💧 How Much and What Kind of Water is Best for Your Health?

in #health3 years ago
Common wisdom says everyone needs eight 8oz servings of water per day. That's half a gallon or almost 2 liters of water daily depending on your country of measure. How true is that?

It's probably a pretty close median number, but in actuality, there are not any good studies which prove the theory. "The first recorded scientific endorsement of a water intake recommendation appeared as a brief footnote in 1945, when the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences published its Dietary Guidelines."(1)

All of us are different. We all have different DNA and differing lifestyles. You may live in a hot climate where your need for water will be greater than someone who lives in a cooler climate. You may workout several hours per day and require more water than a sedentary individual.

A better approach to the question of how much is enough is to tune into your body's water meter and pay attention to your thirst.

Thirst is the sign that you need hydration. Thirst can also be perceived as hunger. If you are trying to drop a few pounds, or even if you're not, always have at least a half a glass of water when those hunger pangs hit to make sure that it's true hunger and not thirst that's calling.

Caveat - if you're always thirsty and you're drinking far more than the half-gallon or 2-liter median point without good cause (like exercising on a hot day) then be sure to check with your doctor. Excessive thirst can be a symptom of diabetes, a side effect of certain medications, or several other things that you will want to have checked by a professional.

While thirst is a good indicator of hydration levels you can also check your urine color. The darker your urine the more dehydrated you are. This chart put out by the U.S. Army Public Health Command shows the varying colors and whether that means you are hydrated or dehydrated. They also give some guidelines as to how much water to drink per hour in differing heat - combined with work - scenarios.

What about too much water?

Yes, it's possible to drink too much water. Over-hydration or 'water intoxication' causes the electrolytes in your body to become too diluted and can cause nausea, vomiting, confusion, muscle spasms or more seriously seizures, and even coma.

Most often this is caused by some underlying medical condition like liver or kidney disease, but can also be caused by drinking too much water.

What Does Water Actually Do?

  • Water is required to run the myriad of chemical reactions taking place within your body every hour of every day.
  • Helps the skin regulates temperature
  • Prevents constipation
  • Flushes out waste products
  • Nutrient transport
  • Keeps joints and tissues hydrated
  • And much more...

You are 60% water, your vital organs (brain, lungs, heart, liver, and kidneys) are 65-85% water. Making sure you have an adequate intake of fluid to avoid dehydration is paramount to your health.

Water is lost through sweat, breathing, urine, and feces. Therefore we must always be replenishing this life-giving force through drinking water and consuming water-filled foods such as vegetables.

Is All Water Created Equal?


"Safe and readily available water is important for public health, whether it is used for drinking, domestic use, food production or recreational purposes. Improved water supply and sanitation, and better management of water resources, can boost countries’ economic growth and can contribute greatly to poverty reduction." (5) According to the World Health Organization.

Depending on where you live you may have access to relatively good drinking water or not-so-good drinking water.

Municipalities in the U.S. put out a report yearly as to the safety and contents of the water provided out of the tap. You can also visit the Environmental Working Group's National Tap Water Database here to see how your tap water stacks up.

Even if your tap water is safe to drink there can be a myriad of chemicals in there that you don't want to to be putting into your body.

Tap water has been found to contain prescription drugs, chlorine, lead, mercury, PCB's, dioxins, arsenic and fluoride among other things.

Wait? I thought that fluoride was a good thing? Nope, not so much. Fluoride in your dental products that are applied directly to your teeth are fine. Drinking fluoride in your water brings health concerns, including being toxic to the pineal gland in your brain. You can read more about the issue of fluoride in our drinking water at the Fluoride Action Network.

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Ok, So What Are My Options?


From easiest to hardest

  1. Check the water report for your tap water and if it's not terrible - just drink that.
  2. My personal choice: Filter your tap water and use a stainless steel or glass water bottle. I use the ZeroWater Pitcher and like the fact that I have a water meter to test the amount of dissolved solids.
  3. Buy bottled water. All bottled water is not created equal. In fact, some bottled water is just tap water bottled. If you are going to go this route research the water. Thisarticle in Thrillist reviews some of the more popular brands. One argument against bottled water is the waste and the cost. If you are going this route be sure to recycle your bottles.
  4. Reverse Osmosis Filtration. These filtration systems take out everything but also waste a lot of water and are slow. In addition, you will have to reintroduce some electrolytes to make the water more healthy.
  5. Whole house filtration systems. These are great but costly. If I was ever to build a new house this would be a must on my list.

Conclusion


Water is important to your health for a myriad of reasons. Survivalists know you can't go more than a few days without it.

Following your thirst is probably the best way to ensure proper hydration. You can also double check yourself by the color of your urine.

A little research of the quality of water in your area will go a long way to help you determine what kind of water to drink. Using a quality water filter is the least expensive and easiest way to upgrade your drinking water.

Bottled water or water filtration systems are also available but will cost you more. Bottled water raises your carbon footprint and creates a lot of waste.

What kind of water do you drink? Do you have a favorite bottled water brand? Do you have a filtration system you like? Let's continue the discussion below.

