I’m often asked, “Jennifer, what is the quickest and easiest way to get healthy?”
While technically there aren’t any shortcuts to achieving your best, long-lasting health; my answer is always, DRINK MORE WATER.
So simple, yet often overlooked.
I’m so surprised and often dumbfounded when people tell me they don’t drink water.
How do you not consume such an important element that your body is made up over 70% of and helps your body function at an optimal level?
It amazes me everytime I hear it.
But not only is drinking water and staying hydrated important for one’s health, the type of water (quality) is equally as important because not all water is created equal.
Some are loaded with pesticides and other harmful chemicals like lead and arsenic, while others strip nutrients from your body.
Some even have pharmaceutical drug residue that’s found in our water system. Yuck!
So I wanted to share with you some of the WORST and some of the BEST types of water you can consume.
Different Types of Water to Drink + Dangers & Benefits
If you weren’t aware, ALL tap water is contaminated with harmful chemicals.
As I mentioned earlier, these can include lead, arsenic, pesticides from produce, as well as residue from pharmaceutical drugs that end up in our water system.
This is why tap water is the worst water to drink.
Unless you use a filtration system and even then I don’t recommend drinking tap water because certain filters only remove certain chemicals, leaving a chance for some contaminants left behind for you to consume. Chemicals that have been linked to gut issues, brain damage, fertility issues and even cancer.
This is why I don’t use tap water to cook with and buy extra, separate water for cooking purposes.
Purified water is basically a glorified term for tap water.
Yup, you heard right. As it is with most of the bottle water on the shelves these days.
Did you know that “municipal tap water is the source for 47.8 percent of bottled water, according to the Beverage Marketing Corporation’s annual report for 2009.”???
Meaning that most purified bottled water is coming from your local treatment plants and water systems, i.e your sink and toilet.
And while some do undergo some additional treatment to remove contaminants, not all are removed and unfortunately, the FDA doesn’t require companies to disclose their source or treatment methods. Treatment methods which can include being treated with harsh chemicals which defeats the purpose.
In essence, Purified water is packaged and made pretty, but is gloried tap water and not the best option.
Distilled water consists of boiling water (which actually produces more fluoride- something you want to stay away from. More on that another time) to remove harmful impurities and toxins, but in the process, removing beneficial minerals.
Distilled water is also known to “leach important minerals like calcium from your body.” Therefore, drinking distilled water is not the best option either.
Just as with Distilled water, Reverse Osmosis removes harmful contaminants but also beneficial minerals like magnesium and calcium.
It does this through a process of using pressure to move water through specialized membranes.
It’s recommended to add mineral drops to Reverse Osmosis and Distilled water if you choose to drink them so your body is able to receive key minerals.
Spring water is as it implies. Well mostly.
Spring water is some of the best water as it is natural, clean water that is bottled at the source of a natural spring from the earth. This water contains natural minerals from the earth like calcium, magnesium and potassium.
However, as a marketing ploy, not all store-bought water labeled Spring water actually comes from a natural spring, so it’s important that you do your due diligence to authenticate the source.
Well water is similar to Spring water being that it is sourced from the earth. The difference being that a Well is underground, while a Spring runs to the top of the earth.
Both are naturally occurring and contain natural minerals, however Well water can become contaminated as well, so it’s important to test it regularly.
Mineral water is water bottled at the source of a mineral spring or underground reservoirs.
Therefore, like Spring and Well water, it does contain natural minerals our body needs such as calcium, sodium, magnesium and sulfur.
One drawback to some Mineral water brands is that they could contain high amounts of sodium. Something to look for if you’re following a low sodium diet.
Ahh, the critically acclaimed Alkaline water.
While it is a good option, it’s mostly a marketing scam and I don’t recommend drinking it on a consistent basis. This is because Alkaline water has a higher pH, with the intention to make the body more alkaline.
However, the body’s natural pH is meant to be neutral, between acidic and alkaline, which is why the optimal body pH is between 7.35-7.45.
In other words, you don’t want your body to be too acidic (home for disease) or too alkaline (nutritional imbalances) and drinking too much alkaline water can throw off your body’s natural pH levels.
In essence, you want to maintain homeostasis within the body and too much alkaline water can throw off your body’s natural pH levels.
Sparkling water is flat water infused with carbon dioxide gas under pressure.
And while Sparkling water is a great change to drinking flat water, speaking of pH levels, Sparkling water is more acidic than flat water and should be consumed sparingly.
However, it is a better alternative to sodas, so if you’re a soda drinker (btw, stop drinking soda) and need that fizz sparkling water can be a good fit for you.
Just be sure the water isn’t loaded with artificial sweeteners or preservatives which defeats the purpose.
What Water Do I Drink & Recommend?
So you may be wondering what water I drink and recommend to my clients?
Spring & Mineral water plain and simple.
It’s ethical, clean, free of toxins, you know where it comes from, how it’s been sourced, and it contains natural, healthy minerals that benefit the body.
Again, like I stated earlier, not all water is created equal and most companies aren’t always honest and transparent, and label their products for sales, not for accuracy.
So even when you choose Spring or Mineral water, be sure to check the source, the companies website and their process.
Remember, most of these companies and the government don’t have our best interest at heart, so it’s our job to investigate what we’re purchasing and putting into our bodies.
Water Drinking Guidelines
Now that you know what water you should be consuming, it’s important to know how much you should be drinking to stay hydrated.
Too much water could result in mineral imbalances, while too little could cause dehydration, headaches, or fatigue.
The 8-8oz glasses a day is an outdated recommendation just as is most of the health and nutrition recommendations.
And no, the most recent, gallon-a-day recommendation is not for everyone either.
Just as with food, everybody needs different nutrition and hydration requirements based on your age, gender, weight and physical activity.
But no need to worry, it’s really simple to come up with your personalized water requirements.
Divide Your Body Weight by 2 and that’s how many ounces of water specific to you that you should be drinking a day.
For example: 150 ÷ 2 = 75 ounces a day.
Disclaimer: like I shared in How I Reach My Daily Water Goal, you will have to use the bathroom more often, but it’s a tradeoff that’s worth it to keep your body healthy and hydrated.
Until next time!