All parts of our bodies contain water. It makes up 85 per cent of your brain, 83 per cent of your blood, 70 per cent of your muscles, even 22 per cent of your bones and 2 per cent of your tooth enamel. All that liquid is there for a reason. Its used in every system in the body and, for example, helps flush toxins out of organs, carries nutrients to cells and provides the moisture for ear, nose and throat tissues.
We urinate about 1.5 litres a day, and lose another litre of our bodys water through sweating and breathing. It just makes sense that we need to replenish all that liquid throughout the day by drinking.
And eating. Most people get about 20 per cent of their water needs through the foods they eat. If you eat a lot of fruits and vegetables 100 g of tomato contains more water than 100 ml of cola and foods like soup, youll get even more liquid that way.
Every day, you need to drink water to rehydrate your body. The average male needs just shy of 3 litres of liquid a day, while the average female needs just over 2 litres.
But there reasons you may need to vary how much water you take in daily. Water helps you regulate your body temperature, so youll need extra if you have a fever. Certain medications can dehydrate you. As does being physically active or being out in the sun (in both cases you sweat more and lose water by evaporation through the skin). Pregnant women need more water, and women who are breastfeeding do too.
Most drinks will hydrate you. However, regular soft drinks and alcohol contain a lot of sugar, more than 150 calories per serving and have no nutritional value. Diet pop contains artificial sweeteners, which have been associated with health concerns. Some studies even show drinking them can be linked to obesity. Fruit juices are a healthier choice, but they also contain calories. Caffeinated drinks and alcohols are diuretics, which can make you lose water, instead of fully hydrating you. Water is one of the healthiest choices for hydrating you without adding extra calories to your diet.
We can live a month without food, but only a week without water.
If youre getting enough water, you should be urinating one to two litres of pale yellow urine a day. When you feel thirsty, thats a sign youre already slightly dehydrated.
Losing as little as one to two per cent of your body weight in water can leave you feeling tired, is proven to impact physical performance in sporting activities and makes it difficult for you to concentrate and to regulate your body temperature. Mild dehydration is not serious and can be easily remedied by having a drink. However, losing a lot of water (about 10% of your body weight) can be life-threatening, particularly for the elderly and the very young.
In its natural state, fresh water typically contains trace amounts of a wide range of minerals. These include magnesium, calcium, potassium, chloride and sulfate. You need these minerals to help your body function properly. While you get some of them from food as well, minerals in our water do contribute to overall good health.
As well, specific levels of naturally occurring minerals give each water its unique taste. Water that has had all its minerals removed either by distillation, deionization or reverse osmosis can taste flat and empty. Some doctors dont recommend drinking this type of water regularly because it is unwise to overly dilute the bodys natural level of minerals.
Many bottled water companies that use processes that remove minerals from water during purification will put some minerals back to help with taste. Remineralization, however, does not return water back to its natural state. In nature, minerals absorb into water underground over years. When minerals formulated in labs are put back in artificially, they may not fully dissolve, so our bodies cant properly absorb them. As well, the taste doesnt always return to normal.
The pH level of water measures how acidic it is. (pH stands for potential hydrogen, referring to how much hydrogen is mixed with the water.) 7 is a balanced pH for water. Anything below 7 indicates the water is acidic, and if its above 7 it is alkaline.
Minerals in water dont just add to its taste and healthfulness, but they have a huge impact on the waters pH.
This matters because the human body has a natural pH of 7.4. It needs this pH level to run efficiently and always seeks to return to this state when, for whatever reason, it becomes overly acidic or alkaline. Drinking acidic water water that has been sapped of its natural minerals or contains chlorine, sulfates or nitrates and eating acidic foods can temporarily take the body out of balance.
Drinking more alkaline water can help the body restore this balance. An excess of acid in the body has been associated with weakening the immune system. In the effort to restore acid balance, the body can also deplete critical minerals and store acid in unwanted places like muscles and fat.
In addition, drinking more alkaline water will make your dentist happy, as acidity from beverages is a leading cause of tooth decay.
You can test your tap water or bottled water by using pH test paper, which you can buy in health food stores, some grocery stores and online. Generally, youll find heavily purified waters even those that have been remineralized will have a pH under 7. Waters taken from underground sources and not chemically treated or physically modified should have a pH between 7.2 to 7.8, the ideal range for good health. With a pH of 7.8, ESKA is one of the most alkaline natural spring waters available. Evian, by contrast, is 7.2 and Fiji is 7.5 both still good waters.
When water be it from a spring or a municipal water source gets chemically purified, it can, on rare occasions, develop cancer-causing bromate. When water is exposed to ozone or chlorine during purification, the naturally occurring bromide in the water can turn into bromate.
In 2006, numerous spring water brands were pulled off the shelves across the US because they were found to contain higher-than-acceptable levels of bromate. The water all came from Springbrook Springs in Concord, New York. There was no immediate health risk, but a worry that exposure to bromate could increase cancer risk over the long term.
Bottled water companies try to prevent bromate contamination by monitoring the purification process and frequently testing the water.
To avoid the risk of bromate altogether, drink bottled water that does not require ozonation because it is bottled directly from the source. ESKA is bottled straight from the source without ozonation, avoiding bromate contamination risk.
In Canada, both drinking water from the tap and bottled water sold on store shelves are subject to their own federal government regulations. Most of the time, these waters are safe.
There have been isolated incidents where tap water and bottled water have been contaminated with bacteria or other toxic materials, some of which can be very serious. But most of the time, frequent testing and stringent laws do work. However, while most waters are safe, some waters are healthier than others.