Did you know that the average adult human body is 55-60% water? (Babies’ bodies are closer to 75%.) Even more surprisingly, the brain is made up of about 70% water, and the lungs, closer to 90%! This means that the quality of the water you drink has an enormous impact on the quality of your health.
Unfortunately, high quality drinking water is increasingly difficult to come by in this day and age. While we are lucky in this country to have access to water that is largely free of disease-causing microorganisms, most health conscious Americans know that drinking plain old, unfiltered tap water is generally not a great idea.
What’s Wrong with Tap Water?
Recent analyses of municipal drinking water have shown that, despite government regulations, there are still many dangerous contaminants present in our water, even after it has gone through municipal water treatment facilities.
In fact, these water treatment facilities often actually contribute to the problem by adding dangerous chemicals like fluoride and chlorine to water as part of the treatment process. The water regulations and treatment methods used in the U.S. are old and outdated and do little to address the ever-increasing array of toxic chemicals that are currently present in our environment.
The Safe Drinking Water Act only regulates 91 potential water contaminants. Yet there are more than 60,000 chemicals used within the U.S., many of which have been identified as probable carcinogens. According to some estimates, there are now more than 2,100 known chemical toxins present in U.S. tap water. Additionally, many municipalities transport their water in antiquated, corroded pipes, which may leach toxic heavy metals into the water after it has been treated.
So what is the best way to ensure that the water you drink is supporting your health, rather than damaging it? Let’s examine some of the alternatives to tap water:
Bottled Water: Better Than Tap Water…Sometimes
In light of concerns about tap water safety, many people turn to bottled water for their drinking water needs. And in some cases, bottled water may be a better choice than tap water. But relying on bottled water is far from ideal for several reasons:
1. Many brands of bottled water, such as Aquafina and Dasani, are simply filtered tap water. These bottles are often cleverly labeled with words and images designed to evoke a false sense of quality and purity.
2. Plastic bottles can leech BPA and other plastic chemicals into the water. There are a few brands of spring water available in glass, such as Mountain Valley Spring Water, but you won’t often find these brands at your gym or local gas station. In addition, like tap water, bottled water is often tainted with fluoride, chlorine and other chemicals.
3. The bottled water industry is not environmentally sustainable. The production and shipping of bottled water (and even the recycling of bottles) uses up unnecessary resources and contributes to pollution. If you’re interested in learning more about the environmental impact of the bottled water industry, I recommend watching the movie,Tapped.
Spring Water: Better Than Bottled Water, but Not Always Practical
Fresh spring water obtained directly from an uncontaminated source and stored in glass may in fact be the best water for human consumption. Spring water is naturally filtered, rich in natural minerals and is known to have incredible healing properties. If you’re interested in exploring the possibility of collecting your own spring water, there is a website called FindASpring.com that can help you locate a spring near you.
Unfortunately though, for most people, collecting spring water on a regular basis (or using bottled water exclusively) is not a practical solution. Well water, which often requires some treatment, is an option for some people, but most of us live in areas where we are pretty much forced to rely on the municipal water distribution system for our drinking, cooking, cleaning and bathing needs.
Water Filters: An Affordable All-Around Option for Most Homes
Investing in a high quality home water filter is probably the most practical and affordable long-term solution to the problem of drinking water contamination for most people. There are many types of water filtration systems out there, so it’s important to do a bit of research before purchasing one, as the vast majority will not effectively remove most chemicals.
Through my research, I believe that reverse osmosis water filters specifically designed to effectively remove fluoride and other contaminants are the absolute best option as far as a filtration system goes. A good reverse osmosis filter will remove chemicals like fluoride, chlorine and even radioactive water contaminants. And depending on your budget, you can either install these filters in your home on individual taps or you can go the route of a whole house filtration system.
A good resource for individual filters is Pure Water Freedom. Their filters, which are available in a variety of forms and price levels, combine an activated alumina fluoride cartridge with a reverse osmosis system.
As far as whole house water filters go, the best system I’ve come across is made by a company called Aquasana. They offer a several different options tailored to the type of water that you have in your home (city or well). The filtration systems are available on Amazon.com and range in price from about $800-$1,700 (though Aquasana also offers single-faucet water filters that are significantly less expensive as well). They are extremely effective at removing fluoride, chlorine and other contaminants. While the price may be daunting, in the long term, this is actually a fairly cost effective option, considering what you might spend installing filters on every sink in your house. As an added benefit, the water that comes out of your shower and is used by your washing machine will also filtered.
Where do you get you water? As I’ve just begun to delve deeper into the matter of water quality and its impacts on health, I’d love for you to share your wisdom. Please post a comment below!
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Joshua Corn – Editor-in-Chief
Josh is a health freedom advocate and veteran of the natural health industry. He has been actively involved in the natural health movement for over 15 years, and has been dedicated to the promotion of health, vitality, longevity and natural living throughout his career. Josh has successfully overcome several personal health challenges through natural means, and believes that sharing information can empower people to take control of their health so they can solve their own problems and live life to its fullest potential. Josh is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Live in the Now. Additionally he serves as CEO of Stop Aging Now, a company that has been formulating premium dietary supplements since 1995. Josh is currently working on his first book about natural health, and is gearing up to launch the Live in the Now radio show. In addition to his work in the natural health field, Josh is an avid outdoorsman, animal lover and enjoys “living in the now” with his wife and two sons.