Water is the foundation of life. It is essential for our health and also for the health of the planet, which is over 70% water. Its cleansing and moisturizing properties aid in everything from helping plants grow to aiding digestion.
It’s no surprise that the amount of water you drink affects your health. Too much water can result in mineral imbalances, while too little water can cause dehydration, headaches or fatigue.
HOW MUCH WATER SHOULD YOU DRINK?
Bioindividuality applies not only to food, but also to the amount of water our bodies need to function properly.
On average, men should drink about 3.7 liters and women about 2.7 liters of water a day. That may sound like a lot, but this figure includes the water we get from our food, which represents about 20% of water consumed daily.
In order to satisfy individual needs, several lifestyle factors need to be taken into account. Things like diet, age, climate and health status affect your hydration needs.
For example, a diet full of fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables would be more hydrating than a diet based on packaged and processed foods. Water intake should be increased in the following situations:
- Diarrhea and vomiting
- High altitudes (above 8200 feet)
- Hot and/or humid temperatures
- Illness / fever • Increased alcohol intake
- Bladder or Urinary Tract Infections
- Pregnancy / breastfeeding
WHAT IS THE BEST TYPE OF WATER FOR ME?
There are several ways to get water and there is a lot to consider, but knowing a little about each one can help you make the best choice for you.
- Tap: Tap water is the most readily available, but not always the safest option. Some cities have very good purification systems, while others can leave traces of chlorination by-products, lead and bacteria.
- Bottled: Bottled water has become a popular option for individuals without access to safe drinking water; however, there are growing concerns about chemicals from plastic leaking into the water, as well as the environmental impact of the bottle itself.
- Filtered: Water filters can help remove contaminants when environmental toxins pose a threat to water systems. It is important to know what contaminants are present in your water in order to choose the right filter.
- Distilled: Distillation, a process that consists of boiling water and collecting its vapor, also removes impurities and toxins. However, some believe that the natural minerals in undistilled water are beneficial to our health.
- Alkaline ionized water: Water ionizers are gaining more recognition for their ability to create alkaline ionized water through electrolysis, which can have some health benefits.
No matter which water source you decide is right for you, adequate water is essential for true health. You may want to track your water intake for a day to get a sense of how much you normally consume and adjust as needed to ensure you’re getting the right amount to support your body and activity level.
TIPS TO IMPROVE WATER QUALITY
- Locate a freshwater spring in your area.
- Purchase a test kit to test the water in your home.
- Try water filters for your sink and/or water containers.
- Choose a reusable glass water bottle instead of plastic bottles.
- Consider replacing old plumbing, which can expose water to lead.
- Choose eco-friendly cleaning products.
- Avoid pouring cooking grease down the drain.
- Use only what you need – both in terms of the water you consume and the cleaning products you use.