When we think of the term ‘back to the basics’ as it relates to health, we are talking about simplicity, uncontaminated, and uncomplicated approaches to our water, air, and food. It’s important to make healthier choices when it comes to these categories, and it’s clear that sticking to the basics can go a long way in helping your body minimize any incoming toxic load and support its ability to detoxify.
Let’s start with focusing on different types of drinking water because drinking just any old kind of water may not be what’s best for you. Here’s the facts, all water is not created equal. The Earth’s surface is 71% water. And while 97% of our water is found in the oceans and seas, only 3% is fresh water. Of this three percent, 79% is found in glaciers and ice caps, 29% in groundwater, and 1% as surface water. This means that of the total available, less than 1% is drinkable and available for human consumption.
Properly hydrating your body is important but because there are several types of drinking water—reverse osmosis, distilled, alkaline, spring, and filtered tap—drinking just any old kind of water may not be what’s best for you.
Reverse osmosis is the process of removing contaminants that are in drinking water. It works by using energy to push water through a semipermeable membrane that removes chemical contaminants and pesticides as well as sodium, chloride, copper, chromium, lead, arsenic, fluoride, radium, sulfate, calcium, magnesium, potassium, nitrate, and phosphorous as well as pharmaceutical drugs that may end up in our water system. Reverse osmosis has also been shown to remove estrogen, which ends up in the water supply due to birth control.
Distilled water is produced by boiling water, collecting the condensed steam, and turning that back into water. Distilled water removes all the chemicals, contaminants, and minerals from the water like reverse osmosis, but many people complain that it tastes flat compared to tap water or other types of water. Critics claim that this could leach important minerals like calcium from your body. Non-mineralized water tends to pull minerals from wherever it can so if you drink too much distilled water it could result in a mineral deficiency in your body as well as your teeth.
Alkaline water has a higher pH than regular tap water, which is why many claim that it can neutralize acid in the body and provide more hydration. But alkaline water is controversial because there’s very little proof that it does either of these things. Alkaline water is also often sold in plastic water bottles, which can allow chemicals to leach into the water and causes way more waste than it could ever be worth.
While you may picture spring water coming from a remote mountain brook, that could be far from the truth. Some store-bought spring water is bottled in plastic, and some aren’t filtered at all. One study done by the non-profit National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) found that the federal government hardly regulates bottled water so it’s hard to know what you’re getting. However, if you do your research and are careful about where it is sourced, spring water can contain minerals that are essential for health and still be a better option than what comes straight out of the tap.
Filtered tap water is the type of water that comes out of your water faucet. In most countries, it is usually supplied and controlled by a local government authority. It’s typically run through a carbon filter that’s usually found in refrigerators that dispense water, or in pitchers that contain a replaceable filter. Some believe it’s the safest and cheapest water available.
While you may already be aware of the unhealthy chemicals, additives, and toxic substances that lurk in sodas, energy drinks, juices, and many other drink options that have become staples of the Standard American Diet (appropriately referred to as “SAD”), it is essential to ensure that you consume adequate amounts of water throughout each and every day. To determine what amount of water is adequate for you, take half your body weight in ounces per day, minimum. For example, if you weigh 120 pounds, drink a minimum of 60 ounces of water (if you’re outside or exercising, you will need to drink more).
Sticking to the basics can go a long way in helping your body minimize any incoming toxic load and support its ability to detoxify.There are pros and cons of each type of water we’ve mentioned above as with everything, so do your research to see what’s right for you!
“Each of us deserves to have access to life-changing information and education around our most valuable asset, our health.” –Kelly Engelmann, FNP-BC, Founder, Enhanced Wellness Living