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Don't be fooled by your water choice!

We all know how water is so important to health and wellness. So now that you understand that, it is time to discuss the dangers associated with water and how best to avoid them.

  1. Tap Water. To be completely honest, tap or city water is loaded with metals and chemicals that can be detrimental to your body systems. From chlorine, fluoride (when applied directly to your teeth, fluoride may help reduce decay, but when ingested systemically, it is now found to cause many problems), and even pharmaceuticals, harsh chemicals are in abundance in city tap water. According to a recent study by the International Journal of Cancer (April 15, 2006), men who drank two or more liters of tap water per day were at least 50 percent more likely to get bladder cancer. (This includes coffee made with tap water.)
  2. Water bottles. Did you know that more than 25 percent of water put into those expensive bottles is just tap water? Yes the same tap water we just got done discussing. And that’s not all…the next time you buy a bottle of water, look on the bottom inside the small recycle triangle for a number. It will be numbered from 1 to 8. Number 1 is the softest and cheapest plastic, and the higher the number, the harder and more expensive the plastic. If you are drinking anywhere from a 1-3, be very careful not to crush or squish your bottle. These bottles have carcinogens (cancer causing agents) and xenoestrogens (synthetic substances that differ from those produced by living organisms and imitate or enhance the effect of estrogens) adhered to the inside of the bottle, and as soon as you slightly dent the plastic, they fall off the inside of the bottle and into the water you are drink- ing. Also, whatever you do, do not re-use your bottle or put it in the dishwasher (subjecting it to high temperatures). The chances of ingesting these toxins will more than triple in these cases.
  3. Well water. If you have well water, in most cases, you are a step above the rest in terms of limiting your toxic intake. As long as you have your water checked for the major chemicals, bacteria and heavy metals, and use a filter, you are ingesting nature filtered water from deep in the earth. Just the way it was intended. Also, well water is not stripped of its natural minerals. What can you do in order to avoid the toxic situations mentioned above?
  • Whether tap or well water, be an informed consumer and have it tested so that you know exactly what is in it.
  • If you are using tap water, make sure you have a filter. The filter will need to be capable of filtering all heavy metals and chemicals. Reverse osmosis filters are the best.Also, make sure you are changing your filter at the right time. Once it is overdue, it truly doesn’t have the same filtering capabilities. Use the filtered water to cook with as well. These metals and chemicals are not denatured while cooking and easily become a part of your food. Another consideration would be a shower filter, especially if your chlorine content is high. Chlorine is sucked into your cells much more rapidly through your skin than through your digestive system, and even more so when it’s warm or hot water (and no one enjoys a cold shower).
  • When buying bottled water, the more expensive ones are usually the true earth-filtered water. So far, I have found Penta and Fiji waters to be the most trust- worthy. Otherwise, if you know of a reliable natural local spring where you can collect your own water, go for it. Ask around; there are a few good ones in the Northwoods area. Remember not to re-use your bottles, and never squish or bend them while drinking. Better yet, find a harder plastic bottle that you can use over and over (look for a "Nalgene" type bottle that has no give in it; usually these are a 7 or 8 level plastic).

Now that you know the dangers and how to avoid them, don’t forget to get half your body weight in ounces of water every day (just divide your weight in pounds by two, and that is how many ounces you need). You need at least that much to maintain healthy body systems and cells.