In Peace, Love, and Health
~T

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(The Full Monty - links to Amazon products in this post are "Affiliate Links" meaning you won't pay a penny more for the product but I may get a small commission for pointing you in the right direction.)

Images courtesy of Pixabay
Image 1 - Bottle with Glass
Image 2 - Glass and Stainless Steel Water Bottles

References:

  1. Hydration 101: How Much Water Do You Really Need? by Chris Kresser
  2. Why does the human body need water? Specifically, what does the body use the water for? What happens when you don't drink enough water?
  3. What Causes Excessive Thirst?
  4. Are You Hydrated? Take the Urine Color Test
  5. World Health Organization Drinking-water Fact Sheet
  6. What's the Healthiest Water You Can Drink?
  7. 12 Toxins in Your Drinking Water
  8. The Most Popular Bottle Waters, Ranked

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What a great public service message! My husband and I used a Brita® Water Filter pitcher because it tasted better than the tap water we had, but I never thought about all the chemicals in it. I am glad you told us about this!

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Thanks for stopping by the incomparable theKittyGirl!

Yep, that water tastes better cause you're filtering out a lot of those nasty chemicals :)

XXXOOO
~T

One of the sites that I was looking at told my that, according to my weight and height, I should be drinking like 150oz of water per day. I'm thinking, wow, I'll be water-logged pretty quickly.

Really? What site was that? 4.5 liters of water a day you would be spending a lot of your day in the bathroom. Unless, of course, this was taking into account something like exercising outside in the heat.

Very interesting. I think I'll stick with thirst and "output" color to guage my hydration 😉.

Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to see that site and understand their rationale.
In Health ~T

Unfortunately I don't remember what the actual site was b/c it was a basic Google Search. Their calculation was based on 1/2 Oz. of water per Lb. of Weight. I think it was something to do with skin elasticity, if I recall correctly... eg. that is like some optimal amount to drink for weight loss in order to allow your skin the most elasticity. Seemed like an awful lot of water to drink to me as well.

I drink about 2liters of water a day, very specialised and takes some preparing this has kept me from drinking normal "bad" water for years there are a few down sides like if I don't drink it for long I might feel a bit grumpy, or even loss of energy, these are minor things considering my P is the best one on the chart. :)

Steps and Ingredients

  • Boil the water, if you forgot whether you boiled it do it again. this happens to us all.
  • Add brown beans that have been caffeinated and ground up
  • Add Cane preferably the sugar kind
  • Add Milk so the beans do not get scorched
  • Add delicious clean water for all the right reasons

Very informative post, I did not know about the issues you can get from too much water , although I think I have experienced it, when we were kids we practised drinking - yeah yeah - anyway it was the usual if you miss then drink a glass of water game, needless to say, it turned out very messy although the water was still quite clean when it came back out.

Sometimes my special water above makes me feel dehydrated and I then prefer good ól fashioned water from the bathroom tap since those pipes are always cold. :)

I love your special water recipe! I tried it this morning (sans the sugar - of course!) and it’s quite amazing!

Turns out you can add hydrolyzed (or regular) collagen to your special water and get a little protein in too ;)

Thanks for sharing your “specialized” water recipe! It’s delicious and I’m already feeling that energy boost of which you speak.

XXXOOO ~T

Your specialised water sounds interesting! It's definitely my go to in the morning minus the sugar like @Tamala ;)

Lovely and awesome post! i like a lot the markdown <3 Peace and love for you too! Bless

Thanks for stopping by!
Namaste ~T

namaskar ;) :D i create my homework too but in spanish text but this week im going to translate my poetry in english ;) i let you know for read abouy my water/sea poetry ;) blessings

I'll be looking forward to the translation!

Mi español es muy mal. Puedo orden comida y dice un poco cosas pero para poety no es possible!

And hopefully that almost made sense 😂.

jaja its ok! :D dont prob, at all, im bilingual writer, i try to do my best with my poetry translation without any use of online digital translator for get the mood, take a look this 2 short poetry, i translate into: french, english, indonesia and tagalog / phillipino:

https://steemit.com/literature/@nahupuku/the-broken-godess-visual-poem

https://steemit.com/literature/@nahupuku/the-eternal-solitude-of-farewells-poetry

Two short examples of my poetry in Steemit but i write some post in english about my music, art, my aid foundation and a lot of stuffs :) I wanna share my art into an international amazing public and Steemit its my window :)

By the way this its my spanish water poem: https://steemit.com/spanish/@nahupuku/el-agua-como-fuente-de-vida-y-muerte-caos-entre-las-olas-poema-visual

If you wanna take a look to the images and the music video, cuban latin salsa :) for a Sea godess: Yemaya

I REALLY liked that music video! Had me up and doing a little salsa around the living room.

I enjoyed your poetry and I have my Chrome set to auto-translate and it actually did a pretty good job.

