it is not easily accessed, why its so disgusting? And why we have to pay for it?
Today there are so many variations of water and even more so thousands of brands that all claim to be the best source of water. From Tap, distilled, alkaline, mineral, and sparkling just to name a few. If all water is not created equally how do we choose?
How do we know what water is best for us? The options can be overwhelming and I’m here to walk you through some of my discoveries and my journey of what feels like the never-ending quest for the water that provides our bodies with what we need.
The Journey has been a long one. I grew up in NYC and always knew not to drink straight from the faucet. I didn’t know why but my mother always made it crystal clear not to. We always had a filter that would purify our tap water. We filled plastic gallons with water and refrigerate it and that was my memory of water as a kid. Now in my adult life I would probably be afraid to know how much money I’ve ever spent on bottles of water. Being on the Go living in NYC I always bought plastic bottles. Poland spring was probably my go to because it was the least expensive. The more conscious I became about the environment the more interested I became with stopping the usage of plastic. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop with helping the environment. I then started to learn that chemicals were being leached from plastic bottles into our water affecting our health. As if plastic destroying our earth was not enough!
Well, first things first. Although water is not a food, it is indeed the most important nutrient we can put into our bodies. Speaking of bodies, our bodies are made up of up to 70% water! It is so essential for our survival that you CAN actually survive 3 weeks without food but can barely make it 3 days without water. With water being the main source of life on the planet it astonishes me to learn that only 2.5% of the worlds water is actually Fresh! 97% of the Earths water Is either salty or just undrinkable. From that 2.5% only 1% is accessible and the rest is frozen in glaciers and ice caps. Scary huh?!
Let’s take a look at the different kinds of waters sources…
Americans drink more than 1 billion glasses of tap water per day. Tap water is literally everywhere. It’s the water we cook with, the water that flushes our toilets and the water we shower with. According to the Environmental Protection agency (EPA) several regulations have been placed to ensure we get “clean” water. However, these standards have not been updated since 1974!!! Insane! This is where I present some of my learnings and then you use your logic to decide if this is really safe.
- There are 91 contaminants regulated by the EPA for water but more than 60,000 chemicals are used in the United States
- Government and independent scientists have linked levels of contaminants in water to diseases including cancer and reproductive issues.
- Water treatment centers are not required to check for pharmaceuticals in the water such as antibiotics, hormones & seizure pills just to name a few.
- Pollution and chemicals have no taste so you won’t even know it’s in your water
- Some contaminants found in tap water
Spring water is water that has been sourced from a natural spring. The Spring water must come from an underground source and flow naturally to the Earth’s surface. This water should be clean and free of toxins. They contain a lot of the healthy minerals our bodies need found in mineral water. So many big companies like Evian, Arrowhead, Acqua Panna, and the most popular one of all Poland Spring claims to be from Spring sources.
Distilled water is water that is boiled into vapor. The vapor or steam is then condensed back into liquid. Contaminants, impurities and even minerals do not vaporize so essentially distilled water is a way of purifying water. A nutrionist whom I really admire recommended drinking distilled water alongside many other professionals claiming it will help detoxify the body and improve overall health. On the other side some health experts say that distilled water absorbs needed minerals from your body which in reverse puts your body at risk.
Mineral water is water from a mineral spring that contains various minerals such as salts, magnesium, calcium, zinc, and sodium. Mineral water can be flat or it can be sparkling depending on the presence or absence of added gas. There are minerals found in tap water, but not in purified water since everything gets filtered out. Our bodies need minerals such as Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, silica etc.. When you drink water without minerals, that water will actually search and pull the minerals in your body and you’re actually losing minerals by drinking that water.
Glacier water is basically really old water that has been trapped in glaciers for thousands and thousands of years (which is pretty cool!) Normally this water deforms and runs into the oceans but some is harvested by water companies before that occurs.
Alkaline water is not a source of water but instead the PH level of a water. Alkalinity is measure on a scale of 0-14. 7 on that scale is considered neutral and Alkaline water will typically be between a 8 or 9. Simply put a 1 on that number scale would be very acidic and a 14 super alkaline. Alkaline water is supposed to regulate the bodies PH levels, and prevent diseases such as cancer.
Sparkling water is also not a source of water but a kind of water. Normally, sparkling water is water that has been infused with carbon dioxide gas. This creates a bubbly or fizzy drink. Now believe it or not there are naturally occurring sparkling mineral waters. These have not been infused with carbon dioxide and are captured from a mineral spring that contain mineral compounds that make it carbonated. Companies like Perrier or San Pellegrino are companies who claim to be natural sparkling mineral waters.
Then there’s purified water! Which I feel is what we mostly hear we need. That’s because water that is purified is filtered and processed through machines to remove impurities and make it clean for human consumption. Normally groundwater and tap water are used. Similar to that of distilled water it may be pulling minerals from your body instead of providing them since the water has been cleansed of everything.
So I guess the question stands. What water is best to drink? Well truth is that whether your preference is distilled water or spring bottled waters our bodies will in fact hydrate. According to The World Health Organization (WHO) Drinking water that has been demineralized can cause adverse health effects. A study published back in 1980 showed evidence that demineralized water had a definite adverse influence on the human body. The possible adverse consequences of no or low mineral water content consumption can take a toll on our health.
Minerals are clearly important for our bodies to stay healthy, from bone, muscle, heart, and even brain health!
Water options isn’t something that we casually discuss at a family dinner. It has become this thing that we conveniently use on a daily basis based on what’s most accessible. We base our decisions on price and availability and that is what ends up in our homes. Plastic water bottles are a topic of its own but it is very important to note that some testing in bottled waters have shown to contain dangerous contaminants like microbes, mold DIOXIN, BPA, Phthalates, Benzene, Arsenic, plastic particles, bacteria, industrial chemicals and much more.
We drink water every day! It’s a basic necessity and in my opinion, everyone should have access to clean heathy water! Water is a common good and really shouldn’t be a business sealed into bottles who by the way are killing our Earth.
We’ve come a long way where people are becoming more educated on the topic of water and although it may seem like we have a length of way to go other countries are showing progress in ways that seem futuristic. Countries in Europe such as France are checking for over 300,000 contaminants in their water and are even using Ozone and UV lights to kill pollutants, pharmaceuticals and bacteria. This my friends is not the water being sold in stores in plastic bottles, it is the water in the street fountains! It’s Free! Its Clean! And it limits plastic bottle consumption on a whole new level! In the U.S Tap water is highly chlorinated because chlorine is being used to kill contaminants. What France Is doing is admirable by un-commercializing a common good given by God.
Many countries are stepping up to provide clean water that is free of charge for its residents, tourist and most importantly people who cannot afford it like homeless people. The fact that all of this is actually being done raises the bar for other countries to step up and do the same.
The worth of water is LIFE! Not $2 per bottle.
Healthy As A Motha
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