Water Water Quite Contrary
On my January blog, I listed drinking clean water as one of the things we can practice to improve our health. Many of you may wonder about water and if there are in fact any benefits to drinking water. There are also many opinions and contradictions about drinking bottled or tap water that can influence our choices.
This month I want to share some interesting information about water I think you will appreciate. Let's start with three questions.
How much water does the body need?
Is tap water better than bottled water?
Are we contributing to the earth’s pollution by drinking bottled water?
According to the Pacific Institute, 40% of the global population lives without soap and water available at home. Here in the United States, our reality is different. Bottled water is big business, and the evidence of its plastic containers is seen littering our streets, landscape and waterways.
We have many brands to choose from, which brings up a whole other set of questions for another day. But, for now, Yes. We should be drinking clean water, and yes, water is beneficial to our health because of its many healing properties. How much depends on many factors - your weight, your age, eating and drinking habits, and your health conditions As it relates to water, like diets, there is no “one size fits all”.
Water, like food and air, is essential for sustaining life so we need to drink enough of it to allow our body systems to function optimally. Our respiratory system’s job is to inhale and exhale. Our digestive system’s job is to ingest and eliminate. Both need good, clean water to perform these essential functions well. Our largest organ, the skin, uses water for its hydration, elasticity, and texture.
When it comes to question number two - drinking from tap or bottled - there is much “contrariness”, and I want to lean in on the “contrary” nature of it.
Tap Water versus Bottled Water
Drinking tap or bottled water is a personal choice. However, I think the more informed we are about what is in our water - bottled or tap - the better water choices we can make. Being informed of the negative impact of plastic water bottles worldwide can change our lackadaisical attitudes and make us more responsible global water consumers.
According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), water can be contaminated with pollutants such as, bacteria, parasites, pesticides, bleach, pharmaceuticals and other toxins. Heavy metals like arsenic, mercury, or lead, can enter through the plumbing system in our homes and places of work.
The EPA also says that people who consume a lot of these metals develop long-term toxicity linked with cancer, anemia, and liver, kidney, and intestinal damage. Those most at risk are adults 65 and older, anyone undergoing chemotherapy, and those immunocompromised.
The Case of Flint Michigan
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, Flint, Michigan, officials failed to take action when the residents complained about the taste and smell of their drinking water in 2014. It was later discovered that more than 100,000 people were exposed to high levels of lead that would prompt President Barack Obama to declare a federal state of emergency.
What lesson can be learned from The Case of Flint Michigan? Be aware of the smell and taste of the water you are drinking. It could save your life.
Water water is quite contrary as the above information I've shared clearly shows. But there is much more “contrariness” when we ponder on the following information from PlasticOceans.org. Food for thought indeed.
10 million tons of plastics are dumped in our oceans annually. That’s equal to more than a garage truckload every minute.
50% of all plastic produced is estimated to be for single-use purposes.
Less than 9% of all plastic gets recycled.
Humans eat up to 40 pounds of plastic in their lifetime.
“There will be more plastic in our oceans than fish by 2050” - The Ellen McCarthur Foundation.
Here are things we can do to contribute not only to our health, but to the health of Planet Earth.
Purchase a water filter, or more
Install a water ionizing machine
Use glass instead of plastic
No matter what the pros and cons, or the “contrariness” of water, water - Awareness is key.
Be Water Wise. Be Protected. Be Well.