The Importance of 'Optimum' Water

  • 1 Jun 2014
  • Reading time 9 mins
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Diet sorted? Supplements selected? Exercise plan mapped out? If yes to all three, well done – But what about your liquid intake?

If this is you, well done – you’re obviously clearly on course to a healthier, happier and re-energised body and mind. But what about your liquid intake? While juices, certain teas – e.g – green tea and healthy smoothies will all deliver great nutritional benefits, there is one liquid that surpasses them all – water. it makes up two thirds of your body and 85% of your brain! it's not just the quantity but quality that counts!

Water is essential for health and wellbeing

Most nutritional therapists agree that drinking plenty of water is essential to good health and wellbeing. And, when you consider the facts, it’s hardly surprising why. 60-70% of the body is water, yet through our busy everyday lives – a heady mix of work, leisure and being generally on the go – we are not only constantly dehydrating ourselves, but also failing to quench our body’s thirst for water.

As a result, our skin suffers, our eyes are dry, we can’t seem to shake off colds, we complain of headaches, lack energy, often feel bloated or constipated and our concentration levels are poor. And, as much as a cup of coffee or can of fizzy drink might seem appealing, it will do nothing to restore your body’s liquid levels – in fact, caffeine has quite the opposite effect – leaving your body arid, dry and in desperate need of water.

Quality water

The answer is to ensure a plentiful supply of fresh, good quality, filtered drinking water wherever you are. Not so long ago, that meant stocking up at the supermarket on expensive, not to mention bulky bottled water. But it doesn’t have to be the case anymore – a new generation of filter taps and filter systems, my favourite being the 2000 Water Filtration System means perfectly pure water is more accessible than ever, whatever your budget. And it’s just as well – because the quality of bottled water, to say nothing of the waste that bottled water packaging and plastic generates – has never been under such scrutiny.

Ensuring you always have fresh drinking water to hand is as much of a discipline as anything else, but like taking the time to make sure you have healthy snacks and your supplements quota, it is absolutely worth the effort and you’re likely to see the benefits of increasing your water quite quickly.

So, if you’re always on the move, get yourself some handy 500ml recycled, toughened glass bottles and simply top them up from your tap or filtered water dispenser. Similarly, if you’re desk bound, have a carafe that will keep it easy to keep your glass full. Remember to sip whilst you work, play and relax – and when you’ve done it consistently for a couple of weeks, drinking water, whatever you’re doing will simply become a way of life.

Why it’s important to stay hydrated

  • Body basics: water regulates body temperature, delivers oxygen, lubricates joints, forms saliva, helps cell growth, keeps you regular and more… Safe to say it’s vital...
  • All in the mind: about 75% water, your brain’s abilities and even short-term memory is affected by dehydration.
  • Reduces headaches: dizziness and headaches are often brought about by fatigue, a sign of dehydration.
  • Healthy heart: aside from about 73% of your heart being made of water, if you’re not drinking enough then your blood is thicker. This increases how hard your heart needs to work.
  • Keep moving: your body doesn’t work as well if it’s not got enough water. And don’t forget that any fluids you lose through exercise need to be replaced.
  • Fighting infection: Hydrated bodies are less prone to catching bugs. Water also flushes toxins out of your system and is particularly good for preventing urine infections and kidney stones.
  • Body beautiful: Keeps hair healthy looking; hydrates and plumps skin as it flushes out toxins, clearing your skin of dirt and bacteria;

Any questions?

How much water should I drink every day?

You should aim to drink between 7-10 glasses of water every day. But build up to it – your body will thank you for keeping it topped up – but it will need to adjust.

I don’t really like the taste of water…

It’s really important to try and drink freshly filtered water, as, depending on where you live, the taste – and quality – of tap water can vary. If you still don’t enjoy drinking filtered water, try adding some natural flavourings – a squeeze of lemon or lime or even crushed mint works a treat.

I know fizzy drinks are a no-no, but what about sparkling water?

Fizzy water might not have the high sugar content that other fizzy drinks have, but if you’re aiming for better health and wellbeing, fizzy water is not really to be recommended. The bubbles in sparkling water are created by carbon dioxide, so the best advice is to stick to still!

I’ve got a filter jug, is that OK?

Filter jugs have a limited filtration performance – for instance, they won’t remove harmful bacteria – and to be properly effective, their filter cartridges need to be frequently changed. You’re also filtering and then storing water, which is not always hygienic. A better solution is a filter tap or filter system, which tend to use ceramic and/or carbon filter cartridges. Ceramic and carbon have excellent filtration properties and work together very well to remove a wide range of contaminants.

