Clean drinking water is essential to the body and adequate hydration is required to maintain mental and physical performance. Drinking water, over other beverages on the market, maintains the health of the body. It’s a proven fact that keeping our bodies hydrated can support the prevention and treatment of many health issues, including rheumatoid joint pain and arthritis, lower back pain, high levels of cholesterol, heart disease and stroke, hypertension, brain damage, depression, sleep disorders, lack of energy, attention deficit, osteoporosis, leukemia, lymphoma and scleroderma.
In fact, good hydration:
- Helps lower the risk of disease: colon cancer by up to 45%, bladder cancer by up to 50%
- Enhances mental clarity – a drop of just 2% in body water can cause short-term memory problems and significant difficulties with concentration
- Improves digestion – a digestive system without sufficient fluid can result in constipation
- Softens skin texture – the natural aging process is slowed, wrinkles become less defined and bagging skin tightens
- Improves weight control
- Enhances the ability to handle stress
- Helps reduce pain from aching joints
- Helps restore overall flexibility
- Reduces headaches
- Benefits digestion
- Helps with constipation
- Flushes out toxins & waste products
However, water deficiency can quickly lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when you don’t have enough water in your body to carry on normal functions. Chronic dehydration has been called “the hidden epidemic” and an estimated 75% of all North Americans are chronically dehydrated. Dehydration can zap your energy, make you tired, affect mental clarity, increase you risks for some types of cancer, and cause you to age more quickly. So in a nutshell, dehydration creates some very real health risks.
Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration
- Excessive thirst
- Dry mouth
- Muscle and joint pain
- Little or no urination
- Muscle weakness
Important Facts about Water
Now that we have established the importance of good hydration, we should emphasize the importance of “Healthy Hydration”. Not all sources of water are safe, and some pose a serious health risk to you and your family. It is extremely important to our health to be sure we are consuming clean water. Most municipal water systems in the U.S. were built over 60 years ago with a 50-year life and primarily use chlorination to disinfect water. Evidence suggests that the addition of chlorine to our municipal drinking water may affect our health, especially in the long-term.
- Nationally, 22% of the public water systems had violations of the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations in 2008.
- Since 2004, testing by water utilities had found 300 contaminants in the tap water Americans drink.
- The contaminants enter municipal water facilities through sewage and agricultural run-off, construction sites, urban areas, oil spills and waste from nuclear power plants.
- Every day, millions of gallons of treated and untreated sewage are discharged into the waterways of the world. This sewage contains varying concentrations of pharmaceuticals and personal care products including prescription drugs, street drugs and other common medications.
- More than half of the chemicals detected are not subject to health or safety regulations by the federal government and can legally be present in any amount.
Here is a list of just a few dangerous contaminates have been found in municipal and well water:
- Lead – High levels of lead in water have been linked to lower IQs in children, and ban be potentially lethal.
- Arsenic – The toxic chemical arsenic harms nerves, the heart, blood vessels, and skin. It has also been linked to several cancers.
- Trihalomethanes (THMs) – including chloroform – are byproducts of chlorination that are suspected of causing several cancers, including bladder cancer. THMs are added to many municipal water supplies.
- Deseases – outbreaks of diseases such as Escherichia coli (E. coli), Giardia, Legionella, Norovirus, Shigella, Campylobacter, Salmonella, Hepatitis A, and Cryptosporidium have occurred in many water systems and can cause serious health problems and death
- Fluoride – Today, most cities in the USA choose to fluoridate their municipal water. Do your research about fluoride as to whether it is something you want to consume, but many studies have correlated the consumption of fluoride with some forms of cancer.
As a result Point of Use (POU) water treatment devices are recommended by the CDC and USEPA as one treatment option for reducing risks of chemicals, contaminates, and infectious agents transmitted by drinking water. Activated carbon filters are especially good at absorbing organic material including chlorine, many of chlorine’s disinfecting byproducts, and even some microorganisms.
It is advised to be careful, when searching for an activated carbon filter, as the filter itself can become a breeding ground for microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses as it absorbs and holds them within the filter. Special EPA registered filters are made with “silver impregnated” carbon material and are designed to kill the bacteria that is absorbed into the carbon.