It’s the number one recommendation by health professionals, the benefits are plastered all over health magazines and its something that all my patients self confess they need to improve on... the consumption of clean water.
Ok, so you’ve been told to get your 8 glasses in a day to support your body’s hydration levels, but does your water really give you something to splash about? There is a catch... your water source must be clean!
Living in Adelaide, a city renowned for its terrible water quality, you will rarely catch me drinking unfiltered water from the tap.
I am well aware of the importance of gaining a clean water source, but among all of the marketing claims, it can become tricky to really know where to spend your money when it comes to safe proofing your water supplies.
Why is it such a big deal you ask?
Copper, Lead and Plastic.
Very old homes included lead pipes and lead painted roofs, which would potentially wash into the home water tank supply. Dated homes also contain copper piping, as it is an easy metal to work with (to bend and weld) and has a resistance against rust. Over the years we have become more informed about copper toxicity and therefore new homes are now replaced with a cheaper plastic material polyvinyl chloride (however this introduces another health issue again).
Levels of copper, lead and contaminants from plastic materials can consequently be absorbed through the skin and consumed orally, with daily tap water use.
Fluoride and chloride.
Chloride is added into our water supplies, in an effort to kill off any nasties (such as bacteria and parasites) and Fluoride added to supposedly prevent the incidence of tooth decays in the community. Unfortunately these additions are toxins to the body, and are linked to many side effects and health conditions.
“..chlorine is one of the major causes of the loss of probiotics in our body... it has also been shown to create free radicals, which may increase vulnerability to cancers, increase ageing, destroy essential fatty acids and hinder cholesterol metabolism.” Dr Brett Hill explains in his book ‘How To Eat an Elephant‘.
Chlorine can also react with organic material to create disinfection products (DBP’s), a much greater toxin than chlorine. You may have heard about Trihalomethanes (THMs), a DBP linked to reproductive problems, miscarriages, bladder and rectal cancer. (1) According to Dr Joseph Mercola, they can also weaken your immune system, disrupt your central nervous system, damage your cardiovascular system, disrupt your renal system and cause respiratory problems.
‘..Flurodide can naturally be present in water supplies in the form of Calcium Fluoride, however this is not the fluoride that is added to our water supply. Ninety percent of what is added is solicofluoride, which is up to 85 times more toxic than the naturally occurring form. ” Dr Brett Hill explains in his book ‘How To Eat an Elephant‘.
The type of fluoride added to our water supplies is actually a cheap byproduct of phosphate fertiliser, aluminium and steel production.
Fluoride has been linked to poor thyroid function, arthritis, bone cancer, lower IQ and osteoporosis (2). Beneficial for our teeth, or an easy way for the industry to deal with a toxin that would otherwise be an expense to safely dispose of?! Check out this video and you be the judge.
Hexavalent Chromium (Chromium-6).
Do you remember the Julia Roberts flick ‘Erin Brockovich, exposing the true story of the fatal cancer causing exposure of Chromium-6, to many American families? The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that it is “likely to be carcinogenic”. Chromium-6 can naturally reach groundwater from the erosion of soil and rock, but is also a pollutant produced from steel and pulp mills, metal plating and leather tanning procedures.
How to source clean water?
Source spring water.
Spring water is my top pick when it comes to drinking water. It is naturally filtered by the earth and is ‘living water’. You can find springs all over the world through Find A Spring website.
Leave the bottled water on the shelf.
Bottled water will contain residues of plastic chemicals. The bottles with number 7 contain the harmful endocrine disrupting chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) and other health damaging chemicals are found in containers with a number 1, 3 and 6. You will find these numbers within the recycling triangle on the bottom of plastic containers. Even if they do not fall into the above categories, all plastic bottles contain chemicals which can leach into your water. Not to mention how damaging plastic bottles are for our environment. According to the Container Recycling Institute, in the U.S. alone, more than 67 million plastic water bottles are discarded each day! If you must buy water, get it in the casks or better still, glass.
Use a filter.
If spring water is not an option for you, the next best is to install a quality water filter in your home. There are many different filtration systems available, all at varying prices and efficiency.
