Water Filters

Do you know how important water is? That's right, pretty darn important.

In fact, the human body is made up of better than 70% water. That's a lot. It should serve to remind us that water is vitally important to our wellbeing. We need to continually replenish our water supply to meet the demands of many normal functions.

Notice that I said water, not just fluids and certainly not soda or coffee. The best fluid you can possibly drink is water and the purer that water the better for your health. Don't be misled into thinking so-called 'health drinks' are better. They may use clever advertising and have seemingly credible endorsements, but the fact is that the greater the departure from pure water the less good for you it will be.

There are exceptions to this rule in some very limited cases. Such cases should be managed on an individual basis by a qualified health professional (and not some well-meaning but ill advised coach). There is certainly no justification for the mass marketed 'sports drinks' that claim to replenish electrolytes and minerals. They are all about making money and not about promoting health.

Drinking enough water is about maintaining proper hydration. This is a daily balancing act, as water is lost from our bodies constantly. We lose water:

  • by breathing (just go and breath on a mirror - that fog is water being lost from your body),
  • through production of urine which we pass from the body,
  • in feces which we expel from the body,
  • as perspiration, and
  • in other minor ways we just call insensible losses.

All of those losses must be adjusted for to maintain balanced hydration.


Mistake to Drink Only When Thirsty

People commonly say they only drink when they are thirsty. That's a big mistake. It may be good advice to only eat when you have a good appetite and are feeling hungry but the same does not apply to drinking. The reason is that our thirst drive only triggers when we are already significantly dehydrated. We appear to be programmed as though we are smart enough to drink regularly. So make sure you do; waiting to feel thirsty is too late.


Many Functions of Water

So I guess you have felt thirsty before and now perhaps you're wondering why that degree of dehydration is something to avoid. Let's consider some of the systems in your body that will experience stress and less effective performance when running a little on the dry side. Here are several reasons for keeping properly hydrated based on the functions of water.

1. Flushing toxins from your body. Water is largely responsible for internal flushing of waste right from the cellular level. Failing to flush effectively places strain on the cells and a concentrated burden on your kidneys and liver.

2. Staying regular without straining. Water helps prevent constipation. It adds lubrication to the colon and bulk to stools, making bowel movements softer and easier to pass while supporting colon health which reduces toxification.

3. Regulating your body temperature. Perspiration is your body's natural mechanism for controlling body temperature. You need plenty of water to sweat effectively, especially without causing dehydration.

4. Reducing your risk of a heart attack. Researchers at Loma Linda University in California studied more than 20,000 healthy adults and found that people who drink more than five glasses of water a day were less likely to die from a heart attack or heart disease than those who drank fewer than two glasses a day. Dehydration makes the blood more sticky and therefore harder for your heart to pump around your body. This also makes it more likely to clot. A low volume of sticky blood does not make it easy to properly perfuse all of your tissues and in cases of existing heart disease this can be very dangerous as heart cells become deprived of sufficient blood flow.

5. Staying alert and mentally productive. Even minor dehydration can cause impaired concentration, irritability, fatigue and headaches.

6. Reducing your risk of disease and infection. Proper hydration can help prevent kidney stones and reduce your chances of getting bladder, kidney, and urinary tract infections. One study found that women who drank more than five glasses of water a day had a risk of colon cancer that was 45 percent less than those who drank two or fewer glasses a day.

7. Cushioning and lubricating your joints and muscles. Water makes up a large part of the fluid that lubricates and cushions your joints and muscles. Not only drinking water but timing it before, during, and after exercise can also help reduce muscle cramping and premature fatigue.

8. Maintaining healthy skin. Drinking water moisturizes your skin from the inside out (always the best route to skin care!). Water is essential to maintaining elasticity and suppleness and helps prevent dryness. Healthy skin provides a natural beauty that cosmetics and cover-ups can't match.

9. Reducing congestion. Not only the blood thickens when dehydration occurs. All of your mucus membranes also thicken and cause congestion.

10. Moderating hunger and eating to control weight. Increased water consumption can help you control weight by preventing you from confusing hunger with thirst. Proper hydration will also keep your body systems working properly, including metabolism and digestion, and help meet your needs for engaging in healthy exercise, all of which are important for weight control.

So let's agree that drinking plenty of water each day is important for healthy function. But how much is plenty, on average?


How Much to Drink

This is actually more difficult than it sounds. The amount an individual needs varies greatly and reflects many different factors. Some of these include:  size (or weight), activity levels, environmental temperature and humidity, existing health status and fitness level. Nevertheless, most authorities recommend that adults consume 8 to 10 (eight-fluid-ounce) glasses of water per day. That equates at 224 ml per glass or 1792 ml to 2240 ml per day (say about 1.75 to 2.25 liters).

Again, note that this is water. Those who tell you that a cup of coffee counts the same as a glass of water are quite wrong. Coffee is a diuretic and causes you to lose water. It also contains toxic substances that need to be flushed from your body, consuming even more water. So avoid the coffee and caffeinated beverages but if you do have them, drink additional water to compensate. What's that? You'll be in the rest room all day! Well, I told you to avoid the coffee!

I don't recommend going overboard and constantly over-hydrating yourself. Many people who are not used to drinking enough may find roughly 2 liters of water per day to be close to drowning and won't believe my last statement. The trick is to work up to that quantity gradually by increasing your intake by a couple of glasses every two or three days until you become comfortable at the target quantity. It will soon become quite a normal volume for you and you'll begin to notice the benefits over time.

