Without water, life as we know it cannot exist. We can live longer without food than without water. The human body contains 40 to 50 quarts of water, making it the largest single element in the body. The brain is approximately 80% water and is extremely sensitive to dehydration. Water generates electrical and magnetic energy within every cell and most enzymatic and biochemical reactions depend on it.
I believe that many people are chronically dehydrated. We lose about two quarts per day through perspiration, urination and respiration. If we do not replace the water that is lost, our health will suffer. Mild dehydration, which increases with age due to declining kidney function, hormonal changes, and a loss of our sense of thirst can impair alertness, concentration and cognitive function. Other symptoms of dehydration include fatigue, weakness, delirium, muscle spasms, constipation, kidney stones and gallstones. Severe dehydration, the result of prolonged diarrhea, vomiting, intense exercise or extreme temperatures can cause kidney failure, seizures, and ultimately, death.
Dr. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj, author of Your Body’s Many Cries for Water claimed that many degenerative diseases and illnesses are the result of dehydration. He recommended drinking ½ our bodyweight each day in ounces, for example, an individual weighing 130 pounds should drink more than eight 8-ounce glasses per day. I believe that this should be revised to read “eight 8-ounce glasses of water or water containing beverages” per day. The amount of water required will be greater if you have a higher activity level (exercise, etc.), if you have a higher body muscle mass, or if the temperature in your environment is high. You can also meet some of your water requirements through diet, as vegetables and fruits have high water content.
Dr. Batmanghelidj believed that water was the most important biological element of all. Water is required for proper digestion and assimilation of food, to transport nutrients and oxygen into our cells and for the removal of cellular waste. Dr. Batmanghelidj believed that dehydration increases the body’s vulnerability to toxins that can cause or contribute to disease, and that a properly hydrated body resists the damaging effects of chemical toxins. Adequate hydration with water rich in minerals helps regulate body temperature, improves skin tone, and can prevent, help alleviate, or reduce the symptoms of migraine headaches, asthma, joint and back pain (water helps cushion the joints), hypertension, acid reflux, depression, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, and many other illnesses and diseases.
Proper hydration with pure, chemical and contaminant free mineral rich alkaline water is the least expensive, easiest and most positive lifestyle change you can make to improve your health, especially if healthful water is replacing alternative beverages. Alternative beverages include coffee, soft drinks, fruit juices, alcoholic beverages, sports drinks, and junk food drinks that are high in sugar, high fructose corn syrup, or sweetened with chemical/artificial sweeteners including aspartame, sucralose (Splenda), cyclamate, saccharin, and/or acesulfame potassium.
Water Choices: 5 Gallon Jugs, Delivered to Your Home of Office
In the past 15 years bottled water sales have grown exponentially, especially in Europe and North America. Driven by tremendous profits, bottled water companies utilize a natural resource that is virtually free and use clever advertising and designer labels to convince you that drinking their water is better for you.
In Winnipeg alone there are over 40 companies competing for your water dollars, hoping to make regular visits to your home or office to deliver 5 gallon jugs of de-mineralized water and either rent or sell you a water cooler. Most bottled water companies use reverse osmosis or steam distillation to purify and de-mineralize water (more on these technologies).
In a survey of Winnipeg, Manitoba companies selling purified water in 5 gallon jugs:
• The average cost per gallon was between $1.20 and $2.00.
• Except for two companies, all the water sold by water purification companies in Winnipeg is de-mineralized, using either reverse osmosis, or steam distillation. One company that sells spring water transports their water in large stainless steel tanks, then stores it in plastic holding tanks before it is used to fill the 5 gallon plastic jugs that are delivered to your home or office.
A World Health Organization report indicates that drinking de-mineralized water can cause a variety of adverse health effects.
Water Choices: Glass or Plastic Single-Serve (12 oz to 1 litre)
There are hundreds of companies marketing “designer” water in plastic or glass bottles, including Aquafina, Perrier, Dasani, Evian, Volvic, Poland Springs, Nestle, and the most expensive of all, BlingH20, at $40.00 US for less than a litre.
Many designer water products cost more than gasoline, and some of the most expensive are simply filtered tap water. Here are some interesting facts about bottled water:
• In a recent taste test, 75% of New York City water tasters chose tap water over expensive bottled water.
• 1/3 of the bottled water products sold, when tested, exceeded industry standards for bacteria and arsenic.
