Posted by: renaissance2wellbeing | August 15, 2010

Staying Hydrated for Summer (August ’10)

               Staying Hydrated for Summer

                                    “Our bodies are molded rivers
                                                      –Novalis

As the summer of 2010 rolls on, it won’t be long before it is a fleeting memory — so let’s make the most of it. Summer, is a time of warmth and brightness; a time to reconnect with nature and ourselves. Life can be a beach — ever moment — being present. However, before this evanescent moment passes, let’s slow down and take time to smell the roses.

As the dogs days of summer (Sirius) and simmering temperatures of august abound, it’s important to stay hydrated. The best way is drink plenty of fluids, especially water. But which type of water should we consume: tap water, bottled water, filtered water.                                

                                Staying Hydrated for Summer

Now that we are at the peak of the summer season, one should be fastidious in their liquid consumption to prevent dehydration — the best source being water. Ideally it should be clean, from a safe source, with a pleasant taste. Of the different sources available, bottled water has taken on a life of it own. The bottled water fad has grown exponentially since its inception. Bottled water, a $22-billion industry, is the fastest growing beverage industry in the world. Close to half of the U.S. population drinks bottled water on a regular basis, despite the fact that it can be up to 2,000 times more expensive than tap water. Nevertheless, is bottled water the way to go, or are there other alternatives? H2O  

Water H2O  

Since the body is about 60% water, water is a key component to well-being. It is something we need on a daily basis. Furthermore, it is one of the most effective ways to remove toxins from the body, which includes emotional toxins.  

Some water percentages pertaining to the body:

  • A newborn baby is 80% water
  • As we grow older 55 to 60% of our body is water
  • 83% of our blood is water
  • 97% of our urine is water
  • 75% of our muscles are water
  • 80% of our eyes are water
  • 80% of our brain is water
  • 20% of our bones are water
  • 6 trillion reactions take place every second in the body, which are all the water dependent
  • Our body makes eight liters of digestive juices daily and 3 liters of water remains in circulation
  • 15 liters of water crosses cell membranes daily
  • 180 liters of water are filtered every day by the kidneys and only one to two liters are excreted as urine.  

A lot of diseases such as senility are dehydration of the brain. Many times what we call stomach problems: indigestion, ulcers, reflux esophagitis, is dehydration of the stomach lining. If one does not constantly having a moist pink tongue, and fresh breath, they’re not drinking enough water.

Drinking enough water is vital for good health. It’s best to sip water throughout the day, rather than consuming large quantities at once. If you drink a quart of water at a time, most of the water will pass through your body before you’re able to use it. So sip it slowly throughout the day, rather than gulping it down.

The recommended daily consumption of water is eight to 10 glasses, or whatever your body-weight is in pounds divided in half, and that’s the number of ounces. If you weighed 140lbs, half of that is 70lbs = to 70 oz of water a day, or 8 ¾ cups of water.  

Personally, I would pay attention to your body’s needs, and not hold rigidly to the above formula. Also, it will depend on the time of year, and if you are exercising which require more. As noted in the article by Dr Ben Kim, drinking too much water can be fatal. Listen to your body, it never lies.  

                        Different Types of Water  

“Ever wonder about those people who spend $2 apiece on those little bottles of Evian water? Try spelling Evian backward
-George Carlin

When it comes to the water we consume, there are different options: tap water, filtered water, bottled water. Before bottled water became a fad, most people consumed tap water or filtered water.  

Bottled Water  

About twenty five years ago, soft drink manufactures saw their sales decline, and needed a product to revive them. Bottle water was their saving grace. This was the beginning of the bottled water industry. Bottled water is less regulated that tap water. It can cost up to two thousand times more that tap water, not to mention the environmental impact; manufacturing and transporting bottled water, and disposing the empty bottles. People in the US buy about a half a billion bottles of water a week, enough bottles to circle the globe 5 times.  

Looking at the labels on bottled water, one finds mountain streams, tropical paradises or images of nature. One may think their bottled water originated from some pristine source; however, one third of bottled water is tap water. An 18-month study done by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) on bottled water companies, noted only 2% of the companies were reluctant to disclose their water source and treatment methods used.

Similarly, a test done by the Environmental Working Group found 38 low-level contaminants in bottled water. Each of the 10 tested brands contained an average of eight chemicals, such as disinfection byproducts (DBPs), caffeine, Tylenol, nitrate, industrial chemicals, arsenic, and bacteria were detected.

The Problem of Plastic Bottles  

Another problem with bottled water is plastic bottles. First, there is the used resources and energy expended to make them. Then, there is the problem of when the water was bottled, to the time you drink it. It could be sitting in a hot warehouse for months, on a delivery truck, store shelves, or other areas, which can leach out chemicals leading to certain type of cancer.  

Bisphenol-A (BPA)  

One of the major concerns with plastic bottles, especially those colorful hard plastic Lexan bottles made with polycarbonate plastics and identified by the #7 recycling symbol, is that they leach Bisphenol-A into the water.  Bisphenol A is a xenoestrogen, a known endocrine disruptor, meaning it disturbs the hormonal messaging in our bodies. Synthetic xenoestrogens are linked to breast cancer and uterine cancers in women, decreased testosterone levels in men, and are particularly devastating to babies and young children. BPA has even been linked to insulin resistance and Type 2 Diabetes.  

For BPA-free bottles click here.  One of the best containers for water is a glass bottle, except they are prone to breaking if dropped. I would avoid aluminum, but stainless steel, low-nickel-content is okay.  