Some people of course must follow a fluid intake restriction imposed by their health care provider in response to some disease. Common diseases requiring restrictions are advanced kidney disease and heart disease (usually heart failure and some cases of hypertension). Following those requirements can be very important indeed so don't increase your fluid intake against such advice. However, it may be beneficial to ensure that you drink the full amount of your daily restricted amount for the reasons outlined above.


Water Quality Does Matter

Alright, we've considered the quantity of water to drink, what about the quality? This is a very important consideration. Take just the cleansing, flushing and detoxification roles and water quality is obviously significant. After all, we don't wash things with dirty water and expect them to be clean. In essentially the same way, it is not appropriate to consume water that contains toxic contaminants. Doing so adds to the burden of cleansing and may also cause related health problems. For instance, drinking tap water that is carried through some old metal pipes can result in lead poisoning.

Water Standards Commonly Poor

Indeed domestic tap water for human consumption is frequently not as safe as people tend to assume. In September 2006 in The Health Gazette I reported on Contaminants Found in US Drinking Water. There is a useful link in that article to water standards data for many places in the US.

Water is commonly affected by the presence of assorted contaminants. By 'affected' I mean it looks, tastes or smells less than ideal or it passes those tests but still contains dissolved substances or microscopic organisms that cause health concerns. The water may have suspended particulate matter that sediments on standing, discoloration, unpleasant odor or taste and still be considered fit for drinking by many authorities.

Indeed one of the water treatment favorites in common use is the highly toxic substance chlorine. The chloramines in drinking water are sometimes so plentiful that tap water smells like chlorine from right across a room. Chlorine also causes drinking water to have an unpleasant taste and it has been linked to cancer and heart disease.

Even worse is the cocktail of heavy metals and dissolved solids that can be found in your water supply. Combinations of aluminium, lead, arsenic, mercury, sulphates, nitrates, lime and other compounds can be present. These do not make a health drink!

Similarly, the presence of chemical residues can make your drinking water sound like a school chemistry experiment. The use of chlorine as a sterilizing agent results in derivative chemicals like chloroform and trichlormethane. Other chemicals come from fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides and other industrial run-off contamination of water catchments. A worrying trend is to discover a range of hormones and pharmaceutical drugs in water supplies.

In their wisdom, or lack of it, water authorities also sometimes deliberately contaminate water supplies 'for your own good'. A classic example is the practice of fluoridation. Some jurisdictions pass laws to mandate fluoridation while others make the practice illegal. Whatever the possible benefits, there is no doubt at all that fluoride is a dangerous toxin. As reported in The Health Gazette in 2006, Even the prestigious National Academy of Sciences (NAS) concluded that the current allowable level of fluoride in tap water is not protective of the public health and should be lowered, citing serious concerns about bone fractures and dental fluorosis.

Then there are the bugs Cryptosporidium and Giardia. These protozoan cysts are resistant to the traditional chlorine disinfection, are not killed by ultra violet sterilisation, and may well be in our water supplies from time to time. Symptoms of infection are stomach cramps, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting and headaches, which can last up to two weeks. Crytosporidium and Giardia can be removed from water by ultra fine carbon filtration.

Finally, there are bacteria. Those that survive the chlorine can survive the supply system right through to your glass.

As you can see, there are plenty of things that can render your simple glass of water, or food and drinks prepared with it, quite dangerous. One person told me this was enough to justify living on sodas but he was very much mistaken. First, there is mounting evidence that the water used by soda bottlers and aspects of their processing also result in contamination. (No, you cannot put your faith in the EPA.) In addition, the carbonation speeds calcium loss from your body (hastening osteoporosis) and other additives or ingredients can also be quite detrimental to health.


Benefits of Pure Water

Of course these problems need not deter us from ensuring we drink plenty of water. There are simple solutions in the form of water purification. Many filtration and other treatment methods exist. Portability has been solved ensuring that clean, healthy water can be to hand when you need it. Properly filtered water is a huge boon to your health, ensuring that all of those functions mentioned above can be conducted effectively.

Another set of benefits might be thought of as lifestyle related. Foods and drinks prepared with pure water have a taste quality that far exceeds those with typical tap water. This is how it should be, with health-producing pure water actually tasting great. Whoever said you need a spoonful of sugar to make the medicine go down didn't follow Hippocrates' injunction to 'let they food be they medicine and thy medicine be thy food'.



So what exactly can you do? That's simple, start using a good quality water filter or water purification system.

There are many available these days. You can basically convert your entire domestic water supply or any part of it. A common practice is to ensure a safe supply of drinking water by using a suitable device near the kitchen sink.

Another important move is to ensure a quality supply of portable drinking water. Simple bottled water is not a good idea. The evidence shows that a lot of bottled water is just plain tap water while some is actually worse. Some is good quality but unreliably so and then there is the problem of high cost.

My view is that you need to be able to afford to adopt health measures long-term. Quitting on your health because it costs too much is a tragic miscalculation of vales but there is no sense in risking this by spending too much when it is not helpful or even necessary.

If you live in North America excellent value and quality can be obtained from Aquasana. You may now be able to secure a 20% discount on their great products by clicking on the image below.





The foundation of your health must consist of eliminating toxins, following a healthy lifestyle and eating well, as explained in Volume 1 of Safe Colon Cleansing Your Good Health Guide.

Remember that good, healthy food can also look, smell and taste great! And it need not be expensive. See Dr Jenny Tylee's tips and hundreds of recipes in Volume 2 of Safe Colon Cleansing Your Good Health Guide.Safe Colon Cleansing Vol 2