Water Sources – Which is Best?
Is any water good enough?
As a Health and Performance Coach I often get asked the question “Will tap water do?” and the simple and honest answer is, NO! BUT, if you run a few searches on Google about water you’ll find that most articles half address the issues, list a few negatives about either tap water and/ or bottled water and then basically conclude that you may as well drink tap water.
In my opinion you should try to avoid tap water wherever possible. It’s often full of many undesirable routinely added chemicals and contaminants such as:
- Liquified Chlorine
- Aluminium Sulphate
- Sodium Silicoflouride
- Calcium Hydroxide
- Flourosilicic Acid
Personally, I don’t fancy drinking that crap, and I’m pretty sure that you don’t either.
It’s ‘treated’ with a large number of chemicals to kill bacteria and other micro-organisms. Often tap water also contains other contaminants such as toxic metal salts, hormones, pesticides and sometimes other chemicals and microbes such as bacteria, protozoa and lead from within the pipes.
Tested tap water typically contains:
- Trihalomethanes (THMs)
- Flouride Compounds
- Salts of:
To save us being here all day, I won’t get into all of them but….
-Flouride for instance, the wonderful savior of our teeth is actually a toxic industrial waste that’s linked to Alzheimer’s, Cancer, Poor Thyroid Function, long term bone damage and TOOTH LOSS just to name a few.
-The Hormones found in tap water tend to be Estrogen from the female contraceptive pill and this has now been link to the fertility problems a rapidly increasing number of men around the world are facing.
-Nitrates are also toxic and have been shown to contribute to lack of oxygen in organ tissues.
-Mercury is a Neurotoxin, interfering with the brain and nervous system.
Sounds wonderful hey!? Well, not really! As you can see, tap water isn’t quite what nature had intended for us to drink.
So, does this mean you should buy Bottled Water instead?
Erm, yes, but not really! Sounds strange I know but what I mean is, given a choice I prefer to drink bottled water (I’ll get into what brands later on) over tap water but that’s not ideal either.
Studies have shown that up to 40% of bottled water is in fact just tap water and many of them may not have even been filtered before being bottled. Also, the standards (if you can call them that) that apply to tap water are not applied to bottled water and overall regulation on bottled water is less.
Another problem is that bottled water can be anywhere between 240 and 10,000 times more expensive than tap water depending on your geographical location and the brand of water you’re buying.
There’s also the increased pollution both from the manufacture of the plastic bottles but also from the billions of them that get thrown away and taken to landfill sites around the world every year. Most resources I have read state that in the UK alone we’re discarding as many as 15,000,000 plastic bottles a day, and over 60,000,000 plastic water bottles a day are thrown away in the US. That’s absolutely ridiculous! That’s 27,375,000,000 (over 27 billion) a year in the UK and US alone.
Plastic bottles, particularly cloudy plastic ones leach chemicals such as Bisphenol A (BPA). BPA is used in tough polycarbonate products and epoxy resins that line tin cans and also in a group of plastic softeners called Phthalates
BPA is an endocrine disruptor known as a Xenoestrogen that mimics the bodies own estrogen. This means that your bodies own production of estrogen is affected and negative health effects can result from this. Some studies show negatives such as abnormal penis development in males and early sexual maturation in females as well as neurobehavioral problems such as Attention deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Autism. Ones risk of hormonally mediated cancers such as prostate and breast cancers also increases through long term exposure.
Heat and light can cause these chemicals to leach even faster so if you’re a bottled water consumer ensure you store water in a cool, dark place.
So if both tap water and bottled water are potentially bad for you when consumed long term, what do you do?
Well, in an ideal world everybody would have a whole-house filtration system. That way any water coming in the house is then safe for both consumption and also for washing.
A whole-house filtration system will help reduce your exposure to all of the above contaminants. They tend to vary in price and effectiveness but here at Tyton Health & Performance we recommend using either http://www.ecopurefilters.co.uk or http://www.h2opurifiers.co.uk. Both companies offer great products at competitive prices and both are able to tailor your filter options to your specific needs and financial circumstance.
They also have individual filters for separate taps or shower heads if you’re not able to afford a whole-house system at this stage. Although, if you’re a bottled water drinker it will work out much cheaper in the long run to have a whole-house water filtration system installed. Another good thing is that your filtration system can be installed in a way that’s easy to disconnect for if you move house at any point so you’re able to take it with you.
If the whole-house system isn’t for you and you going to stick with bottled or standard tap water here are a few tips to keep contamination to a minimum:
Bottled Water – Always buy the brands that sell the fastest. Brands such as Evian, Vittel, Volvic, Fiji. At least this way it will hopefully not have been in the bottle for too long. If you can, transfer water into glass containers as soon as you get it home from the store. Always look for water with a Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) of 300mg/l or higher and a hardness factor of 170mg/L or greater (you can find a good water hardness calculator here http://www.lenntech.com/ro/water-hardness.htm if it’s not mentioned on the bottle). And as mentioned earlier, always store your water in a cool, dark place.
Tap Water – As a bear minimum you should use a filter jug such as a Brita Filter jug but these tend to be limited in their effectiveness. Ideally do not drink your water hot, as chemicals such as Chlorine are more dangerous when hot due to the gases they give off. This of course means that it’s not ideal to have your baths or showers very hot either. Do not use water softeners. Areas with soft water show higher incidence of diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Oh, and just as a side note I’d like to mention something else, DO NOT BUY ALKALISED WATER, IT’S A CON! There are a lot of ‘professionals’ out there at the moment touting the so called benefits of alkaline water. Some good information on why not to drink alkaline water can be found here (http://www.dancingwithwater.com/articles/alkaline-water-not/). And although beyond the scope of this Blog Post, there is also a fair amount of research now showing that the claims that alkaline water is great for fighting cancer is actually incorrect also! So basically, be very careful if you choose to use it.
To be honest I could go on forever about water but as mentioned in my last Blog Post, I try to keep things as short as possible so I’ll wrap things up here. Just remember our bodies are made of anywhere between 60% and 75% water (depending on your age) and surely you want to replace it with water that’s as pure as possible, not full of harmful chemicals and toxins that were never meant for consumption by any living species on our planet including us humans.
Thank You for your time.
Your friend in Health & Performance,