I look forward to following you!
~T

Awesome! thnaks a lot! :D well i try to create some salsa stuffs if you wanna take a look, only 3 videos:

https://steemit.com/comedyopenmic/@nahupuku/comedy-open-mic-round15-entry-1-a-funny-salsa-dancing-with-valeriabandes

https://steemit.com/openmic/@nahupuku/steemit-open-mic-semana-72-cover-de-sin-sentimiento-del-grupo-niche-nahupuku-y-valeriabandes

https://steemit.com/openmic/@nahupuku/steemit-open-mic-week-88-la-pukusalsa-original-funny-salsa-song-cancion-original

I really try to create a bizarre musical languaje :p aww thanks a lot well i try to do my best with my art here, music, poetry, my paints, tattoo, life, i try to write in a motivational way

https://steemit.com/english/@nahupuku/i-will-tell-you-my-story-of-why-i-decided-to-training-into-a-gym

Thanls a lot for your comment really make´s my day very happy! Blessings

I never leave home without my bottle of water!

I recently was introduced to a new water filter that gets water from the air, filters it, runs it through an alkalising filter and gives you alkalised air water! Can you believe it?!

It was a live demo, so I don't even have links to share. Water tasted really good too. ;)

Wow! When you find a link for that filter please do share!

I always have my water bottle with me too 😀 it's pink and I love it. Ah! The simple things in life!

XXXOOO
~T

Found it! https://mayiwaters.com/

Pink! My favourite colour!

Wow! That is so cool! Thanks for finding that link, I'm going to contact them and find out more.

Let me know how that goes!

Good post and important issue. I used to only drink distilled water because I lived in places where tap water was highly chlorinated and sometimes fluoridated and I am aware that most bottled water is poorly filtered tap water. Then my wife and I bought a Berkey filter which is amazing. Now we have very clean well water. I prefer water from a natural source with some microbial and mineral presence. When I loved in Cuba I drank the tap water immediately so that my body could adjust to it, and it did after a week or so. Thanks for a good post!

I have heard some excellent things about the Berkey filter. I need to research that more.

You are right that distilled water has certain problems in that there is no mineral content.

Glass bottled mineral water with a squirt of lemon or lime juice is also a nice change of pace with healthy benefits.

Thanks for stopping by and reminding me about the Berkey filter!
~T

The Berkey does not come with fluoride filters, fyi. Where we lived in NJ did not fluoridate. It's great for camping. You can literally pour pond scum in it and have super clean fresh tasting clear water. I have had glass bottled water that I liked. But I don't want to support any company that hoards and commodifies life's essentials anymore.

I forgot to mention a great hack if distilled water is the only water available - just add a pinch of pink Himalayan salt and voila! Instant electrolytes and minerals!

That's unfortunate about the Berkey not having a fluoride filter option. I wish our municipality didn't fluoridate. I guess I'm going to have to start a stop fluoridating lobby in my community.

Totally understand about not wishing to support those companies commodifying the essentials. I wonder if those soda fountain machines for personal use could make a decent tasting mineral water? I'll have to look into that.
~T

@movement19 I was checking the Berkey site and they do have fluoride filters available so WIN! 😀

Indeed they do. We never needed them since the county we lived in does not fluoridate. I would recommend Berkey. They also offer an optional stainless steel spout so as not to run your water through plastic.

Thanks for sharing @tamala! I often drink much more water than my friends, but I find if I drink one bottle (maybe 1 litre) that's been filtered slowly throughout the day I feel really good. Strange how the amount of water can affect your mood etc ... :)

Water is such an important thing for your health.

It is funny how just that one thing can really affect your day - your mood, energy levels and general feeling of well-being.

Thanks for stopping by!
~T

I have to agree, super important. Its remembering to drink it everyday which is my problem. My colleague constantly has to remind me to visit the water containers and drink, he's got the right idea.

I have friends just like you who just don't remember to drink enough water.

Some of them have found it helpful to start the habit of carrying a refillable bottle around with them - just makes it easier to remember when there's always water nearby.

There are some great stainless steel ones that are double walled and keep the water cool and refreshing all day. Maybe that would be an idea to jog your memory? This is the one I have, it's available in a bunch of different colors, and I love it!

In Honor of the World Cup starting tomorrow how about this?

I am grateful to nature and our public utilities for the fact that in our city you can drink tap water. Sometimes it is cleaned with chlorine, but this is very rare.

Wow! You are really lucky that you can drink your water straight out of the tap! That's excellent!

Thanks for stopping by!
~T

Very interesting topic. My husband and children drink 5 liters of water per day, we live in a tropical country.

It's interesting how much the amount needed varies by your climate.

Thanks for stopping by!
~T

I am now a good water drinker, perhaps more than I should per day, I used to be a bad water drinker, lived on Soda ( Coca Cola) and beer, but now I solely drink water

It's amazing how many people do live on soda and if they would cut out that one thing they would see some amazing health benefits.

What things did you notice when you cut out the soda and beer?

Thanks for stopping by!
In Health ~T

Well Beer i had to give up because I am on blood thinners which do not go well with Alcohol

With Soda initially I wasnt feeling as hyper as before but in general I feel better I think for giving them up

I bet your leaner now too ;)

This Fast-Reply thing looks cool!

a little bit leaner, had some issues recently and havent been walking as much as normal, but leaner still than when I started at least :)

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wow i really like this post, you're a good writer @tamala!