We all know that drinking clean water is essential to a healthy lifestyle, but few people actually drink enough water to keep their body properly hydrated.
Why is drinking enough clean water so important?
Did you know that when you feel thirsty your body is already dehydrated? It is like your gas light coming on in your car after it has already been at “empty” for a while. Clean water is absolutely essential to your body’s ability to self heal, to remove toxins and filter waste from your blood, and to absorb and transport nutrients. Without enough water, your body becomes full of toxins and is unable to function properly.
With the rise of so many other beverage options, chronic dehydration is common. Many people today suffer from the effects of dehydration such as, low energy, fatigue, difficulty losing weight, nutrient deficiencies, headaches, constipation, joint pain, and dry skin. Oftentimes people do not even realize their symptoms are the result of dehydration! If you suffer from or are taking any medication for these aliments, please consider increasing your water intake.
How much water should I drink?
The number of ounces of water you need a day is roughly half of your body weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 150 lbs, 150 divided by 2 is 75, so you need around 75 ounces every day. The easiest way to make sure you are getting enough water is to buy a glass or stainless steel water bottle (not plastic!) that measures the number of ounces on the side of the bottle.
For example, if you buy a water bottle that holds 25 ounces of water, your goal will be to refill it three times every day. Sometimes rather than trying to keep track by counting, it is easier to think of it in terms of times of day such as my “morning” water, “afternoon” water, and “evening” water.
Other people like to buy a large water bottle that holds enough water for the entire day. Another way to make sure you are drinking enough water is to note the color of your urine. It should be VERY light yellow, almost clear. If it is yellow you are dehydrated, and if it is dark yellow you are severely dehydrated.
What if I have a hard time drinking enough clean water?
If you currently are not drinking half your body weight in ounces of water, the best way to start is to gradually increase your intake until your body adjusts. Otherwise, you will be taking lots of trips to the bathroom! When you gradually increase your water intake, your body will acclimate and you will not be visiting the bathroom anymore than you currently do.
Try increasing your water intake by 8 ounces a week.
For example, if you need 75 ounces and you are only drinking 25, add 8 ounces, so you are drinking 32 ounces a day for a week. By the second week, drink 40 ounces a day and so on until you reach your goal.
If you have a hard time drinking plain water, try adding a little fresh squeezed lemon juice.
If you buy bottled lemon juice, make sure it is organic and does not have any additives or preservatives. You can also add a bit of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar to your water, which is great for digestion!
DO NOT use water flavoring products, even if they are calorie free.
These are full of harmful chemicals, artificial sweeteners, and food colorings. One such product contains the following ingredients: citric acid, propylene glycol, malic acid, sucralose, acesulfame potassium, potassium citrate, Allura Red AC 40, Brilliant Blue FCF 1 and potassium sorbate.
If you are drinking water to improve your health, these products are extremely counterproductive! Also limit other beverages such a soda, juice, coffee, tea and anything else that takes the place of pure water. Do not drink distilled water as it is aggressively acidic and strips your body of important minerals.
Should I filter my water?
Making sure you are drinking clean water is very important. While tap water is required to meet certain criteria, it is best to filter your water. You can check your city’s water report online if you want to know the exact content of contaminants in the water (1), or buy a home water testing kit. Tap water can contain contaminants such as pesticides, heavy metals, herbicides, chlorine, bacteria, viruses, remnants of prescription drugs, and controversial fluoride. (2)
There are four main options for filtered clean water.
1. The first option is to buy bottled water.
Pros are that it can be convenient when you are out and about. Cons are that the plastic bottles can leach chemicals into your water, they create a lot of waste, and some bottled water is not as filtered as you might think!
2. Another option for clean water is a single loose carbon filter system such as Britta or Pur.
Pros of these filters are that they are inexpensive and can be kept in your fridge or mounted directly on to your faucet. Cons are that the carbon filter replacements are more expensive per gallon of water than other options, and there are some particles that are too small for these filters to effectively filter out.
3. Multi-stage carbon filters such as Aquasana and New Wave Enviro are arguably the best option for clean water.
These systems attach to your existing water line and have an option to go under your kitchen sink and have a separate faucet, or filter the water that comes though your current faucet. Pros are that since these filters have multiple stages of dense carbon filtration, they are extremely efficient at filtering contaminants such as lead, chlorine, asbestos, herbicides, pesticides, bacteria and more.
Other benefits are that the filters need to be replaced much less often, are less expensive per gallon of water, do not need to be constantly refilled, and don’t take up room in your fridge or on your counter. Cons are that they do need to be installed, though some companies will install them for you. They are more expensive in the beginning than single carbon filter options, and they do not filter out fluoride and some synthetic pesticides.
4. The fourth option is a Reverse Osmosis filter systems for clean water.
These filtration systems are by far the most effective filters. RO filters out EVERYTHING, which is good and bad. It is the only kind of filtration system that can remove fluoride and synthetic pesticides. The downside is that it also removes the beneficial, naturally occurring minerals in water. While some systems “re-mineralize” the water, it is an additional process. RO filters also waste about 2 to 3 gallons of water for every 1 gallon of filtered water produced. If your city’s water report is especially concerning, you may want to consider an RO system that re-mineralizes the water.
So bottle up some filtered, delicious clean water and be on your way to extraordinary health!