By: Zach Columbia BS NASM FPT
A clean water source is necessary for life. In the United States, we don’t give much thought to clean water, outside of maybe tap vs filtered. While the percentage varies a little based on each individual, water makes up 65-75% of everyone’s body. 65-75% is pretty significant, so don’t you think we should consider the source of what most of our bodies are made up of? The reality is, not all water is created equal and water can be a lot more than just water. More importantly, what’s in your water can dramatically help or hurt your health.
In other parts of the world, people are concerned about harmful bacteria, viruses and diseases that they can contract from drinking unclean water. Here in the U.S. that’s not even on our radar. However, we should still be thinking about our water. Before water comes out of our faucets, it’s treated with numerous chemicals, including chlorine and fluoride and contains many other toxins like heavy metals and ammonia. Our water is also contaminated with pharmaceuticals that have been flushed down the toilet and aren’t entirely eliminated during the treatment process.
Now, you’re probably thinking you’re good to go, because you don’t drink water right out of the tap. That’s good to hear, but just as a side note, think about when you take a hot shower. The heat opens your pores and the water landing on your skin is being absorbed into your body. Filtered water is definitely a better option for drinking because it eliminates most if not all of the harmful contaminants. You can even get a filter for your entire house, not just your drinking water that helps filter the water you shower and brush your teeth with. Unfortunately, filtered water also has its drawbacks.
While the filtration process helps remove harmful contaminants, it also removes all the minerals as well. That’s right! Water is not just water. Water is filled with dissolved minerals like sodium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and calcium. Water actually has a rating system known as Total Dissolved Solids or TDS. The TDS of water depends on the source and different geological structures produce different types of water, each with a different makeup, taste, and health benefits.
Another downside to filtered water, is that water attracts and attaches to those same minerals. That means that when you drink filtered water, it’s going to attach itself to the minerals already in your body and remove them from your body when you sweat or urinate. Obviously reducing the minerals in your body is not a good thing, but that’s what happens when you drink filtered water.
What about that stylish water bottle with the image of a beautiful mountain range on it that you paid $2.50 for? That water has to be the purest and healthiest right? Independent researchers have found that many of the major bottled water brands contain nothing more than traditional tap water in them.
So which should you choose, tap or filtered? The answer is neither. The best option is mineral water. Mineral water is natural water taken right from the source. It is what most people think is in their Dysani bottle. Unfortunately, few of us have the option of drinking and using water right as it comes out of the ground. For us, there are several healthy options like purchasing a water filtration system that alkalizes the water and adds minerals back in after all the dissolved ingredients have been removed. Another option is to purchase a trace mineral supplement that you can add to filtered water. That worst option is to drink tap water, because you really have no idea what you’re putting into your body. It’s definitely more than just water though.