By now, I’m sure you know that drinking ten 8-ounce glasses of water a day is good for your health, and drinking less can cause dehydration and lead to common ailments such as:
- Dry, cracked skin
- Bowel problems
- Muscle pain
- Hot flashes
- Increased arthritic inflammation
What you may not know, however, is that the type of water you drink is just as, if not more important as the amount.
Is your water safe to drink, or could your favorite H2O actually be worsening your health problems? If it’s too acidic, the answer is a resounding “yes”.
Common Health Problems Caused By Acidic Water
Although the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has defined pure water as “bacteriologically safe” when its pH is between 6.5 and 8.5, research has shown that water with an acidity rating under 7.6 (the lower the number, the higher the acidic content) can contribute to and worsen health problems.
For example, an acidic body has been linked to:
- Chronic inflammation
- Mineral deficiency
- Increased risk for osteoporosis
- Reduced muscle mass
- Poor body detoxification
- Kidney stones
Types of Drinking Water Available
With so many types of drinking water available, it’s still confusing for even the most health-conscious person to find the best one.
Let’s take an in-depth look at the types of water out there.
The water that comes from your faucet is obtained from ground water or surface water. Although it is convenient to turn on the tap and fill a glass, tap water contains contaminants such as chlorine, arsenic, pesticides, lead, herbicides, and even parasites.
The only good news about drinking city water is that the contaminants contained therein are published on the EPA website. With bottled water, you never know what you’re getting.
It may surprise you to know that about 25 percent of bottled waters come from the same water supplies that flow from your household tap. Not only are you paying more for what you can get out of your own faucet, you’re taking an even bigger risk with your health. Unlike tap water, bottled water rarely has rules governing appropriate labeling.
Furthermore, according to research conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health, people who drank from polycarbonate bottles had a 69 percent increase in an endocrine-disrupting chemical called bisphenol A (BPA) in their bodies. BPA has been linked to the development of diabetes, heart disease, and liver toxicity.
Water filtered by a ceramic or reverse osmosis filter is your best option. These filters help remove contaminants and make for much safer drinking water. The downside is that a whole-house water filtration system can cost thousands of dollars to install.
Artesian water is drawn from a well where the water is brought to the surface by natural pressure or flow. This water is considered very safe to drink, although it can be a challenge to find natural sources, depending on where you’re located.
Deionized or Demineralized Water
This type of water has been neutralized of heavy metals such as cadmium, mercury, lead, barium, and some forms of radium. However, pH testing has shown that demineralized water is quite acidic, and therefore, not an ideal choice for your health.
While mineral water contains a good amount of natural minerals, drinking too much of it can be harmful, especially if you don’t have any nutrient deficiencies.
Natural Spring Water
Natural spring water is very good for you. However, in order for water to meet the proper definition of “spring water”, it must come from a location where natural forces bring it to the surface opening.
Visit www.findaspring.com to find a natural source of spring water near you.
Sparkling water is classified as a soft drink. Those with intestinal disorders and ulcers are advised to avoid it as it can cause digestive tract irritation.
Water distillation involves boiling water to vaporize it of contaminants. While it’s healthy for occasional use, those with kidney disorders, digestive disorders, or who take acid blockers should not drink this type of water.
The Only Way to Assure You’re Drinking the Best Water
The only way to really know if your drinking water is safe is to use a pH kit to test it. Your water should be 7.0 to 7.6. This is pH balanced and neutral. Anything from 1 to 6 is highly acidic and should be avoided at all costs.
While soda, tea, fruit juice, and coffee may taste good, they cannot replace precious, life-giving water. Nothing can. Your body needs it, and if you’re dehydrated or drinking the wrong type of water, your health will pay the price.
Don’t care for the taste of plain water? Add a fresh slice of organic lemon or lime. Not only will the fruit improve the taste, it will also further alkalize the water.
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Balch, Phyllis, A., CNC. Prescription for Nutritional Healing: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food Supplements (5th ed). New York: Penguin. (2010). Print.