• In the United States there are no regulations for bottled water quality if the water is sold in the same state in which it is produced.
• Fiji, a bottled water from an Artesian well in Japan, sells for over $12.00 per gallon. One third of the population in Fiji does not have safe, reliable drinking water.
• BlingH20 sells for $40.00 US for a 25 ounce (750ml) bottle, or about $200.00 per gallon. BlingH20 is from Tennessee.
• A Toronto Star article in November 2007 suggests that the bottled water industry is one of the least regulated industries in the country.
• Approximately 80% of water bottles are not recycled. Two out of ten plastic water bottles are recycled in the U.S.
• 38 billion plastic bottles are disposed of in landfills every year, the equivalent of 50 million barrels of oil per year, leaving an enormous carbon footprint.
• Approximately 18 million barrels of crude oil were used in 2005 to replace the 2 million tons of plastic bottles that were wasted instead of recycled. This represents enough fuel to run a million cars for a year.
• The manufacturing process to produce a plastic water bottle, cap and packaging consumes twice as much water as is contained in the final bottle of water.
• Over $100 billion dollars annually are spent worldwide for water that may not be purer than municipal tap water, and in many cases, may have higher levels of bacteria and contaminants.
• 20% of Canadians and Americans now use only bottled water for daily hydration.
• Chemicals from phthalates, known to disrupt testosterone and other hormones can leach into water stored in plastic bottles. There are regulatory standards limiting phthalates in tap water, but there are no legal limits for phthalates in bottled water.
• High levels of antimony, a cancer causing heavy metal, have been found in water that is stored in plastic bottles at room temperature for six months. Antimony is a catalyst used in the production of plastic water bottles.
OPUS Healthy Water Systems – Economical, Healthful, Better Tasting, Green
• While bottled water is superior to alternative beverages, and traditional chlorinated and fluoridated tap water, studies have proven that de-mineralized water increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, goiter, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, gastric and duodenal ulcers, chronic gastritis, cholecystitis, osteoporosis/osteopenia, and nephritis.
• Installing a water purification system that retains or adds minerals while removing contaminants including fluoride provides superior water quality, is eco-friendly and health enhancing.
• With a water purification system and a safe, refillable drinking bottle you can have health promoting mineral-rich alkaline water on the go for a fraction of the cost of bottled water.
• I recommend reusable ceramic lined or glass water bottles that can be washed or sterilized, and continually re-filled with alkaline, mineral rich, contaminant-free water.
• Many health professionals believe that increasing alkalinity in the body brings many health benefits, potentially lowering the risk of disease and slowing down the aging process. This can be accomplished by consuming primarily plant foods, avoiding acid forming foods (dairy, sugar, white flour, carbonated soft drinks, refined foods) and drinking alkaline water.
• OPUS Healthy Water Systems include many models, including: The Advantage, which removes all chemicals, contaminants, heavy metals, chlorine, and fluoride, while retaining healthful minerals; The Freedom, which has all the features of the Advantage, but lacks the fluoride filtration component, and is designed for municipalities that do not fluoridate drinking water; The AlkaPlus model, which adds additional healthful minerals including calcium, magnesium and potassium, increases alkalinity, and lowers the oxidation reduction potential, transforming ordinary tap water into alkaline antioxidant water; and the CottagePure, which is designed for lake or well water, with germicidal ultraviolet sterilization to kill bacteria and microorganisms.
• For those who cannot install a permanent, plumbed in water purification system, OPUS offers the Integrity Dual and the Integrity Triple, which are two and three-stage countertop filtration systems that connect directly to a standard faucet using a diverter. These systems offer fluoride filtration and .5 micron carbon block technologies to remove fluoride, lead, mercury, chlorine, MTBE, VOCs, heavy metals and more, for great tasting water that maintains the pH levels of the water entering the system.
• OPUS Healthy Water Systems can be easily customized. All OPUS systems can have the ultraviolet sterilization (UVG) or ceramic filter added to ensure your water is microbiologically safe, and a chloramine filter option is available for municipal water supplies that use chloramines.
• OPUS Healthy Water Systems include point of entry (POE) systems that filter all the water in your home, however POE systems cannot filter the water as effectively as point of use (POU) drinking water systems, and whole house filtration systems cannot remove fluoride. We recommend a quality drinking water system even if you have installed a POE whole house system.