What did you drink today?

The importance of being properly hydrated is nothing new and it is applicable to children, adults and elderly.  Smaller the child, more water her or his body contains and accordingly is more affected by inadequate water intake.  For active adults, it is imperative to stay properly hydrated to keep our energy and brain function at a optimal level.  As we get older, the water content in our bodies decreases and we become more susceptible to dehydration with age.  However, one fact that we often tend to dismiss is the quality of the water we drink: given that we drink in average 700 litres of water a year, what we put through our body is extremely important.  Biologically pure, well balanced spring or mineral water that naturally contains beneficial minerals and electrolytes is a perfect choice of water for everyday drinking.  

Flat or Sparkly?

The choice is really personal.  Although the carbonated water is slightly more acidic that the original water that was put through the carbonation process, it is not a general rule of thumb that every carbonated water is more acidic than the flat.  There are many bottled water products on the market that are not carbonated but still quite acidic.  Some people are very sensitive to the carbonation, but for some, the bubbles help with digestion.  Zivi provides a lightly carbonated option, which contains very small and light bubbles.

Don't dry out in winter!

In winter months, staying properly hydrated is maybe even more important than in the summer, as hydration affects the metabolism and circulation, which keep us warm.  Summer heat reminds us that we need to drink, but when the temperatures drop, we sweat less, and feel like we don’t need to drink that much.  The opposite is true.  Our bodies during cold days have to deal with more frequent and more drastic changes in temperatures and increased attacks of viruses and bacteria.  Being mindful of staying hydrated can make a huge difference of staying healthy in cold!

We asked a doctor...

We asked Dr. Michelle Basu Roy, a board certified Naturopathic Doctor, trained Osteopath, and an accomplished crossfit athlete: what water do you recommend to your patients?    I always recommend that my clients avoid drinking tap water on a regular basis.  Tap water can contain various toxins, including for example metabolites from antidepressants and birth control.  When we use similar drugs and chemicals, toxic metabolites leave our bodies through urine and can get into the water supply. These toxins are not necessarily removed by chlorination and other processing.  One option is to use reverse osmosis filtration to get rid of all the potential chemicals; however, this process also removes all beneficial minerals.  If my clients have access to good quality natural spring water containing trace minerals, I always recommend it as the best option.

Facts about boiling and filtering water

Many harmful substances, such as chlorine and nitrates, cannot be removed by boiling

Chlorine is added to the municipal water supply to kill bacteria and make it safe to drink.  Chlorine evaporates so it might seem that it should be possible to remove it completely by boiling.  However, studies have shown that the boiling does not always remove all the chlorine and the harmful byproducts of chlorination found in the chlorinated water.  The concentration of such substances could actually increase if the water is boiled uncovered.  As to the nitrates, they may be carried to our water supply by rain, irrigation and other surface waters through the soil into groundwater when nitrogen fertilizers are used to enrich soils.  They behave similarly and the concentration in the water increases with boiling.

Using carbon filters (such as Brita) does not remove fluoride and harmful chemicals from the water

Filters, as their name implies, filter out certain substances from the water.  The common misconception is that the carbon filters commonly available on the market such as most refrigerator filters and countertop filters remove all minerals and impurities from the water.  However, such filters only take out some components of disinfection substances such as chlorine. For example, Brita pitcher & dispenser water filters reduce chlorine (taste and odour), copper, mercury, cadmium, zinc and particulates. The minerals such as fluoride and lead, pesticides and all byproducts of disinfection are not removed by carbon filters.

Reverse osmosis and distilled water are stripped of all beneficial minerals 

Reverse Osmosis removes virtually all minerals from the water, including the beneficial minerals such as calcium and magnesium that are crucial for baby’s heart, muscles, and nerves to develop and grow stronger and help supporting the immune system of the mom and the baby. In addition, the reverse osmosis water can have a slightly lower than normal pH level (neutral is pH 7), which makes it more acidic.  Distilled water, similar to reverse osmosis water, is stripped of all essential minerals commonly occurring in the nature. The distilled water is also quite acidic, with the pH between 5.6 and 6 because carbon dioxide in the air easily dissolves in the water.  There is some controversy as to whether it is harmful to consume large amounts of distilled water. Some research suggests that although distilled water is helpful in eliminating toxins when one drinks distilled water for short periods of time, longer one drinks distilled water, the more likely the development of mineral deficiencies and an unhealthy acid state. A pure natural spring water is healthier than processed water striped of all minerals.