Do you have symptoms of dehydration? Find out why the water you are drinking may not measure up when it comes to your health and hydration…and what you can do about it starting now.
Are you one of the 75% of Americans who is chronically dehydrated? Here are the signs and symptoms of dehydration you need to know:
- Back pain
- Blood pressure changes
- Decreased coordination
- Decreased urine output
- Degenerative health problems (many can be a result of unintentional chronic dehydration)
- Dry mouth
- Dry mucous membranes in mouth and nose
- Dry skin
- Gut problems – digestive problems, bacterial overgrowth
- High blood pressure
- Impaired judgment
- Release of stress hormones and histamine, which then has the consequence of increasing inflammation, suppressing the immune system, lowering white blood cell production, etc.
- Thirst (if you are thirsty, your cells are already dehydrated)
- Yellow or dark urine color (a hydrated body produces colorless urine)
In fact, dehydration starts this constant drain on your body’s physiology that few can recover from easily.
The good news is, you can help your body become hydrated!
But Before You Drink, Beware of What’s In Your Water
It’s no surprise that our water quality has changed over the years. As you read every word of this article, you likely agree that knowing the source of your water is critical to your health.
The truth is, all water is NOT created equal!
Here’s what you need to know about water quality and safety:
Cities do an excellent job of removing most of the contaminants in water that are covered under this EPA set of standards. So on the one hand, I applaud them.
However, 2 things are happening to make tap water quality and safety much more challenging:
1) Chemical Additives
Unfortunately, cities have to add chemicals back into the water for various reasons. And it is these chemicals that have put us much more at risk as far as water problems. Some examples are:
- Aluminum – to remove sediment in water
- Chlorine or Chloramines – to disinfect the water
- Fluoride – the idea here was to help people prevent cavities, but is actually a devastating and serious toxin.
- Disinfection By-Products (DBPs) – the disinfectants we put in the water, such as chlorine, end up reacting with natural, organic matter in the water to form new classes of chemicals that are perhaps the most dangerous thing in a modern water supply.
2) Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals
This is a fairly new category that the Environmental Protection Agency does not regulate in city water supplies. You may already have read that researchers are finding a lot of pharmaceutical drugs in our water supplies.
Here’s how it works: endocrine-disrupting chemicals end up going down the toilet into the waste treatment plant. That waste treatment plant dispenses them through the ocean and other waterways, which ends up seeping back into our water aquifers, which are used to supply water in the first place.
Two common categories of endocrine-disrupting chemicals:
- Pharmaceutical Drugs – Antidepressants, antibiotics, cholesterol lowering drugs, pain relievers and more. If you’re curious, read the side effects of these products and you’ll get a good understanding of the dangers of ingesting these drugs in your water supply.
- Personal Care Products – Shampoos, lotions, suntan lotions, soaps and all of your personal care products are filled with toxins. In fact, the average person is exposed to over 123 toxins each day from their personal care products. These chemicals make their way back into our water systems.
Moreover, the problem is that to remove them, according to all technical evaluations, is more expensive than people are willing to pay for their water. So it’s a very serious problem.
So Isn’t Well Water Safer? Not Really…Here’s Why
Well water can also be contaminated, so we’ll cover three categories you should be aware of.
4 Examples of Well Water Contamination:
- Aesthetic Contaminants– This includes iron and manganese. If you have too much iron or manganese in the water, it may not have serious health consequences, but it stains your laundry and has a terrible taste.
- Microbial Contaminants– This is more common than you think…perhaps the well wasn’t dug deep enough and the person’s septic tank is cross-connecting with their water source. The result is that you could be getting disease-causing bacteria, like fecal coliform and E. coli bacteria in your water supply.
- Farming Contaminants – If you live near a farming area, it’s very common to have high levels of pesticides and herbicides in the well water, because it seeped in from 20 miles or even 50 miles away. This kind of contamination is odorless and tasteless, so it’s often discovered only after a serious illness or child with birth defects prompts an investigation.
- Oil Drilling – This puts hydrocarbon contamination in the water, making it virtually unusable and carcinogenic at the same time.
So as you can see, it’s very important to have your well water tested regularly.
Unfortunately, Most Bottled Water Is No Better, But There Are Better Options
We’re all familiar with the perils of bottled water…the waste of bottles in the landfills and the toxins from the plastic that can be leached into the water. However, there are some better forms of bottled water to drink when you’re in a situation (like the airport) where you require bottled water.
First, find out what type of purification is used.
There are 3 types of water purification used in bottled water:
- Reverse Osmosis– Removes all contaminants.
- Deionization – Does not remove all contaminants. Deionization is not a trustworthy process, in my opinion. The main goal is to remove dissolved solids, but this does not mean that other contaminants, like those found in your tap water (above), are removed.
- Distillation – Removes most contaminants, but must be sent through a carbon filter to ensure removal of all contaminants.
If You Have to Drink Bottled Water, Here’s How to Choose the Best Bottled Water
If you are traveling or on the run, you may need bottled water. Here’s what to look for:
- Spring water or artesian water
- Water purified with reverse osmosis
- Water bottled in glass
- Our top recommendation is Gerol Steiner brand water
Remember, it’s more important for your body to be hydrated, so even if you don’t have perfect choices, choose the best form of water available to you.
How to Hydrate Your Body With The Highest Quality Water
The real goal is to take control of your water. So how do you do this, given all the challenges?
1) Drinking Water & Cooking Water (Point of Use)
For water you will be consuming, you want the highest quality possible. A point of use system is connected to your faucet on your countertop or under your sink. We recommend reverse osmosis, like Purative’s Purist, as the top choice for point of use (countertop/under counter) water purifiers.
2) Bathing & Showering Water (Point of Entry)
Treats all the water in your home or building. Don’t let marketing fool you into thinking that a shower filter (which removes chlorine, but does not remove the toxic contaminants in tap water).
- While we know reverse osmosis is the best, it’s simply not practical from a cost standpoint for most homes and offices. The main goal for your bathing and showering water is to removes the most toxic contaminants so you can bathe and shower safely.
- Purative’s Water Defense point of entry water purifier is the most effective on the market for your whole house or building.
When it comes to good health, your best bet is to combine a point of use and point of entry system for your water, so you are completely covered.
So now that you know how to choose high quality water, how much water do you need to drink?
I’m a big proponent of starting your day with at least two cups of water. After that, I recommend filling a glass container with 8 cups of water and have it next to you at work. Make it a goal to finish this container by the end of the day and you’ll go a long way toward giving your body the hydration it needs!
1) Batmanghelidj, Fereydoon, M.D. How do you know you’re dehydrated? http://www.watercure.com/faq.html#dehydrated