Water, your resource for life! Two simple hydrogens and one oxygen put together to create the elixir of life. Absolutely magic! Not only is it something that keeps us alive, it also keeps us healthy. We as humans are drawn to water and for good reason. And here are 10 of those reasons now:
- Just hearing, seeing, or touching water can drop our blood pressure a few notches. Think soft murmuring brook, gentle wash of the ocean waves, or the feel of a warm summer rain falling on your skin. More relaxed and calm now? I thought so. There is also a phenomenon known as the Mammalian Dive Reflex. This is the idea that when the body (or even just the face) is submerged in water an immediate response in lowering blood pressure is triggered. Now you know why dolphins seem so peaceful.
- Perhaps one of the most overused terms in health and nutrition is the word “hydration”. However, it’s brought up a lot for very good reasons. If you stay hydrated your body simply works better. Joints are lubed up, the GI tract passes things better (no one likes to be constipated), our gut microbiome is healthier, our vital organs are better cushioned, the brain has improved cognitive function, our blood flows better to shuttle around enzymes, gasses, etc., and muscles suffer less stress. One thing you may not know is that if we keep ourselves hydrated we can also reduce our allergies. This is accomplished due to the fact that if the hypothalamus becomes dehydrated it releases more histamine and therefore triggers an allergic response. If you stay hydrated you reduce the histamine response which equals fewer allergies. With fewer allergies, your body feels better, plus this reduces your need for medication. I call that a win-win.
- Water keeps us from falling apart. I think that statement right there is enough to convince you to drink water. If you would like to know why though, it’s because water provides structural integrity in our bodies, performing a key part in our fibroblasts cells. These useful little guys produce collagen and the extracellular matrix (which provides support, segregates tissues from one another, and regulates intercellular communication). They also create the structural framework for animal tissues and play a critical role in wound healing. Fibroblasts are the most common cells of connective tissue in animals and are dependent upon water for some of their various jobs.
- Water from your local water system is amazingly clean. I would actually trust it over most bottled water companies, plus no plastic bottle to take up space. That said, you should know that it does contain chlorine. Water suppliers add what is called residual chlorine to ensure that the water that leaves the treatment plant, and runs through the many miles of pipe to your house, has enough bacteria and virus killing chlorine to make it there without picking up any unwanted disease causing organisms. However, chlorine isn’t all the good for us. Chlorine on its own can kill off certain good gut bacteria. It can also blend with other compounds and create disinfection byproducts. These byproducts can be carcinogenic. Side note: water systems, state agencies, and the EPA do test for these.
- You can drink distilled and reverse osmosis water. You may have been told not to drink these because the electrolytes have been removed. However, distilling is just a process that involves boiling water and then condensing it to remove impurities. Reverse osmosis, is just that, reversing osmosis. So it’s just simply pushing water through a semipermeable membrane to remove impurities. Even some water treatment plants use this process. So the process is simple and safe, but yes, the electrolytes will be removed. However, you won’t have the chlorine (see #4). This water can be safer for your biological systems, plus you can share it with your fish, if you happen to have some.
- You can add in your own electrolytes. How tough is this process? Well, if you can go purchase Himalayan Crystal Sea Salt and add a pinch of it into every glass of distilled water you drink; you have just accomplished this daunting task. Yes, you have now become a chemist. Congratulations. As a newly found chemist, you may be wondering why use Himalayan Crystal Sea Salt. This is because most regular salts are stripped and bleached, but this sea salt has over 60 trace minerals (including your electrolytes), is free of toxins, and works well within your body’s cells. Side Note: this salt will NOT provide the very much needed micronutrient iodine. If you don’t consume iodized salt, be sure you are getting it from another source. This mineral is critical to your health!
- Well water isn’t always pure and clean. While water from many wells has been filtered through the best filtration process ever made (the Earth) it may have picked up some contaminants. Things like iron and manganese loving bacteria can contaminate your water, as can sources of arsenic and nitrate, especially if you live in a farming community. You must be very careful of contaminates that can end up in your water supply, no matter where you live. For example if nitrates are too high they can have serious and deadly consequences. One of these consequences is known as Blue Baby Syndrome. If a baby ingests water containing too high of a nitrate level it will displace oxygen in its body, leading to death. I only say these things so you are very aware of the importance of clean water and knowing your source. You can test your private well by taking samples and sending them off to independent labs. They will let you know if your water is safe to drink.
- It’s best to keep your water in glass containers. Yes, I now plastics bottles and jugs are highly convenient and most are now bisphenol A (BPA) free. However, some plastics still contain BPA and if plastic bottles are heated or damaged in anyway it can leach out other chemicals, such as phthalates. Also, Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles, which are soft, shouldn’t be reused because they are near impossible to clean and may result in an accumulation of diseases causing agents. Yum? I think not.
- You don’t have to give up swimming. Yes, I feel as if I just gave you all the evils of water, but there are always a million ways to look at and accomplish things. Pools are now becoming friendlier. You can find many pools that are now saline treated. Some are even being treated with ozone, which is an effective method of killing microorganisms and is used in some water treatment plants as a tertiary treatment.
- Water is NOT bland. Some of you may feel that cramming 8 cups of water down your throat each day is as enjoyable as sticking your hand in a hive of angry bees. So what to do? Well, you can make your water a little more exciting by adding whiskey to it. No! I am just kidding, that isn’t the helpful tip I wanted to pass on to you. What you can do is add fruit to it. Think fresh citrus or cucumbers. You can also add herbs to your water such as basil or mint. These additions won’t just liven up your water; they also provide additional health benefits. One other thing you can do, if you have your own personal carbonation machine, add some bubbles to that much needed water. Bubbles makes everything better!
There you have it.
Ten things you should know about your H2O!
I hope I impressed upon you that water is important to a healthy you, and therefore you should drink 8-10 cups of it each day and drink the best possible source of it. One other thing to remember as you drink the amazing wonderful water you are so lucky to have: Be grateful for it. Not everyone in the world is as fortunate as you!
Superlife.com. March 19, 2015. SuperLife. 5 Uncommon, Yet Brilliant Ways Water Impacts Your Health.
Superlife.com. May 8, 2015. SuperLife. 14 Water Secrets: The Truth About Water, Distilled Water, Reverse Osmosis, and More!
Wikipedia.org. 2017. Wikipedia. The Free Encyclopedia.