Healthy Drinking Water
Water is essential for the healthy function of all cells and organ systems in the body. An average person needs to drink one-half his/her body weight in ounces of clean, filtered water in order to be healthy. The type of water that is consumed is just as important as the amount.
The bottled water industry promotes bottled water as a healthy, trendy drink, ignoring the fact that it can cost 500 to 4,000 times more than tap water. The Dasani water sold in Michigan is Detroit city water, while the Propel sold is flavored water from municipal water systems in Indianapolis and New Jersey, according to company officials. One water source of Aquafina is reprocessed tap water from the Detroit River.
Both Pepsi's Aquafina or Coca-Cola's Dasani bottled water are sold in 20 ounce sizes and can be purchased from vending machines alongside soft drinks — and at the same price. When ending machine water costs $1 a bottle, the water costs 5 cents an ounce. In comparison, most municipal water costs less than 1 cent per gallon.
In the U.S., the average gasoline price per gallon is hovering around $3. There are 128 ounces in a gallon, which puts the current price of gasoline at a fraction over 2 cents an ounce. Compare this price to the 5 cents an ounce for water. This is why water is big business. There are no shortage of companies that want to get into the bottled water business to make money.
Bottled water is also costly for the environment. Only 1 in 6 or 17% of all plastic water bottles are recycled today according to The National Geographic. There are 60 million bottles thrown away daily in the USA, totaling 29 billion a year. Most bottled water is consumed away from home, usually at a park, in an office or even while driving — areas where there usually is no recycling.
Not only are plastic bottles a landfill nightmare, it takes 17 million barrels of crude oil to make these plastic bottles, not including the oil used for transportation. That’s enough oil to keep a million cars going for twelve months. Besides fuel waste, there is also water waste. It takes 3 liters of water to make 1 liter of bottled drinking water.
The production of plastic water bottles releases over 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide, a major global warming gas. The amount of energy used to bottle water, transport it, and dispose or recycle the bottles is equivalent to filling each plastic water bottle one quarter full with oil according to the Pacific Institute.
Since most bottled water is tap water, it is not as healthy as promoted. When the National Resources Defense Council tested more than 1,000 bottled waters, including103 bottled water brands, they found contamination exceeding allowable limits. At least one-third of the brands tested had bacteria, arsenic, and synthetic organics including plastic residue.
The average bottle of water sits for 3-6 months, and often up to 2 years before being purchased, allowing time for heat and age to degrade the plastic chemicals. Water stored in plastic bottles absorbs the plastic resins adding toxicity to the water. Most bottled water is acidic with a pH less than 7.
In theory, bottled water in the United States falls under the regulatory authority of the Food and Drug Administration. In practice, about 70 percent of bottled water never crosses state lines for sale, making it exempt from FDA regulations.
According to the Environmental Working Group, EWG.org, the government has not set new drinking water standards since 2001. When EWG tested water from municipal water utilities in 2004 they found 315 pollutants in the tap water Americans drink.
It is best to avoid bottled water for overall health, and to help the environment. The best solution is to drink tap water that has been filtered at home. The best home filtration systems remove the majority of the 315 contaminants including chemicals, drugs, metals, pesticides and bacteria/viruses. These systems also produce water that is anti-oxidizing, and re-structured so that it is easily absorbed by the body.
The Japanese have been drinking ionized, non-acidic, restructured water since 1965. This water is also used medically in most Japanese hospitals. Japan has a healthier population with a longer longevity compared to the U.S. due in part to their consumption of clean filtered, anti-oxidizing, non-acidic, ionized, restructured water.
Experts estimate over 75% of Americans over age 40 are chronically dehydrated, because they fail to drink sufficient water. The symptoms of dehydration include: loss of energy, fatigue, stubborn weight gain, obesity, depression, anxiety, asthma, allergies, headaches, body pain, immunity problems, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, premature aging, memory loss, difficulty sleeping, hormone imbalances and more.
In part, because of dehydration, the U.S. ranks 38 out of 40 industrialized nations with regards to health care costs and longevity. The American population uses 80% of the world’s production of drugs, but is not healthier. Only water, not drugs, can repair a body that is dehydrated according to F. Batmanghelidj, M.D. who wrote “Your Body’s Many Cries for Water”.
A healthy body is about 70% water, since every cell in the body is surrounded by water. It is very important to drink water that hydrates the body, and to include high water foods in the diet like soups, non-starchy vegetables and raw fruit. Minimize low water foods like fast food, processed foods, foods high in sugar and fat, along with cereal and breads.
The body must use its own water reserves to process any low water foods consumed. This also can contribute to dehydration. Less water in the cells directly lowers energy. For every 1% decrease of water inside the cells, cellular energy production is reduced by 10%, resulting in energy loss and fatigue.
Help the environment by not drinking bottled water. Help improve health by consuming high water foods. Daily drink between two to three liters of clean filtered, non-acidic healthy water produced by a home filtration system to improve hydration and overall health.
Copyright 2010 Dr. Carol Ann Fischer, B.S., D.C., N.D.