Here’s a snapshot of just some of the key contaminants removed using a system such as 2000 Water Filtration System:

  • Bacteria (99.99% removed): bad bacteria can make you ill to varying degrees, especially if left to multiply and when they produce toxins. They also leave bad odours and taste.
  • Particles (e.g. rust, sediment: 99.99% removed): tap water in particular picks up sediments from your pipes and taps: it’s important to stop these nasties from entering your system. The 2000 System will filter right at the last moment so the water you’re drinking is as fresh as can be.
  • Chlorine (100% removed): used to treat your water. Some of the most serious side effects of chlorine treatment come from the contact between chlorine and organic matter in water forming Trihalomethanes e.g. chloroform. THMs increase the production of free radicals in the body and are highly carcinogenic. They have been linked to various types of cancer, kidney and liver damage, immune system dysfunction, disorders of the nervous system and birth defects;
  • Heavy metals (including lead, aluminium, mercury: 92-99% removed): entering the water though industrialisation, urban run-off and even household activities such as painting, heavy metals can be toxic and lead to autoimmunity. Potentially leading to diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis; liver and kidney damage; blood, circulatory system, and nervous system disorders. 17 of the 50 ‘heavy metals’ are considered highly toxic and relatively accessible;
  • And more: for example, pesticides, herbicides, phenols, solvents, xenoestrogens, hydrocarbons, fluoranthene, fluoride, nitrates. We are also able to target specific contaminants such as arsenic;
  • Aesthetics: filtering will also remove bad odours and tastes

What about distilled water and RO systems?

Distilled water is exceptionally pure water and accordingly, it has none of the mineral benefits that freshly filtered water can provide. Minerals such as magnesium and calcium are naturally present in tap water and a good filter tap or system won’t remove them. Similarly, RO systems also ‘strip’ the water of its goodness. RO systems do have their place – for instance, kidney dialysis machines, require water that been filtered through an RO system – but, like water distillers, they go beyond the needs of most people’s everyday drinking water requirements. A good water filter system will take the contaminants out but keep the good stuff in. Hundreds of peer-reviewed studies confirm the importance of retaining these naturally occurring minerals and nutrients. Here is a quick snapshot into some of the nutrients retained using the 2000 system:

  • Calcium (2% of total body weight): essential throughout our lives to help our bones grow and develop in youth then to maintain strength as we age. Calcium also helps blood clotting, nerve transmission, muscle contractions whilst helping to prevent colon cancer and obesity. Traces of calcium are also present in the circulatory system, preventing life-threatening haemorrhages. Ensuring healthy body pH it also transports other nutrients across cell membranes;
  • Magnesium (needed for 300 biochemical reactions in the body): regulates blood pressure, detoxification, energy production and immune system. Magnesium protects the heart from irregular heartbeats and shields your heart from damage, particularly muscle stress. It mediates digestive processes preventing problems like vomiting, cramps, indigestion and constipation. It has also been found to alleviate psychiatric disorders – such as panic attacks, stress, anxiety. It helps absorption of other minerals, formation of collagen and boosts the bioavailability of B6.
  • Sodium (a key electrolyte): needed for blood and fluid regulation preventing diarrhoea, vomiting, headache, low blood pressure, lethargy, muscular irritability and dizziness. Sodium improves heart performance and nervous system. Regulating glucose absorption, it helps to facilitate the absorption of glucose by cells. Sodium also eliminates excess carbon dioxide from the body.
  • Potassium (third most abundant mineral in the body): required for keeping the heart, brain, kidney, muscle tissue and other important organ systems of the human body in good condition. It can provide relief from strokes, blood pressure, heart and kidney disorders and anxiety. As well as enhancing muscle strength through proper growth of muscle tissues and utilisation of energy, it maintains metabolism, water balance, electrolytic functions, and nervous system. It facilitates brain function by allowing more oxygen to reach the brain.

What’s wrong with bottled water?

So it’s clear that unfiltered tap water is not going to maintain our ideal levels of health. You might think that drinking bottled water is the solution, but in reality:

  • European standards for factory-bottled water are actually lower than for ordinary tap water: meaning they could still contain harmful contaminants;
  • Up to 80% of bottled waters on the market are in fact processed waters which may be demineralised or have contaminants left in, upsetting the body’s natural balance;
  • Plastic bottles aren’t good for anyone: bottles are a source of plastic contamination: for example, BPAs found in bottles could potentially leach over time. If stored in sunlight for prolonged periods, bacterial and algal growth may be a problem. Of course, there is also the waste and environmental impacts of these bottles;
  • Wasted time, money and energy: Bottled water brings with it the hassle and inconvenience of buying, moving and storing. Like-for-like, it’s actually more expensive than using filtered water.

To find out more about a filter system visit HOLFORDirect.com

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