The musts when finding a filter are:
a) the removal of the contaminants listed above.
b) Avoid affecting the structure of the water and the removal of beneficial minerals. Health guru David Wolfe is not a fan of the reverse osmosis (RO) water filtration system for this reason.
He discussed in his latest Australian tour how it strips the water of beneficial minerals and therefore damages the water. If you already have a RO system, be sure to opt to re-mineralise the water and boost your daily mineral intake through a nutrient rich diet.
I prefer these options:
• Grander Water Filter for the home. Based on 40 years of research, the philosophy of the Grander water, is that it duplicates the hydro-logical system, that naturally helps to clean our water. The sun will evaporate waste water into the atmophere and return it clean. This works by the energy of the sun restructuring the water to therefore make oxygen more available. The Grander system does this on a much greater scale, producing a permanent restructured water, which is high in detoxifying aerobic bacteria, is hydrating and energising for the body. For removal of Fluroide, ask for the combination of Grander with the ‘fluoride removal filter’. Learn more about why this is my first choice water filter here and chat to the informative Grander guys here.
• Dr Joseph Mercolas Water Filters for the home. These won’t however remove Fluoride and will affect the energy of the water.
• Use Aquasil (3% food grade Hydrogen Peroxide) in baths and foot baths, for the removal of potentially harmful chlorine residue.
Don’t buy into Alkaline Water or Distilled Water claims.
When you drink alkaline water regularly, you can disrupt the crucial acidic environment of your stomach. When acidity levels are lowered (higher pH in the stomach), this encourages an environment where bacterial, fungal and parasitic infections can flourish and the digestion of proteins and absorption of crucial minerals is affected. Dr Joseph Mercola states that ‘ideally your water should be anywhere between 6.5-7.5’, which is neutral pH.
Distilled water is that which has been stripped of all minerals and dissolved particles. It is effective at binding to and eliminating toxins from the body, therefore beneficial with short term consumption of no more than 2 weeks. However I do not recommend drinking distilled water on a long term basis, as it can lead to mineral deficiencies in the body. It is also too acidic for the body.
Studies have shown calcium and magnesium depleted water (such as distilled water) can lead to many health conditions, including Cardiovascular disease, Higher risk of bone fracture in children, Neurodegenerative diseases, Motor neuronal diseases, Pre-term births, low birth weights, and preeclampsia, Various types of cancer, Increased risk of “sudden death”, Acute magnesium and calcium deficiency, weakness, fatigue and muscle cramping. (3) Demineralised distilled water will also leach any contaminants out of the container which it is stored in.
Don’t over do your water intake.
Too much water can actually lead to a depletion in beneficial electrolytes. Those with adrenal gland imbalance need to be careful, as too much water, together with a lack of quality sodium, can exacerbate their condition of fatigue.
A good rule, is to check out your urine colour. With exception when taking B vitamins, it should be clear in colour. If not, you should up your intake over the day. Additionally, it is important to not drink fluids around meal time. Too much water can also increase your stomach pH levels and therefore disrupt digestion.
Store your water in glass or ceramic.
As discussed above, water can leach contaminants from the container it is stored in. Glass and ceramic are toxin free, keep our water cool and will not affect the magnetism of your water. Ditch your plastic water bottles, cups and jugs and swap to either ceramic, glass or a quality stainless steel. Blue glass has the extra benefit of helping to enhance the energy of the water.
Support your detox organs.
Even after doing everything in your control to source clean water, we have to accept that there are the odd times that we can not control. The herbal tea you have at a friends house, or the water that hydrates your organic vegetables, may contain some of the nasties discussed above. The best thing you can do is regularly support your body, by nourishing your detoxification organs. That way, when toxins do crop up, your body will be able to efficiently eliminate them from your system.
You can learn how to get the good stuff in and detoxify your body in my enjoyable 21 Day Summer Detox.
Do you have a water filter on your home?
Health & Happiness,
(3) F. Kozisek (2004) “Health risks from drinking demineralized water (draft for review and not for citation)” World Health Organization
Kasey Willson is a qualified Adelaide based Naturopath & Nutritionist. Kasey’s passion in her clinic and through her educational writing and speaking is to support women to experience balanced hormones, thriving digestion and vibrant energy levels.