The Case against Bottled Water  

Overall, it is best to avoid bottled water completely for the following reasons:

  • Costing up to 1900 more that tap water, is overpriced.
  • The industry is not well regulated, and water may not be safe.
  • The environmental impact of making plastic bottles — 26 billion bottles made yearly, which require 17 million barrels of oil and in turn release 2.5 millions tons of carbon dioxide with 86% of them ending up as garbage.
  • The safety concern of plastic bottles.  

Recommendations

Ideally we should pass on bottled water, in addition to distilled water which if consumed long-term, can drain the body of necessary minerals. So what is left is tap water. Unfortunately tap water is not safe, because it is filled with contaminants, some from pollution.

Then there are chemicals added to disinfect the water such as chlorine. During this process disinfection byproducts (DBPs) are formed, when chlorine reacts with natural organic matter like decaying vegetation in the water, during treatment. One such (DBP’s) are trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs) and are classified as Cancer Group B carcinogens, meaning they’ve been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals. They’ve also been linked to reproductive problems in both animals and humans, and human studies suggest that a lifetime consumption of chlorine-treated water can more than double the risk of bladder and rectal cancers in certain individuals.

Another insidious chemical added to the water supply is fluoride. Mostly touted for teeth protection in children, fluoride can cause brain, thyroid, kidneys and bone damage. The interview with Dr Paul Connet below goes into greater detail about the dangers of fluoridation.  Incidentially, the United States is only one of eight countries in the entire developed world that fluoridates more than 50 percent of its water supply. (The others are: Australia, Colombia, Ireland, Israel, Malaysia, New Zealand and Singapore.)

10 Facts about Fluoride

So tap water should also be avoided for the deleterious ingredients in it and added to it. For these reasons, our best and safest way to go is filtered water.

Filtered Water  

Personally, I believe that filtered water is the way to go. No lugging around cases of bottled waters, plus the significant cost-saving over time. Not having to worry about chemicals leaching out of plastic bottles, or impacting the environment — or drinking unhealthy tap water.

Having a good water filtration system is best. Most water filtration system like Brita or Culligan are not worth it. For one, if you live in New York City there is a lot of sediment in the water and after two or three weeks the filters clog. This is a basic filtering system. A set of filters can cost about $30, and the cost adds up quickly, if they clog. Additionally, they do not filter fluoride.  

Recommendation  

I recommend a high-quality countertop water filtering system. I use a countertop three-stage water filtering system. It contains three inline filters. The triple-cartridge countertop filter uses a special cartridge that removes fluoride from the water and a Doulton Sterasyl ceramic filter to remove sediment, bacteria and cysts. The third cartridge is a 12,000 gallon capacity KDF/GAC filter for chlorine removal. At $300 it may seem expensive, but the long term saving are worth it. Considering the average American spends $400 a year on bottled water.  

The fluoride and KDF/GAC filters last about 2 to 3 years. The Doulton Sterasy ceramic filter can last up to two years, depending how much it is cleaned. Note: the fluoride and KDF/GAC filters do not need to be cleaned, only replaced when needed. In my case, because of the sediment in the water, I clean it once a week, it lasts about two years. It is easy to connect. Just connect the adapter to the sink spout. On the adaptor there is a lever to move so you can divert the water through the water filter system or from the spout itself. The water has a pleasant taste.  

I recommend using filtered water for all your drinking and cooking needs. A high-quality countertop model gives you healthy, filtered water for an affordable price and with the least amount of hassle.  

Furthermore, it would be advisable to install a shower filter, since the skin is the largest organ in the body, and water is absorbed through the pores. These filters cost around $30 to $50.  

Conclusion  

It is best to filter your water, cost-wise, protecting the environment and is cleaner and safer. Buy a safe storage container, and bring it with you where ever you go, and sip regularly.  

If the taste of plain water is unappealing, experiment to see how you can make it tasty and drinkable. Try adding a few mint leaves, a wedge of lemon, a sprig of parsley, slices of cucumber, a twist of lime or a squeeze of orange to make water more tempting. By flavoring water naturally, makes it more palatable and a greater incentive to drink more of it.  Also, drinking tea or juice and eating raw fruits and vegetables contribute to the hydration process.  

So, splash in the waves, swim in the sun, drink plenty of water and enjoy summer fun!   

Warning: This Daily Habit is Damaging Your Bones, Brain, Kidneys, and Thyroid

                                                 Dr Mercola

 Is Water Fluoridation Really in the Best Interest of Public Health?

As you may know, the theory behind the introduction of fluoride in your water supply initially seems beneficial – to reduce the incidence of dental caries in children.

However, the health dangers of fluoride are so numerous; they far outweigh any potential benefit to your teeth.

“First of all, water fluoridation is very bad medicine,” Dr. Connett says, “because once you put it in the water, you can’t control the dose. You can’t control who gets it. There is no oversight. You’re allowing a community to do to everyone what a doctor can do to no one, i.e. force a patient to take a particular medication.”

Secondly, it’s both unnecessary and avoidable. Read more…            

             Drinking Too Much Water Is Dangerous

                                               Dr Ben Kim

Whenever you disregard your sense of thirst and strive to ingest several glasses of water a day just because you have been told that doing so is good for your health, you actually put unnecessary strain on your body in two major ways:

1)     Ingesting more water than you need can increase your total blood volume. And since your blood volume exists within a closed system – your blood circulatory system – needlessly increasing your blood volume on a regular basis puts unnecessary burden on your heart and blood vessels.

2)     Your kidneys must work overtime to filter excess water out of your blood circulatory system. Your kidneys are not the equivalent of a pair of plumbing pipes whereby the more water you flush through your kidneys, the cleaner they become; rather, the filtration system that exists in your kidneys is composed in part by a series of specialized capillary beds called glomeruli. Your glomeruli can get damaged by unnecessary wear and tear over time, and drowning your system with large amounts of water is one of many potential causes of said damage. Read more…

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